The American Bar Association favored dropping standardized tests from law school admissions in a newly released memo approved by the organization's strategic review committee.
The shift in the bar's position to make standardized admissions tests optional could substantially affect how the Law School Admissions Test, which law school applicants are currently required to complete, is used in law school admissions.
"Eliminating the requirement of a 'valid and reliable' admission test also eliminates some of the challenges inherent in determining which tests are in fact valid and reliable for law school admissions, although of course law schools must still show that their use of an admission test, should they choose to require one, is consistent with sound admission practices and procedures," ABA's memorandum said.
LARGEST UNIVERSITY SYSTEM IN U.S. ELIMINATES STANDARDIZED TESTING REQUIREMENT
In November 2021, the ABA had previously endorsed the use of the GRE in law school admissions, but the association's recommendation makes the use of any test entirely optional.
While standardized testing has been a part of college and graduate school admission requirements for decades, there has been a recent movement to eliminate the requirement, primarily at the undergraduate level. Multiple colleges and universities nationwide had dropped standardized test requirements amid the coronavirus pandemic, but as the health crisis has receded, some are making the change permanent.
In March, the California State University system announced that it would eliminate consideration of the SAT and the ACT in its undergraduate admissions in order to "level the playing field" for admission at the system's universities. Harvard University likewise announced in December that it would no longer require the SAT for admission.
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In January, the College Board, which administers the SAT, announced that the college entrance exam would be shortened by an hour and be entirely administered online. The board said the changes would make the SAT "easier to take, easier to give, and more relevant.”