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Northwestern Announces Acceptance of GRE Test Scores
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Summary: Northwestern is the latest school to start accepting GRE test scores in place of traditional LSAT scores.

The Graduate Record Examination will be accepted at Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law for the fall 2019 starting class. The law school is accepting the traditional Law Schools Admissions Test scores or GRE scores for the admission for fall 2019 classes.


The debate over if the GRE is a strong enough predictor of first-year performance has put law schools and the American Bar Association at odds. Studies have been done by several law schools and the results are in – the GRE is a good indicator of how students will do their first year of law school.

Northwestern made the decision after carefully considering study results from the Educational Testing Service, the organization that provides the GRE. Their study assessed first-year performance at Northwestern Law to determine if the GRE would be an acceptable predictor. Their results showed that the GRE would be a good indicator at Northwestern.

Dean Daniel Rodriguez said, “At Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, we are firmly committed to meeting the evolving needs of the profession, and this means constantly evaluating the law school experience. This includes our curriculum, where we have established relevant new programs, concentrations and courses, our student support infrastructure, including financial aid, and also student admissions and recruitment.”

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Other schools that have made similar announcements include Harvard Law and the University of Arizona College of Law. The GRE measures qualitative and quantitative skills and is accepted by most graduate and professional degree programs. By accepting this test, law schools are opening up the doors for more students in alternative degrees like engineering and sciences.

Rodriguez added, “Gaining access to GRE test-takers, many of whom are engineers, scientists and mathematicians, could benefit Northwestern Law and the legal profession at large by diversifying the applicant pool. Additionally, the GRE is offered a number of times throughout the year and in locations worldwide, making it easily accessible for prospective students.”

The ABA is not fully onboard with the acceptance of GRE scores as a replacement of the LSAT. They are reviewing which standardized tests should be mandatory for law school admissions. The hesitation by the ABA is part of the reason that Northwestern has adopted the timeline they have on the acceptance of GRE test scores. They hope within the next two years that the ABA Council will have the data they need to allow schools the choice to allow GRE scores as they see fit at their own schools.

Northwestern Law School hopes that the ABA will allow the alternative test since test scores are just a part of the admissions process. The law school considers work experience, public service, leadership, career goals, writing skills, letters of recommendation, interviews, and academic ability when they decide which students to accept into their program.

Do you think the ABA needs to let law schools make the decision of whether the GRE is an acceptable test for their school? Tell us in the comments below.

To learn more about the GRE, read these articles:




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