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Beyond LSAT & GPA

UC Berkeley School of Law, Identification, Development, and Validation of Predictors for Successful Lawyering

Profs. Marjorie M. Shultz and Sheldon Zedeck prepared a ground-breaking study in 2008, funded in part by LSAC. The study, “Identification, Development, and Validation of Predictors for Successful Lawyering”, identified 26 “Effectiveness Factors” that are useful for predicting success as a lawyer and alternative merit-based, race-neutral tests that, in combination with LSAT and GPA, could predict professional effectiveness.

St. John’s University School of Law, The LSAT, U.S. News & World Report, and Minority Admissions

St. John’s University Law School’s Law Review published a symposium issue covering the law school’s conference on “The LSAT, U.S. News & World Report, and Minority Admissions.” Academics, admissions officers and others well-versed in the issues relating to minority enrollment and affirmative action in higher educatino came together to examine and discuss how U.S. News & World Reports affects minority enrollment in law schools throughout the country.

The relatively few attorneys of color is puzzling, especially in light of the Supreme Court ruling in Grutter, which said that diversity is a compelling interest and race can be used as one of several factors in determining law school admissions. One of the main arguments of the articles found in the link below is that schools’ reliance on the LSAT (Law School Admissions Test) results in a disparate impact on minority candidates. Some authors trace what they deem an over-reliance on the LSAT to the dominance of the U.S. News & World Report’s rankings of law schools. In other words, the authors argue that U.S. News uses LSAT scores to rank law schools. In turn, law schools increase their minimum LSAT requirements simply to remain competitive and highly ranked. One of several solutions the authors suggest is a movement away from this over-reliance which would result in more diverse institutions of higher education.