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ABA Considers Eliminating Admission Tests

By William Vogeler, Esq. on November 08, 2017 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Free range chickens are a good thing, right?

Free from fences, they wander around with plenty of access to fresh vegetation, sunshine, and room to exercise. On the other hand, fences are also meant to keep predators out.

So what is this proposal to take down admissions tests for law schools?

Radical Change

The American Bar Association is proposing to eliminate admission testing for incoming law students. If approved, the ABA would no longer require law school applicants to take the Law School Admission Test.

The proposal came through the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, which considered several possible changes to admission standards proposed by the Standards Review Committee at a recent meeting.

Under the recommendation, the change would be effective for students starting in the fall 2019. However, law schools would still have the choice of requiring the LSAT or an alternative test.

It would be a radical change for ABA-accredited schools, but the proposal comes after some law schools already changed the rules on their own. Half a dozen ABA schools have elected to accept the Graduate Record Exam in lieu of the LSAT.

All Not Abroad

Kellye Testy, president of the Law School Admissions Council, was disappointed by the decision. She said it would weaken law school admission standards.

"We are concerned that today's outcome will open the door to exploitation in admissions," she said.

The proposal will not directly impact non-ABA accredited law schools, but virtually all law schools have faced diminishing enrollments in recent years. Economic pressures have caused many law schools to lower admission standards as students have shied away from the law.

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