Law School Admissions Council logo

Should the LSAT be required by law schools? Does performance on that exam bear any correlation to later success as a lawyer?

For years, the American Bar Association has answered with an emphatic “Yes.” But more and more people have openly wondered whether that’s the case.

Now, the ABA is scratching its own head and re-opening the conversation. A news story today reports that an ABA panel is “leaning toward” recommending an end to the requirement.

The story is a good backgrounder on the issue. It quotes experts who are at least tentatively aligned with the probable approach (though the Law School Admissions Council, which runs the LSAT, said that “the organization was not commenting until the ABA issues a final recommendation”).

If you’re new to this conversation, you may be wondering what’s the big deal? There’s this non-mandatory organization of lawyers considering a non-binding decision that may alter admission to law school.

To see some of the decades of vitriol that resides behind the ABA’s review, scroll to the very end of the news story. There, you will hear from the dean at the Massachusetts School of Law, which engaged in long battle with the ABA over this exact high-stakes exam.

And in case you thought that the pending ABA decision will heal old wounds, read Dean Velvel’s comments on how he claims the ABA keeps “the poor and the lower middle class out of law schools and the legal profession.”

What do you think? Should the LSAT be abandoned? Or should the ABA at least allow schools to decide for themselves if they’d like to use it?

And what about the claims that high-stakes exams like the LSAT keep the applicant pool far less diverse than it would be otherwise?

More on this story as it develops.

Advertisements