Law schools accepting GRE as an alternative for LSAT

By Daniel Uria  |  Dec. 6, 2017 at 5:37 PM
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Dec. 6 (UPI) -- Some of the top law schools in the United States have begun offering applicants an alternative to the grueling Law School Admission Test.

Brooklyn Law School announced Tuesday it will accept Graduate Record Exam scores in addition to the Law School Admission Test, or LSAT, beginning with applications for certain programs for the fall 2018 term.

"The decision to accept the GRE in addition to the LSAT for application to our Law School is yet another way we are seeking to attract talented students from diverse education and career backgrounds-including in the sciences, engineering, medicine, and technology-who wish to pursue legal education," President and Dean Nicholas Allard said.

Brooklyn Law School joins at least 14 other schools, including at Harvard and Georgetown, that offer applicants the option of using GRE scores instead of the LSAT.

The LSAT is more focused on preparing students for law school and features five 35-minute sections focusing on analytical and logical reasoning, and reading comprehension, which must be completed at a testing location.

The GRE is more widely used for admissions to various masters, Ph.D and M.B.A. programs, and includes math, reading comprehension, vocabulary and writing sections completed on a computer.

Dean of Admissions for Brooklyn Law School Eulas Boyd said the decision gives students from STEM -- science, technology, engineering and math -- backgrounds more flexibility when deciding whether to pursue a law degree.

"By accepting the GRE, we are creating flexibility and options to pursue a law degree for highly qualified applicants with quantitative skills, including those with STEM backgrounds, and those for whom preparation for multiple advanced studies admissions exams is not feasible," Boyd said.

The University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law sparked the trend in 2016 and has since seen a total of 103 applicants, 3.6 percent of total law applicants, submit their GRE scores, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Georgetown University Law Center announced it would accept the GRE in August and since then 6 percent of the approximately 3,000 applications it received have included GRE scores.

The Law School Admission Council, a non-profit organization that administers the LSAT, has opposed the movement toward law schools accepting GRE scores.

"The LSAT is designed for legal education," LSAC President Kellye Testy said. "It actually is marked to the kinds of skills students need to succeed."

The American Bar Association has considered not requiring any form of admissions test, but won't reach a decision until 2018.

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