Will The ABA Accept An Alternative To The LSAT?

alternative to LSATFor nearly 70 years, the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) has served as the primary entrance exam for those hoping to attend an ABA accredited law school in the United States. This year however, the status quo is changing.

Last year, I wrote about The University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law, which became the first law school to accept the GRE for admission into its law school, in addition to the LSAT. Most recently, though, Harvard Law School jumped on the GRE bandwagon.

According to the ABA Standard 503, all that an accredited law school needed to do at the time was prove its exam of choice’s reliability. And Arizona did just that.

Since then, the ABA Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, has delved deeper into the issue. In fact, the Council will likely establish a formal process so that alternatives to the LSAT can be used if a law school wishes to take that route.

This past February, the Council’s Standards Review Committee approved a proposal that revised Standard 503. The new provision states that ABA law schools may allow any examination, so long as the school proves the exam is valid and reliable by adhering to a process that the ABA will develop. Prior to this, there was no formal method schools could follow to make their case.

This March, the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar is expected to vote on the proposal when they meet in Santa Monica. According to the ABA Journal, who spoke with representatives on the Council, we should expect to see a method drafted by the ABA that will create some flexibility in the law school admission entrance exam process.

Maybe next year we will see more law schools accepting the GRE or the GMAT as a permissible form of examination to earn JDs? What do you think? Share with us in the comments below.

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