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GRE Catches On at USC Gould School of Law
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USC Gould

Summary: The University of Southern California Gould School of Law will now be accepting the GRE in law school applications.

The University of Southern California Gould School of Law is the latest top law school to embrace the new trend of accepting scores for the Graduate Record Exam instead of the traditional Law School Admission Test. According to, USC Law is the eighth school on U.S. News & World Report’s top 20 list that announced their intention to accept the alternate test.


With nearly half of the country’s top 20 law schools now accepting GRE scores from applicants, it appears the GRE will keep growing on law schools until it is accepted by all. Harvard Law School set the trend among the top rated law schools when they announced their plan in March 2017. Just last week the University of Pennsylvania Law School announced they will accept the GRE and GMAT in addition to the LSAT in J.D. applications. The University of California, Los Angeles School of Law changed their applicant rules to allow all J.D. applicants to use the GRE. They previously allowed dual degree applicants and students to apply with a GRE score.

USC Law Dean Andrew Guzman said, “USC has a long history of encouraging interdisciplinary studies, and we hope that students with an interest in multiple disciplines will consider pursing joint degree programs that include a law degree.”

The reasons behind the change are the same as the other 19 American Bar Association-accredited law schools that now accept the GRE. USC is hoping to appeal to a broader pool of applicants that may not have taken the LSAT in time to apply. The LSAT is only offered six times a year.

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In the announcement, Admissions Dean David Kirschner explains that the law school began considering accepting the GRE in 2016 when the University of Arizona became the first law school to officially accept the test. Once Harvard got on board with the alternative test, USC began seriously considering it. They participated in a national study by Educational Testing Service with 20 other law schools to better understand how the GRE would be able to predict the future success of an applicant. That study concluded that the GRE was similar to the LSAT in predicting law school performance.

Kirschner added that when the ABA Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar removed the requirement for school’s to use the LSAT in admissions, USC was ready to make the change. Another big factor was when their rival, UCLA, announced they would accept the GRE. Kirschner said, “I won’t say it didn’t play a role, but in all honesty this is not a decision we would have made if we didn’t think it would be beneficial to our student body and work for our law school.”

Kirschner believes the change to accept the GRE will help make up a few percentage points in the drop in enrollment since the recession but that most applicants will continue to use the LSAT as the primary test.

Which test would you rather take? The GRE or LSAT? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

To learn more about the GRE and other schools accepting it, read these articles:




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