A once-respected accrediting organization for the legal industry has beclowned itself in the name of “diversity.”
The American Bar Association voted 15-1 to drop the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) for applicants to law school, according to The Wall Street Journal, though many law schools said they would continue to require it anyway.
Beginning in 2025, the ABA won’t keep mandating that law schools impose a “valid and reliable admission test” as part of the application process after receiving feedback from a public commentary period that suggested dropping the requirement could bolster “diversity,” the outlet reported.
That said, law schools can continue to require an admissions test as part of the process for students applying to get in, but the LSAT won’t be required any longer for the school to be accredited.
The outlet went on to report that the Clinical Legal Education Association, an organization that seeks to “pursue and promote justice and diversity as core values of the legal profession,” according to its website, claimed that dropping the LSAT requirement would let law schools individually address “the persistent lack of racial diversity” within their classrooms, the WSJ reported, though as usual, there was no context provided for the organization’s claim, such as a potential lack of interest in a law career among certain segments of society. The claim also suggests, by its nature, that minorities are not academically suited to pass LSAT exams.
In any event, not all law schools are going for the ABA recommendation, including Southern University Law Center, a historically black university. It’s chancellor, John Pierre, said that the university’s law school would continue requiring the LSAT for admission, even though the school supported the ABA’s vote, the WSJ reported.
“Of 82 law schools surveyed, at least 30 schools said they would still require the LSAT as a part of their admissions process, according to a November Kaplan Inc. survey,” the Daily Caller reported. “Approximately two schools said the chances they continue requiring the test are ‘unlikely’ and 37 schools were yet to decide if they would require the test.”
Kristen Theis-Alvarez, the Assistant Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, said that getting rid of the LSAT requirement in the name of ‘diversity’ might actually have the opposite effect.
“We believe that removal of the testing requirement could actually increase the very disparities proponents seek to reduce by increasing the influence of bias in the review process,” Theis-Alvarez told the WSJ.
The ABA’s decision came as Yale Law School left one of the country’s largest and most influential ranking systems, complaining that the program is “flawed” because it does not reward institutions that help students who come from “low-income backgrounds.” The Ivy League school said those ranking harm universities that accept students who otherwise can’t afford tutoring to get better grades.