By Kathryn Rubino (Above the Law).
Change is in the air, and it’s more than just the weather on this blustery Halloween day. If you’ve been paying attention to developments in legal education you’ve noticed the dramatic uptick in law schools — even incredibly prestigious ones — accepting the GRE in lieu of the LSAT as a component of admissions. Harvard Law, Columbia, Northwestern, Georgetown, Arizona Law School, Hawaii, and Washington University in St. Louis School of Law are all on board with the GRE and, according to a recent survey by Kaplan Test Prep, a full 25 percent of law schools say they have plans in the works to accept the test.
But one issue that’s slowed down even wider acceptance of the test is the American Bar Association’s reluctance to make any sort of decision about the GRE. The ABA provides accreditation to law schools, and Standard 503 says that alternate admission exams must be “valid and reliable.” But they’ve steadfastly refused to say whether the GRE meets that standard.
Enter Educational Testing Service. ETS develops and administers a variety of standardized tests including, you guessed it — the GRE. They’ve worked with a few individual schools to develop validity tests, but today they announced the results of a much larger undertaking. With the help of 21 law schools, they conducted a study that established the validity of the GRE as an indicator of success in the first year of law school: