Should LSAT Be Dropped For Law School Admission?

Would removing LSAT scores as an admissions requirement improve diversity and inclusion among law students? Southern University Law Center chancellor John Pierre doesn’t think so, but he still supports the proposal.

First administered in February 1948, the Law School Admissions Test, popularly known as the LSAT, has been a basic requirement for law school admissions ever since, much to the delight of successful applicants. well on standardized tests and much to the chagrin of students. don’t.

According to a recent article by

While making standardized scores optional in the past has focused on the effectiveness of standardized tests as an accurate predictor of student achievement, many proponents of the proposed change to Standard 503, which governs standards for admission to ABA-accredited law schools, believe that the test requirement discriminates against underrepresented minorities.

However, Pierre points out that the diversity of a law school’s cohort is a decision the law school makes when evaluating applicants, as it can choose how to weigh various admissions factors, including test scores. standardized tests. For example, he explains that while international students, for whom English may be a second or third language, may score lower than native English speakers on the LSAT, their ability to achieve a comparable score demonstrates their academic rigor.

“If I see an international student get 145 points on the LSAT, I know they could easily get 10 more points if English was their first language,” he says.

Similarly, a student from a disadvantaged background may also perform worse on standardized exams due to inferior K-12 education. He therefore prefers not to consider any factor as decisive for admission, which could otherwise exclude students who did not have the financial means to attend elite schools and participate in test preparation courses.

But, while Pierre doesn’t think making standardized test scores optional will necessarily diversify the pool of law school applicants, he still supports it. He says that although LSAT scores are not a stand-alone indicator of a candidate’s worth, they are a useful measure for evaluating a candidate.

The American Bar Association Council’s Legal Education and Admissions Section will decide whether to approve or further review the amendment at its November meeting.

LSU Law Center officials did not respond to multiple attempts to comment.

Nancy I. Romero