Paul L. Caron

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

As ABA Deadline Ends, More Than 100 Public Comments Highlight Split Over Law School Admissions Test Requirement

Following up on Monday's post, ABA Receives Over 100 Comments On Its Proposal To Make Law School Admission Tests Optional:, As ABA Deadline Ends, More Than 100 Public Comments Highlight Split Over Law School Admissions Test Requirement:

ABA Legal Ed (2021)The comment period for a proposal to do away with the American Bar Association’s standardized admissions test requirement for law schools closed Sept. 1 with more than 100 comments posted, laying bare the divisiveness of the issue.

The topic appears to have garnered the most feedback of any issue posted to the ABA website’s Notice and Comment section since at least 2011, which is the farthest back the online archives go.

Of the 105 comments (two are unrelated and three are “neutral”), the submitted comments were nearly equally split: 51 in favor of the proposal and 49 opposed. However, several of the comments in opposition carried the weight of multiple signatures. ...

While the ABA proposal, if adopted, would merely give law schools the choice of whether to require standardized testing as part of their admissions processes, many of the comments focused on whether the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) helps or harms diversity.

“Specifically, we fear that an unintended consequence of removing Standard 503’s requirement that J.D. applicants take a valid and reliable admissions test will be to diminish the diversity of law schools’ incoming classes, by increasing reliance on grade point average and other criteria that are potentially more infused with bias,” the group of 60 law deans wrote in opposition. ...

Now that the comment period has closed, the council is set to “decide if it wants to approve or revise further the proposed amendment. Depending on that decision, the ABA House of Delegates, consistent with our procedures, will also have an opportunity to review it, although any final decision rests with the council,” Bill Adams, managing director of ABA accreditation and legal education, said in a statement emailed to in May.

Legal Insurrection, Pushback Mounts Against American Bar Association Plan To Ditch Required Standardized Admissions Testing:

Law school deans and LIF head William Jacobson all oppose dropping the LSAT/GRE as making it harder for schools to identify qualified applicants, minority or other. Is that why ABA wants to get rid of it?

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