Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The Decline of the LSAT

At the Excess of Democracy blog, Derek Muller gives four reasons why the LSAT's value is in decline. The highlights:

First, schools have started to turn to the GRE in lieu of the LSAT.

Second, LSAC has become bizarrely defensive of its test. To the extent it intends to go to war with law schools over its own test--and go to war in ways that are not terribly logical--it does so at its own peril.

Third, prospective law student may now retake the LSAT an unlimited number of times. Given the fact that schools only need to report the highest score--and given the fact that the highest score is less reliable than the average of scores--we can expect the value of the LSAT to decline to a still-greater degree.

Fourth, LSAC will now administer the LSAT 6 times a year instead of 4 times a year. But given the unlimited number of opportunities to retake, plus the highest-score standard, we can expect, again, a still-greater decline in value of an LSAT score.

Professor Muller emphasizes consequences of relying on LSAT scores in the admissions arena:

Many of the problems I've identified here are principally driven by one concern: the USNWR rankings. Without them, enterprising (and risk-taking) law schools might consider only the average, or only the first two or three attempts, or consider the index score to a greater degree, or weight the quality of the undergraduate institution and difficulty of the undergraduate major to a greater degree.

I have heavily edited the posting. You can read the full posting here (June 6, 2017).



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