Are They Getting Rid of the LSAT?
By TOI Team August 2, 2023 Update on : August 2, 2023
The Law School Admissions Test, commonly referred to as the LSAT, has been the go-to admissions test for law schools across the United States for decades. And while the test has changed over time in format and proctoring methods, LSAT scores have remained one of the best determiners of eligibility when it comes to individuals that wish to attend law schools.
Recently, the LSAT has been challenged as the only admissions test for law schools, with changes to how law schools handle their admissions being discussed. Our article tells you more about these changes and if the LSAT is likely to disappear as the gold-standard exam for law school admissions.
Table of contents
What Is the LSAT?
The LSAT is the admissions exam used by the majority of law schools across the United States to determine whether or not a candidate is a good fit for their incoming class of students. Law schools have varying average LSAT scores for the students they accept, and higher ranked law schools tend to have higher average LSAT scores; individuals who want the best chances of admission into their chosen law school should work towards receiving a score on their LSAT that meets or exceeds the average accepted LSAT score.
Does Every Law School Accept the LSAT?
Every law school across the United States accepts the LSAT, as it is the go-to exam for law school admissions. Law schools outside of the United States or those that are located internationally may accept scores from the LSAT, but you will need to check directly with those law schools for more specific information.
Is the LSAT Being Replaced?
While the LSAT has historically been the only admissions test that law schools accept, recent changes to the law school admissions process have been discussed. The American Bar Association (ABA) voted in 2022 to drop the LSAT requirement that most law schools have and make this test optional for all law schools by 2025. As a result, several law schools dropped their LSAT-only testing requirements and allowed for alternative test scores to be used for admission.
This doesn’t mean the LSAT is being replaced, more that law school admissions requirements are changing to allow for other test scores to be submitted as part of an application. The goal of this vote is to make more testing options available for students who don’t want to take the LSAT.
However, the ABA has put a pause on this vote as of 2023, extending the debate about whether or not to require standardized test scores for potential law students and which exams law schools should require as part of the admissions process.
Alternative Law School Admissions Tests
The two main alternative law school admissions tests that some law schools have started accepting include the GRE and GMAT. We discuss a little bit about these tests below.
The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is a common standardized exam that many graduate programs require for entry. The GRE has both multiple-choice and numeric entry sections, and it tests concepts such as verbal reasoning and quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, and analytical writing skills. Approximately 46 law schools today accept GRE scores in lieu of LSAT scores.
The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a multiple-choice exam that primarily aims to test an individual’s preparedness for graduate business programs. Individuals with GMAT scores may submit them to one of the five law schools across the United States that accepts GMAT scores in place of LSAT scores. Other schools may accept GMAT scores, but only if the individual is enrolling in a dual J.D. and business degree program.
Which Law Schools Accept the GRE?
More and more law schools across the United States are accepting the GRE, including several notable law schools such as:
- Cornell Law School
- Yale Law School
- Northwestern University
- Columbia Law School
- Washington University School of Law
Check with the law school you wish to attend for more details on which standardized exam scores may be acceptable to submit with your application.
Are They Getting Rid of the LSAT Permanently?
For the time being, it seems like the LSAT is here to stay – which makes LSAT prep a necessity. With the recent pause on the ABA’s requirement that the LSAT is made optional, most law students are still requiring that candidates submit their LSAT scores as part of the admissions process. However, some law schools do allow for test scores from alternative admissions exams to be submitted. Check with the law school you are interested in attending for specific rules about which test scores you must submit and other application procedures.
Your Law School Admissions Process
Applying to law school is a stressful process, and it’s important that you submit the test scores that your law school wants to see. Always double-check admissions details and any standardized test score requirements ahead of starting your law school application so you can be accurately prepared for the admissions process and ensure you submit test scores that give you the best chances of admission.Read more: Are They Getting Rid of the LSAT?