As more law schools accept a new admissions test from aspiring law students, debate about their motives and whether they’ll meet their goals of diversifying the applicant pool has swirled behind the scenes.
Law deans hope to recruit a new type of law student by accepting applications that use Graduate Record Examination scores, rather than the traditional Law School Admission Test. Law schools, eyeing the extremely large group of GRE test takers, have seen a potential to improve not only the gender, racial and ethnic mix of law students, but also broader metrics such as socioeconomic status, educational backgrounds and professional experience. Particularly, law schools, which have seen the number of applicants decline and LSAT scores fall, want students who have studied or had careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, a cohort that statistically has been shown to perform well in legal education.
Meanwhile, critics of the GRE cast doubts about whether the test is capable of increasing diversity along racial and ethnic lines, and question whether schools are trying to fill seats while gaming the law school ranking system.
PDF: Can the GRE Cure What Ails Law Schools_ _ Law
Texas A&M University School of Law is the first in the Lone Star State to join a growing national trend of law schools accepting the Graduate Record Examination in admissions.
Hoping to broaden and diversify its pool of applicants, Texas A&M announced Tuesday that prospective law students applying to be Aggies in fall 2018 will get to choose whether to submit GRE scores or their scores on the traditional Law School Admission Test.
PDF: Texas A&M Law School Joins the GRE Crowd _ Law
A continuing surge in the number of people taking the Law School Admission Test this year provides another glimmer of hope to law schools that a drought in the applicant pool might be ending.
LSAT numbers have seen modest single-digit gains in the last two testing years, following a five-year decline in which the number of LSAT test-takers dropped by nearly 41 percent.
The trend upward is seen as welcome news for law schools—and the profession—since a bigger pool gives schools better odds for admitting more qualified applicants.
In September, 37,100 people took the LSAT, a 10.7 percent increase over September 2016. And in June, 27,600 people took the LSAT, a 19.8 jump compared with June 2016.
PDF: LSAT-Takers Trending Up Following 5-Year Plunge. Why_ _ Law