Law Students

Law Schools Admitting Students with Little Chance for Success
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Summary: Law schools are scrambling to fill empty seats with students that have low LSAT scores, an indicator for many that the student will not pass the bar exam.

Law school enrollment has been down for a few years, which is nothing new. To keep their numbers from dipping too low, law schools are lowering their standards, such as admissions test scores.

  
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Test scores have been regarded as an indicator of how a student will do in law school. Of the 204 accredited law schools, around a third accepted 25 percent of their entering classes with those that fit the “at risk” category. This means their admissions test scores were below 150.

Studies show that law school admissions scores reflect state bar exams results. A score of 150 is considered a potential sign of future failure. Law School Transparency has been following the statistics of admitted students. They found that in 2010, only eight schools admitted students with low test scores. Now the number is at 45.

Results for this year’s bar exam are starting to come in and the numbers don’t look great. The National Conference of Bar Examiners states that the overall numbers fell to the lowest point since 1988. Arizona is showing some of the lowest numbers so far with a passage rate of 65.7 percent.

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Law School Transparency is critical of the number of at risk students that Southern Illinois University School of Law has taken on. They cut their class size down to 121 from 144 just five years ago. Their law school admissions score requirements have also gone down. The Southern Illinois bar passage rates have also fallen since 2010.

Rebecca W. Berch, a retired Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice and chairwoman of the ABA’s national accrediting body for legal education, urges law schools to be more upfront about their potential success based on their test scores. She stresses this since student debt is rising quickly and it is unfair to admit students that never stand a chance of passing the test and are left with a high debt to pay off.



Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/27/business/dealbook/study-cites-lower-standards-in-law-school-admissions.html?_r=0

Photo: law-schoolcoach.com



 

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