Marquette Wire

Law School to watch LSAT deliberations

Marquette+Law+School+is+awaiting+April%27s+American+Bar+Association+deliberations+to+determine+if+the+GRE+will+be+accepted+for+admission.
Marquette Law School is awaiting April's American Bar Association deliberations to determine if the GRE will be accepted for admission.

Marquette Law School is awaiting April's American Bar Association deliberations to determine if the GRE will be accepted for admission.

Photo by Helen Dudley

Photo by Helen Dudley

Marquette Law School is awaiting April's American Bar Association deliberations to determine if the GRE will be accepted for admission.

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While some law schools recently transitioned to a broader acceptance of standardized tests, Marquette Law School is awaiting April’s American Bar Association deliberations to determine its path forward.

Fourteen law schools in the U.S. are now accepting Graduate Record Examinations in place of the traditional Law School Admissions Test, according to the Princeton Review.

For now, despite recent changes, Marquette’s included in the vast majority of law schools in the U.S. solely accepting the LSAT.

Sean Reilly, the assistant dean for admissions at the Marquette University Law School, said in an email it has not been decided if the Law School will accept alternative standardized tests in place of, or in addition to, the LSAT.

“The American Bar Association is currently examining the matter of standardized tests for law school entrance, which may lead to the door becoming open on all law schools utilizing alternative standardized tests in addition to the LSAT,” Reilly said.

The ABA meets to discuss standards for law school accreditations in April. They will discuss whether or not law schools are allowed to accept alternative tests.

“The (Marquette) Law School will be closely watching the deliberations of the ABA,” Reilly said.

The associate dean for enrollment at the Law School, Vada Lindsey, echoed Reilly’s comments. Lindsey said in an email that the Law School doesn’t “have enough data to hypothesize whether the GRE will be a positive or a negative change for law school applicants, law schools in general and Marquette Law School in particular.”

While Lindsey said she is unsure of the implications of changes to the standardized test process, she said that there could be positive benefits in determining potentially successful law students.

“An innovative evolution in the application process, such as allowing applicants to take an alternative standardized test, may be a positive change and help to predict law school performance,” Lindsey said.

Prospective law school students are taking note of the possible change in the testing process.

Rachel Bandy, a junior in the College of Communication who plans on applying for law school, sees the potential benefits and drawbacks of law schools admitting students based on their performance on the GRE.

“I personally think standardized tests are becoming less telling of people’s abilities in general, so hopefully this is another step to make their weight less important,” Bandy said.

Bandy said she also understands the potentially negative consequences of this change. She pointed out that if the GRE doesn’t properly vet law school applicants to ensure they are academically prepared, admitted students may find themselves financially and academically overwhelmed.

Harvard Law School — one of the schools now accepting the GRE — made the change in order to attract a more diverse pool of applicants and to create a more accessible standardized testing system, according to an article by Harvard Law Today.

There are several differences between the GRE and the LSAT. According to the Law School Admission Council, the nonprofit organization that administers the LSAT, the LSAT “measures the reading and comprehension of complex texts with accuracy and insight,” while the GRE “measures quantitative skills.”

Another distinction that the LSAC cites is the LSAT test-taker population is exclusively prospective law students, while the GRE test-taker population includes individuals who are considering attending graduate school.

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