Law Students

LSAT Will No Longer Be Required for ABA-Accredited Law Schools
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Summary: The council of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar voted to remove the requirement that law schools use admission tests. 

On Friday, the American Bar Association approved a proposed revision to remove the rule that law schools must require students to submit LSAT scores. According to the ABA Journal, “A proposed revision to remove an admission test requirement for accredited law schools was approved Friday by the council of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar—as was a plan to reorganize the section.”


The decision was made in Washington DC, and the council approved cutting out Standard 503 which requires an admission exam as part of the law school application process. Most schools use the LSAT exam, but the ABA allows exceptions if the school demonstrates that they are replacing the LSAT with an alternative exam that can still determine aptitude. Recently, high-profile schools such as Harvard Law and Northwestern have announced that they will allow potential students to submit GRE or LSAT scores.

Friday’s vote was narrowly approved 9-8, and the proposed revisions will then go to the House of Delegates, which has the ability to make recommendations. Their notes are then returned to the council which has the final say in the application process.

Kellye Testy, president and CEO of the Law School Admission Council, told ABA Journal that her group is pleased with the council’s decision and believes schools will continue to use the LSAT test. The LSAC is a nonprofit organization that administers the LSAT.

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“We expect that our member schools will continue to use the LSAT for substantially all of their admissions to provide transparency and fairness by evaluating all applicants using common and consistent standards,” Testy said. “As a result, while these changes shift the responsibility for fair admission practices from the ABA to law schools, we do not anticipate significant changes for the vast majority of law schools or their applicants.”

Jeff Thomas, Kaplan Test Prep’s executive director of pre-law programs, said that the ABA update appears to be a big change but is actually only giving schools choice.

“On paper, the American Bar Association’s rule change has the potential to produce the biggest change to the law school admissions process in decades. In reality, since it’s not requiring schools to do anything, but rather only giving them the choice to make changes, many will likely do nothing at all,” Thomas said.

What do you think of the ABA change? Let us know in the comments below.


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