by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The American Bar Association voted to drop the LSAT and other standardized tests as requirements for law school admissions.
An ABA panel made its decision on Friday after noon after a committee recommended the testing requirements be scrapped because they hurt diversity in admissions.
The LSAT, or Law School Admission Test, estimates a prospective students reasoning and reading comprehension, and it serves as a predictor on how they will fair in classes.
The ABA’s ruling will take effect in the fall 2025 semester, after a final determination from the association’s Hose of Delegates in February.
Despite its ruling, individual law schools are still free to require an admissions test.
The ABA’s move comes as Yale and Harvard withdrew from US News & World Report’s law school ranking system, criticizing its heavily reliance on LSAT and GRE testing scores that they argued hurts low-income applicants.
The woke law schools argued that many lower scorers on the LSAT can’t afford exam prep courses and guides, and schools that admit the poor test takers are penalized by ranking lower on the prestigious US News list.
However, proponents of the tests fear that dropping the exams altogether may not actually help promote diversity but instead benefit wealthy applicants.
ABA’s House of Delegates has two opportunities to reject any proposed changes to the law school accreditation standards before they become final, meaning that the legal education council would have the final say.
The House of Delegates thwarted the same rule change in 2018. The council approved removing the testing requirement but withdrew it just moments before it was to be considered for final approval by the House of Delegates.
Despite the ABA panel’s vote on Friday, half of 82 law schools in the US recently polled by Kaplan Testing said they would keep the tests, with only four saying they would scrap them.