ABA council seeks views on the fate of law school admissions tests

2 minute read

Signage is seen outside of the American Bar Association (ABA) in Washington, D.C., U.S. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com
  • ABA panel voted to circulate proposal for public comment
  • Committee recommended dropping rule requiring standardized tests like LSAT

(Reuters) - The public will get the opportunity to weigh in on whether the American Bar Association should eliminate a requirement that law schools use a standardized test, like the Law School Admission Test, to assess applicants.

The ABA's Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, which handles law school accreditation, voted during a Chicago meeting Friday to circulate for comment a proposal to drop a rule that law schools use a "valid and reliable" admissions test.

That would leave the choice up to law schools on whether to make standardized tests optional.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

An ABA committee recently recommended the revision, which if adopted would mark a major change.

The LSAT was long the only standardized test that automatically met the criteria. The ABA added the Graduate Record Examinations as an alternative in November 2021.

Supporters of the testing requirement say it keeps weaker students from wasting time and money with law school. Detractors have said such testing hurts efforts to diversify legal education and the profession, citing disparities in LSAT scores across racial groups.

The Council agreed the comment period should be open for longer than the traditional 30-days but did not specify a closing date. It will collect the input before meeting again in November.

Any rule changes could not take effect until after the Council and the ABA's House of Delegates have an opportunity for review.

The ABA has in the past taken steps to remove the testing requirement. The Council approved, but then withdrew, a similar measure in 2018.

Read more:

End of the LSAT? Law school entry test is on the chopping block again

After ABA's blessing, will law schools rush to use the GRE in admissions?

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Thomson Reuters

Sara Merken reports on privacy and data security, as well as the business of law, including legal innovation and key players in the legal services industry. Reach her at sara.merken@thomsonreuters.com