The legal profession loves tradition. However, “the way things have always been done” is a phrase quickly losing its relevance in lawyer jargon. New ways of thinking and practicing law arise daily. This time, the latest innovation has made its way into the law school admission scene. Enter the GRE.
For the first time in history, a law school is accepting a new form of admissions test in addition to the LSAT. The University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law in Tucson is accepting the GRE General Test for admission into its law school effective immediately.
If you review the American Bar Association’s law school accreditation standards, the LSAT is the only exam specifically listed as meeting the necessary criteria. However, ABA Standard 503-1 states that if a school were to use another test all it would have to do is prove its reliability, and Arizona did just that.
Indicator of Success for Law School Admission
The law school made the decision to accept the GRE after a study was completed by Educational Testing Service (ETS) which proved the exam along with a student’s undergraduate GPA was a reliable indicator of a student’s success in his/her first year of law school at the University of Arizona.
In fact, according to the school’s dean Marc Miller, the GRE actually did slightly better than the LSAT in predicting 1L grades. Miller further added,
My hope is that the [Law School Admissions Council] would use this as an opportunity to evolve the LSAT.
The school’s official announcement also shed light on other programs currently conducting studies with ETS to see if the GRE would serve as a valid option according to the ABA Standards. Two of those law schools – Wake Forest University School of Law and the University of Hawaii William S. Richardson School of Law – hope to have an answer by the end of this year.
Do you agree with University of Arizona Dean Marc Miller? Is it time that we reevaluate the testing standards of the LSAT? Let us know what you think.