Today the American Bar Association’s House of Delegates voted against a proposal, put forth by the ABA accrediting council, to make the LSAT optional for law school admission.
The proposal received harsh criticism from much of the legal community. These concerns were dismissed by the ABA in a memorandum published last December.
The ABA’s memo states that
some comments expressed concern about a “race to the bottom” as law schools will abandon admissions tests to keep up with other schools that do so…The [accrediting council] does not believe such a “race to the bottom” is likely.
Despite the delegation’s vote, final say on the matter remains with the accrediting council which initially proposed the change. According to the Wall Street Journal,
Despite the back and forth, it is the accrediting council, which is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, that gets the final say. It could approve the policy again and ultimately implement it, even if the House of Delegates rejects it a second time.
As the Wall Street Journal notes,
Advocates for eliminating the test say that students of color perform less well on the LSAT and argue that law schools should have the choice to decide what criteria are best for building a student body. Going test-optional would lead to greater diversity in applicants, they say.