Bloomberg, The First Two Law Schools to Drop the LSAT Could Be Just the Beginning:
Two law schools said this month that they would begin accepting applicants who have not taken the Law School Admissions Test, a move that may help curb weak interest and plunging enrollments in law schools across the country. The State University of New York-Buffalo Law School and the University of Iowa College of Law said they would admit students from their respective undergraduate colleges based on their grade point average and scores on standardized tests other than the LSAT. ...
The two schools are the first to announce that they've taken advantage of a recent ruling by the American Bar Association, which accredits U.S. law schools. In August, the ABA changed its rules to allow law schools to fill up to 10 percent of their class with students who have not taken the LSAT, as long as they were at the top of their college class and scored highly on the SAT and ACT, college aptitude tests, or on the GRE or GMAT graduate school exams.
Additional law schools will probably follow. Before the ABA loosened its standards, around 15 schools had successfully applied for special dispensation to admit some students without LSAT scores, and Barry Currier, managing director of accreditation and legal education at the ABA, expects these and other programs to take advantage of new rules allowing them to do so without informing the ABA. ...
Law schools could apply for an even more liberal application of the new rule: ditching the LSAT for more than 10 percent of the class and using a different standardized test as an admissions gauge for those students if they can conclusively show that the exam is as good a predictor of academic achievement as the LSAT. As further schools begin experimenting with admissions, the composition of incoming law school classes could change, and the LSAT could lose standing as an exclusive ticket to law school.
The Spectrum, UB Law School Without the LSAT: A Crime Against Competition:
These initiatives favor UB students too strongly and make the law school appear far less competitive.
Rather than attracting students willing to study intensely for the LSAT, UB’s law school will now appeal to students who worry they’ll poorly on the test. And for undergraduates who did well at UB, but lack direction or career goals, the law school now looks like a safe haven – somewhere for aimless, jobless graduates to take refuge.
Graduate programs are competitive for a reason. They should accept only the best of the best, because classes are challenging and competition is fierce. Law school is difficult. Applying should be, too.
(Hat Tip: Greg McNeal.)