ABA Continues To Require LSAT For Law School Admission

One of the hot topics of recent years is whether the ABA will continue requiring ABA-approved law schools to use a standardized exam (typically the LSAT) as part of the evaluation process of law school applicants. Even if the ABA voted to not require a standardized exam, law schools would still have the option to make the LSAT a required part of the application process (and in most cases likely would do so).

The ABA policy-making body just voted to continue imposing the standardized test-taking requirement, rejecting arguments that the removal of an appropriate standardized exam as a requirement would add to the “diversity” of law school classes. You can see the details in this Wall St. Journal article.

The arguments favoring removal of the standardized-test requirement have always struck me as incredibly weak, disingenuous and lacking any evidentiary support. First, there is insufficient evidence that removing the requirement will help ensure greater “diversity,” and it very well may lead to the opposite result. Of equal importance, proponents of removing the standardized test requirement do not even attempt to make an argument that the “quality” of accepted law school applicants will be improved. Common sense suggests that a proven, time-tested requirement like the LSAT is beneficial to law schools attempting to choose among applicants – there is no good reason to believe that removal of the requirement will be a benefit to the recruitment of future lawyers.

This battle is an ongoing one. Let’s hope that both sides of the debate base their arguments on facts and evidence, and not on disingenuous claims merely designed to appeal to their supporters or ideological causes.