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Bar Association considering changes to law school admissions

Bar Exams-Submission Delays
Posted at 9:22 AM, May 18, 2022

As some universities have dropped ACT and SAT testing requirements for admission, there is debate on whether law schools should drop LSAT testing for entry.

A committee within the American Bar Association is recommending that law schools eliminate mandatory testing as part of their admission process.

“I do think there is wide recognition about some of the disparate impact of those tests on the basis of background, both wealth and race and therefore those tests skew in a negative way efforts to build and admit a diverse class,” said Mark Miller, dean of the University of Arizona College of Law.

In 2016, the University of Arizona started allowing applicants to take the GRE or LSAT. Miller said it's opened the door to students who might not otherwise have come to law school. Those who took the GRE tend to be older and more diverse.

“I hope to, no one's surprise, they have performed as well on journals and in competitions and with their GPA,” Miller said.

Miller and other law schools are developing a new type of standardized test.

What we're trying to do at each step is have a less biased better predictor that will give both the applicants and our institution more information,” Miller said.

Some organizations defend standardized tests of all kinds, saying disparities reflect underlying biases in society. Even if mandatory testing requirements end to get into law school, college could still require a test if they want.