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Will the ABA Make LSATs Voluntary?

3967476921_ed8f106205 The National Law Journal reported yesterday that an American Bar Association panel is considering making the Law School Admissions Test voluntary under proposed changes to law school accreditation standards currently under review.

The standards review committee's main misgivings about requiring LSATs centers around "the proper role of the ABA in the regulation of law school admissions." So sayeth Loyola University Chicago School of Law Dean David Yellen, who feels his panel should be reframing the debate around whether students can successfully enter practice instead. He asks, "is taking a standardized test the only way to determine if someone should be able to go to law school?" While he's on the fence about dropping mandatory LSATs, he seems certain that schools should be allowed more freedom in admitting students.

Yellen is also concerned that the ABA is making rules that directly benefit the Law School Admission Council, the adminstrators of the test: "So many people take the LSAT. Why is the ABA ensuring its future success?"

Despite the possibility of a switch to voluntary status, it's probably unlikely that law schools would abandon a test deemed so integral to the admissions process -- it remains the best way to measure applications against one another and to evaluate merit-based financial aid.

So LBW readers, what do you think? Should the LSATs become voluntary? As usual, we welcome your comments, however frank, about LSATs and the law school admissions process.

Brendan McKenna is Law.com's news editor. 

Posted by Laurel Newby on January 13, 2011 at 02:26 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

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