Following up on my previous posts (links below): Wall Street Journal, Arizona Law Faces Fight Over LSAT Policy:
A top-tier law school’s decision to make the Law School Admission Test optional has put it on a collision course with the powerful national nonprofit group that administers the exam and controls much of the law-school application process nationwide.
University of Arizona College of Law has started allowing applicants to take the Graduate Record Examination test in lieu of the LSAT, a move the school hopes will expand and diversify the pool of students considering enrolling.
Since 2010, in the aftermath of the financial crisis, the number of students applying to law schools has shrunk considerably and is only now starting to stabilize. Allowing the GRE, the thinking goes, could give a boost to applications; at least five times as many people took the GRE in the latest admissions cycle as the LSAT.
At least two other schools—University of Hawaii School of Law and Wake Forest University School of Law—have recently explored similar moves.
Arizona Law, based in Tucson, says a study it conducted has convinced school administrators that the GRE, which is accepted by most business schools, is a reliable standardized substitute. But the change of its requirements has drawn them into a clash with Newtown, Pa.,-based Law School Admission Council Inc., which controls the LSAT and acts as a key application clearinghouse for more than 200 law schools across the nation.
LSAC’s general counsel in April notified Arizona Law that the school’s new policy may violate its bylaws, which require that “substantially all of” a law school’s applicants take the LSAT.
The group is considering expelling Arizona Law from its membership, which would effectively cut off the school’s access to a crucial student admissions pipeline. ...
The school said it sent a letter back to the organization Friday that also warned of potential legal risks. “We believe that your proposed action unreasonably restrains competition in the law school admissions testing market,” said Arizona Law’s dean, Marc Miller, in the letter, which was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. ...
Daniel Crane, an antitrust expert at University of Michigan Law School, said a legal challenge to LSAC’s dominance over the law-school admissions process might be a tough sell. In antitrust litigation, he said, there has been a “history of deference to professional organizations that are performing a gatekeeper function.”
LSAC’s governing board is made up of mostly law school deans and law professors, and schools elect the board chairman. A court looking at the matter, he said, would want to know what other law schools think about LSAC’s role and whether they share Arizona Law’s concerns.
According to its latest publicly available Form 990 for FY 2014, LSAC President Daniel Bernstine earned $684,363 in total compensation, four other employees earned more than $300,000, and five other employees earned more than $200,000. LSAC reported over $200 million in net assets, including $93 million in publicly traded stock and $112 million in other investments (including $32 million in hedge funds).
Prior TaxProf Blog posts:
Additional LSAC posts:
- LSAC Jacks Up Fees 15-31% to Students in Light of Decline in LSAT Test Takers (April 19, 2012)
- LST: 2015 State of Legal Education: An In-Depth Look Into Law School Admissions Choices (Oct. 25, 2015)
- McEntee: The Achilles' Heel Of Law Schools — Charging More To The Least Qualified Students (Nov. 10, 2015)
- L.A. Times: Deans Of Some California Law Schools Say Low LSAT Scores Do Not Predict Bar Exam Failure (Nov. 15, 2015)
- One Law School’s Change In Fortune: Southern Illinois (Nov. 18, 2015)
- McEntee: The ABA Must Enforce Its Non-Exploitation Law School Accreditation Standard (Nov. 29, 2015)
- LSAC, LST Debate The Use Of LSAT Scores As A Bar Passage Predictor (Dec. 2, 2015)
- Simkovic Weighs In On The LSAC/LST Debate Over The Use Of LSAT Scores As A Bar Passage Predictor (Dec. 3, 2015)
- Will Denying Admission To Students With 'At-Risk' LSAT Scores Keep Minorities, Poor From Becoming Lawyers? (Dec. 6, 2015)
- Anderson: LSAC President 'Fundamentally Misunderstands' LSAT, Which LSAC's Own Studies Show Correlates With Bar Performance (Dec. 8, 2015)