Paul L. Caron
Dean




Thursday, May 22, 2014

Muller: Winner and Losers From the End of Flagging LSAT Scores of Disabled Students

Following up on yesterday's post, DOJ Enters $7.7 Million Consent Decree to Settle ADA Lawsuit Against LSAC Over ADA Accommodation in Administration of LSAT:  Derek Muller (Pepperdine), LSAC Accommodated LSAT Flagging Settlement Will Affect Some Negatively:

LSACTheoretically, the practice of "flagging" accommodated scores caused a stigma. The worry was that law school admissions committees would view such flags negatively and make them less inclined to admit accommodated students.

But there was a benefit to this regime, too--at least to some. Accommodated students would not have their LSAT scores reported to the ABA, or, more importantly for law school admissions committees' sakes, U.S. News & World Report in the school's median scores. The ABA has explained that LSAC has no data demonstrating that accommodated LSAT scores have the same meaning as non-accommodated scores, so it excludes them from its totals. ...

Under the old regime, an accommodated test-taker with a 168 LSAT and a 3.0 GPA would be disadvantaged. Her file would indicate that she was an accommodated test-taker, and, despite her high LSAT score and sound index score, an admissions committee concerned about its medians would be less inclined to admit her. That's because her LSAT score would not be included in the USNWR medians. But, under the post-consent decree regime, the admissions committee would have no idea that she was accommodated, and it would be more inclined to admit her (if worried about its medians).

In contrast, under the old regime, an accommodated test-taker with a 153 LSAT and a 3.9 GPA would be advantaged. His file would indicate that he was an accommodated test-taker, and, despite his low LSAT score, an admissions committee concerned about its medians would be more inclined to admit him. That's because his LSAT score would not be included in the USNWR medians. But, under the post-consent decree regime, the admissions committee would have no idea that he was accommodated, and it would be less inclined to admit him.

The benefits, then, will redound to accommodated test-takers who score well on the LSAT. But accommodated test-takers who perform poorly on the LSAT will, in all likelihood, perform worse.

https://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2014/05/muller-winner-and-losers.html

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