Paul L. Caron

Thursday, December 4, 2008

NLJ on LSAT Surge

Following up on yesterday's post, Repeat LSAT Takers Surge Following Rule Change Permitting Reporting of Only Highest Score:  the National Law Journal picks up the story today:

Sam Stonefield, associate dean for external affairs and a professor of law at Western New England College School of Law, said the new rule also hurts diversity initiatives at today's law schools because applicants in several minority groups are less likely to incur the cost and time necessary to retake the LSAT.

But Allen Easley, dean of the University of La Verne College of Law, who served as chairman of the questionnaire committee of the ABA's section of legal education and admission to the bar, which adopted the rule, said the change was implemented because law school deans were feeling pressured to reflect high LSAT scores in rankings such as U.S. News & World Report and believed competitors were manipulated their average LSAT scores. "If we let everybody report the high score, everyone is on the same level playing field and we eliminate that concern," he said.

He said the number of "repeaters" had been increasing before the ABA implemented the rule, although he admitted that the change could have exacerbated the rise. As to the potential impact that the rules could have on diversity at law schools, his committee concluded that the issue was speculative and outweighed by the other concerns, he said.

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