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ABA May Eliminate Admissions Tests for Law Schools

By William Vogeler, Esq. | Last updated on

A restless student awoke from a dream that the Law School Admissions Test floated away on a cloud.

Then he woke up, and found it wasn't just a dream. The American Bar Association was actually thinking about eliminating the LSAT and all admissions tests for law schools.

No more testing! Getting into law school will be so easy! Wait, is everybody getting punked?

Standard 503

Wake up, everybody, the proposal to end admissions tests hasn't even made it out of the ABA's key committee yet. And even if the association ultimately eliminates admission tests under Standard 503, it will still be up to law schools whether to require them.

Also, the ABA proposes to add admission credentials and academic attrition compliance to Standard 501. In other words, law schools will have to show they are not opening the floodgates for student failure.

However, changes in admission testing is not just a pipe dream. It's already happening at 19 law schools that already accept the Graduate Records Exam alternative, and more changes are in the wind.

The Standards Review Committee, working under the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, said it will take up the Standard 503 question and also changes to Standard 205 at its next meeting in May.

Standard 205

While admission testing requirements are evolving, the ABA is looking at Standard 205, which addresses nondiscrimination and equal opportunity. The standards committee proposes to add "ethnicity" and "gender identity" to a list of factors that law schools may not use to discriminate against students.

Standard 205 already prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, and disability. However, it permits religion-affiliated law schools to prefer applications who have the same religious preference.

Meanwhile, the ABA is moving forward with plans to consolidate work of the standards review and accreditation committees. According to a press release, it will "save money and accelerate the process on a range of matters."

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