Acceptance to law school once hinged on doing well on the LSAT. This requirement has slowly eroded and increasingly law schools are giving applicants the option of applying with the GRE instead. The University of Georgia School of Law is the latest school to get on the GRE bandwagon. They will be accepting students who have only taken the GRE beginning with the Fall 2019 class.
However, there is a catch.
The only way to avoid taking the LSAT is by enrolling in a dual-degree program at the University. According to a law school spokesperson, “The school believes that this will allow both a first hand opportunity to test the effectiveness of the GRE as a predictor of success and to reduce the burden on those students pursuing dual degrees.”
Which law schools accept the GRE?
University of Georgia joins UCLA and University of Chicago in allowing GREs for dual-degree students. However, the trend seems to be growing among law schools to accept either the GRE or LSAT for all of their students. These schools currently accept the GRE or LSAT: Harvard, Columbia, St. John’s, Brooklyn Law School, Northwestern, Univ. of Arizona, Georgetown, Univ. of Hawaii, Washington University in St. Louis, Wake Forest, Cardozo School of Law, Texas A&M, BYU, John Marshall Law School, Florida State, Chicago-Kent College of Law, and Pace. According to a Kaplan Prep Test survey, 25% of law schools are planning to accept the GRE in the future.
What does the ABA have to say about this?
Although the legal education community is in favor of the change, the American Bar Association (ABA), which is the body that grants law schools their accreditation, still has not made an official statement on the validity of the GRE for law school admission. According to ABA Standard 503, an admissions test must be “valid and reliable.” They still have not determined if the GRE meets that standard. There have been several studies by law schools and the Educational Testing Service (the maker of the GRE) which show the validity of the GRE.
The ABA appears to be moving in the same direction. The ABA’s Standards Review Committee has recommended the elimination of the standard requiring schools to use a standardized test in admissions. This must be approved by the ABA’s Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar and the ABA’s House of Delegates. Despite slow progress, the end of the LSAT-only era may soon be near.
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