LSAT Alternatives Require New Validation Process, According to Proposed Revision
The Standards Review Committee approved a proposed revision on Feb. 11 that suggests how a validation process for LSAT alternatives should be developed for ABA-accredited law schools. The proposed rule revision requires law schools to use no other admission test than the LSAT unless such has been determined by the Council to be valid and reliable.
Law schools require its first-year applicants to take an admission test to determine eligibility to the course and so far, LSATs are the only valid and reliable test being administered. Thus, a proposed revision has been passed that is now approved, to allow LSAT alternatives. Under Standard 503 of the proposed revision, the Council of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar will establish a process to determine the reliability and validity of other tests. This is different to the current version that directs law schools using alternate admissions tests to demonstrate that the exams are valid and reliable. Further, the proposed revision states the law school should publish information regarding the entrance tests used in its admission process.
Per the ABA Journal, the University of Arizona conducted an experiment last year using the GRE as an alternative for admissions instead of the LSAT. It has found that both tests accurately predict first-year law students' grades. The case is under review and reports mentioned the Council might decide to accept the GRE as a valid LSAT alternative. "The law school has submitted a study, ... which the law school believes meets this requirement of the standards," the dean of the College of Law said. In August, the Law School Admission Council announced it won't continue certifying LSAT scores for the ABA because it is concerned that some law schools might encourage students to take the GRE as a LSAT alternative if it believes the students would not score highly on the latter.
However, the LSAC on Tuesday told reporters that it is in favor of the current proposed revision that seeks LSAT alternatives. It noted the revised standard as an important improvement to the former Standard 503. Further, it believes the ABA Council will approve a method to determine "the validity and reliability of standardized tests, other than the LSAT, that a law school may wish to use in the admission process," a spokesperson said.
Living in a fast-paced society entails change and veering away from traditional standards to produce great results in the things being pursued. Hence, the move to seek for LSAT alternatives in law schools won't undermine the quality of students admitted to study rather provides other efficient methods to streamline potential students.