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Survey reports more lawyers supporting GRE over LSAT scores

Monday, July 30, 2018
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Survey reports more lawyers supporting GRE over LSAT scores
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In a promising turn of events for law school applicants who dread standardized exams, there has been talk of eliminating the test score component of admission requirements. While many law schools haven't acted on this quite yet, there have been changes to the test score element of applications - with many institutions now accepting Graduate Record Examination scores in addition to Law School Admission Test scores.

Adding to the discussion, new research from Robert Half Legal shows that the change to accepting GRE scores is growing support among professionals in the industry. Here are the main takeaways from the survey results:

student taking graduate school examOne in five lawyers support law schools accepting GRE in lieu of LSAT.

One in five lawyers support the change
Conducted by an independent research firm, the survey collected responses from 200 lawyers across the U.S. Of the respondents, 100 are employed by smaller law firms while the other half work at companies with more than 1,000 employees.

The survey asked these lawyers if law school applications should replace LSAT scores with GRE scores. Twenty-one percent responded yes, 56 percent said no and the remaining 24 percent were unsure. Thus, while most attorneys still see high value in the LSAT, a growing number - 1 in 5 lawyers - are responding positively to the GRE option.

Appeal for prospective law school applicants
Along with an increasing number of legal professionals, many law school candidates favor this change in admissions requirements.

"The GRE also holds appeal with prospective law school students since it is offered more frequently than the LSAT, can be used with other postgraduate applications and allows test takers to control which scores they want to report," according to Jamy Sullivan, executive director of Robert Half Legal.

Laws schools on board with the GRE
In an effort to increase accessibility and widen applicant pools, many reputable law schools now accept GRE scores as an alternative to reporting LSAT results. There are often more exam dates for GRE testing, and it also tends to test a broader set of skills and advanced knowledge.

Eulas Boyd, dean of admissions at Brooklyn Law School, offered his perspective to the Economist, saying that requiring the LSAT may no longer be a realistic measurement of candidate qualifications.

"It's pretty short-sighted for us to say that you need to prove your fidelity to a legal career by taking the LSAT now and preparing for months, as opposed to a test that could potentially qualify you for several careers."

More than 20 law school programs now accept the GRE, with more expected to join the list, as reported by Educational Testing Service. However, even with more programs and law professionals supporting the GRE, the LSAT still remains at the top. If you're considering law school and prefer the GRE over the LSAT, confirm which scores the programs you're applying to accept before registering for exams.

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