Paul L. Caron

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

ABA Permits Law Schools To Accept GRE Scores In Lieu Of The LSAT

Summary of Actions of the Section’s Council at its Public Meeting Nov. 19, 2021:

ABA Legal Ed (2021)In closed session, the Council also voted to permit law schools to accept GRE test scores from applicants in lieu of an LSAT score under Standard 503. The Council reminds schools that the use of test scores to make admissions decisions is subject to Standard 501(a)’s requirement that a school adhere to “sound admission policies and practices,” and that a law school may not admit applicants who do not “appear capable of satisfactorily completing its program of legal education and being admitted to the bar.” The Council also reminds schools that although Standard 503 does not prescribe the weight that law schools must give to an applicant's test score, it does require law schools to use admissions tests in a manner consistent with the test developer's current guidelines regarding the proper use of the results.

I received this email from Jeff Thomas (Kaplan):

The American Bar Association announcing that the GRE is in compliance with its admissions standards may finally open the floodgates for this exam to truly be a viable alternative to the LSAT, with some caveats. Until now, only a trickle of applicants have taken the GRE route, but this latest news might turn that into at least a steady stream if every law school -- right now it’s only about one third of all law schools -- says that not only will they accept GRE scores, but also that applicants who submit GRE scores will not be at an admissions disadvantage compared to applicants who submit LSAT scores. That’s been a concern among some applicants, we know, and a prior Kaplan survey among law schools found that even among law schools that accept scores from both tests, many have a preference for the LSAT. If there is a perceived bias, it’s hard to see how the GRE will truly take off. Overall, we are glad the ABA has finally made a ruling on this issue, which will bring some much needed clarity to both law schools and prospective students. It will likely take a few admissions cycles to really measure its impact though.

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