The ABA’s Abdication of Responsibility: Winners (Law Schools and The Bar Cartel) and Losers (Law Students) in the Rule Abandoning the LSAT (and Any Testing Requirement) for Law School Admissions
The reason to take off testing requirements is simply to respond to a tough market for law schools where a lot of law schools—many of whom probably shouldn’t be in business since what they do is put a lot of people in debt that they’ll never get out of—need bodies in seats to pay their bills. This is regulatory capture in its fullest sense—the ABA is doing the bidding of those it is supposed to be regulating while doing nothing—harming, actually—those who are supposed to be the beneficiaries of its regulation.
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Tuesday was my wedding anniversary. It occurred to me that I have been helping clients with law school admission, financial aid and LSAT preparation for longer than I have been married. Both seem shorter than they’ve been.
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During the past year, my clients and I have achieved truly outstanding LSAT results. My clients have averaged increased scores of over 13 points and over 42 percentiles. That means that, on average, they have passed nearly half of everyone who was in front of them when they started. Increases of around those numbers on an annual basis have been hallmarks of Advise-In Solutions since we started in 2010.
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As of now, 17 law schools indicate they will accept a GRE score rather than an LSAT score, and more may well follow. Law schools want to maintain their admissions numbers (read: their revenue) and want to have maximum flexibility to do so without taking a law school “rankings” hit when they do it. But If you’re a law school applicant, you need to be aware that taking the option of taking the GRE or LSAT is likely not a cost-free choice.
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In my last post, I framed the LSAT as a mental athletic contest. Your objective isn’t just understanding the material on the LSAT, it’s also performing when you have to perform. Most LSAT prep programs don’t spend any attention on the second of these, and that’s one reason why people’s scores often fall on test day—not just a little bit, but dramatically. You have to approach some basics correctly. You have to know your opponent, know that there are rules and know the defense (that is, what are they throwing at you). Here, I want to talk mostly about the last of these.
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The LSAT is a game. It has rules established by the LSAC and the LSAT plays by them. I am convinced that the failure to appreciate the LSAT as a sport damages LSAT performance. To succeed on the LSAT, you have to do two things successfully.
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The LSAT is a hard test because the writers are very good at writing tests. What makes it hard is just that—not that it’s complicated because it’s not. The writers have a clear theory of argument in mind and they stick to it; no tricks, no sneak attacks, no changing of the rules; they play by the rules. The simpler your approach, the better. Simplicity has two virtues: it makes you both more accurate and more efficient..
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With a little under two weeks to go before you walk into the room to take you LSAT, you should be at a certain stage in your preparation. To finish your preparation in the best way, there are things you should and should not be doing so that you’ll be at your best on test day.
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The Law School Admission Council recently removed the cap on the number of times you can take the LSAT. That reverses a policy of a few years ago. The rationale seems to be to increase the number of test-takers and it may have worked, the June 2017 test showing a sharp increase in test sitters from a year ago. The LSAC’s policy is good for them—you have to pay each time you take the LSAT—and good for the LSAT prep industry, since a lot of people will pay for multiple prep programs over the course of trying to get the LSAT score they want. So you can now take the LSAT as many times as you like. But should you?
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The year-over-year number of LSAT takers rose by 20% in the 2017-17 cycle. Since that portends an increase in law school applications as well, that’s good news for law schools, some of whom have struggled in the last few years with declining admission numbers and declining standards for remaining admissions. It’s moderately bad news for applicants.
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