The American Bar Association, a legal organization involved in accrediting law schools among other functions, beclowned itself recently when it adopted a new “woke” policy for entrance exams.
Last week, the ABA 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 proposed change now goes to the association’s policy-making body, the House of Delegates, for review in February,” Just the News added.
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.
Since changing its mandate, the ABA has come under withering fire after a study showed that, on average, minority law school applicants tend to score lower on the entrance exam.
Just the News noted:
The vote comes after a 2019 study found that black test-takers score 142 on average, 11 points lower than the average for white and Asian test-takers. The 50th percentile is approximately 152 on the test, which gives scores ranging from 120 to 180. The Law School Admissions Council, which administers the LSAT, does not readily publish data about scores by race.
In an interview with the outlet’s streaming service, Rep. Greg Steube (R-Fla.) said he wished the LSAT was not a requirement when he was applying to law schools. But he added that doing away with the test will have a negative effect on the quality of lawyers graduating.
“I can guarantee you that’s going to have an effect on their schools’ bar passage rate if they do away with that,” he said. “But again, it’s another example where it’s identity politics or, you know, they’re more concerned about affirmative action and race than they are the people that can intellectually pass the rigors of law school and become good lawyers.”
The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board also ripped the ABA.
“The American Bar Association’s move to discard objective tests won’t enhance diversity,” the board wrote on Thursday.
If the test is eliminated, the board argued, students will be less prepared when they start law school and not ready for the eventual bar exam, which the editorial claimed could next be done away with.