Buffalo, New York
The First Two Law Schools to Drop the LSAT Could Be Just the Beginning
Some schools are eliminating the standard exam requirement in order to make it easier for top students to get into their programs
Two law schools said this month that they would begin accepting applicants who have not taken the Law School Admissions Test, a move that may help curb weak interest and plunging enrollments in law schools across the country. The State University of New York-Buffalo Law School and the University of Iowa College of Law said they would admit students from their respective undergraduate colleges based on their grade point average and scores on standardized tests other than the LSAT.
“Taking the LSAT is a pain, and it is expensive,” says James Gardner, dean of SUNY Buffalo’s law school. The test comes with a $170 fee, often in addition to months-long prep courses and tutoring that can cost thousands of dollars. “This is just a way to identify strong-performing students based on perfectly rational criteria that don’t involve the LSAT,” Gardner says.
If the LSAT is g-loaded, then the real reason for this is very similar for the reason why a lot of undergrad schools are making the SAT/ACT optional for admissions. Because diversity. High scorers will self-report to impress the admissions committee, NAMs won’t because they’re NAMs. Therefore, you’ll have a Freshman class that has both a very high SAT/ACT average and high NAM diversity. The dirty little secret is that you’re supposed to walk away thinking the NAMs contributed to the high SAT/ACT average, but they didn’t. Likewise, I think making the LSAT optional for law school is a means to be able to slip more NAMs in.
Currier says doing away with the test might draw people to a career in law who would otherwise go to business or medical school.
Because we’re really suffering for a lack of lawyers.