Sunday, February 21, 2016

Falling Standards Continue: Law School Pigs Moving Away From LSAT

Let’s Lower the Bar Further!: On February 20, 2016, the Wall Street Journal published a Sarah Randazzo piece, entitled “LSAT’s Grip on Law-School Admission Loosens.” Take a look at this opening segment:

“Law schools are toying with a new way to boost shrinking applicant pools: dropping the Law School Admission Test requirement. 

University of Arizona College of Law began accepting Graduate Record Examination scores in lieu of the LSAT for applicants this month, and other schools say they are weighing the same move. 

The change counters decades of reliance on the LSAT to gauge readiness for a legal education. The test is also a key measure in closely followed national rankings of schools. 

Arizona Law administrators say they have proven the GRE is just as effective a measure and that it complies with accrediting rules. Traditionally, the GRE has been used for admission to graduate and business-school programs. 

The American Bar Association, which requires accredited schools to consider LSAT scores or those of another “valid and reliable” test when making admissions decisions, says it plans to independently determine whether the GRE meets that requirement. 

“This isn’t an effort to declare war on anybody,” said Marc Miller, the dean of Arizona Law in Tucson. “This is an effort to fundamentally change legal education and the legal profession.” 

Mr. Miller said using the GRE will diversify the law school pipeline by capturing those with broader interests and backgrounds, including students interested in joint degrees. At least five times more people took the GRE in the last admissions cycle than the LSAT. 

“The GRE is regarded as the easier test,” said Jeff Thomas, executive director of prelaw programs at Kaplan Test Prep. “The entirety of the LSAT was meant to mimic the law school experience, while the GRE was not created for that particular purpose.” 

The traditional law school test emphasizes logical reasoning and reading comprehension, while the GRE also tests math and vocabulary. Unlike the LSAT, which is administered four times a year, the computer-based GRE can be taken on a rolling basis and offers more immediate test results.” [Emphasis mine]

Since the GRE is offered all the damn time, this allows the commodes to increase their potential pool of lemmings. Plus, it should lead to many last minute applications – from idiots who could not get into the Master’s degree or PhD program of their choice. Yes, what a “principled stand," huh?!?!

Other Coverage: Staci Zaretsky posted an ATL entry that was labeled “This Law School Will Pay You To Take The GRE To Save Its U.S. News Rank From The Dreaded LSAT” – on January 28, 2016. Enjoy the following portion:

“What are law schools trying to do now to keep the LSAT far, far away from their U.S. [N]ews ranking? At Wake Forest University School of Law, a dean is sending emails to recent graduates with this subject line: “Want to be a Trailblazer like Notorious RBG? Help WFU Law Blaze a New Pathway to Law School.” Oooh, Notorious RBG! Everyone loves Ruth Bader Ginsburg! Wake Forest is so hip and so cool, tell us more! 

Asinine subject line aside, Wake Forest has teamed up with Educational Testing Service (ETS) and two other law schools to see if the GRE would work as an alternative to the LSAT for law school admissions, and the school needs assistance from both current students and recent graduates for some experimentation. Here’s more information from the email sent by Ann Gibbs, Associate Dean of Administrative & Student Services: 

On behalf of WFU Law, I’m asking for your help in conducting research about standardized tests in law school admissions. … 

We need:

150 WFU law students or recent graduates (Classes of ’13 and later);
Who are willing to take the 4-hour GRE here at any Prometrics testing location (thousands worldwide) or on campus if you happened to be in town on Saturday February 13 OR who are willing to share a past GRE score that was taken in August of 2011 or later, and 
Who are willing to have their LSAT scores, law school grades, and demographic information used for anonymous comparisons. 
You will receive lunch on the day of the test and $50-$75 for your time: 

$50 to take the GRE; 
An additional $25 if your GRE score places you no lower than 20 percentile points under your LSAT percentile. This is offered as an incentive for you to take the test seriously, though there is no need to study. 
Can you help us by being part of this study? We really need good participation from the students and alumni, and I am hoping this can be a community effort. 

How desperate is Wake Forest to get rid of the LSAT? Wake Forest is so desperate that it’s willing to pay people to take a standardized test with a math component. Yikes.” [Emphasis mine]

Hell, why don’t the desperate pigs throw in a couple of bottles of Captain Morgan Silver and a set of steak knives – after the exam? At least then, you can properly reward these dolts on their admi$$ion into your “prestigious legal education” program. By the way, Wake Fore$t Univer$ity Sewer of Law is rated as the co-47th greatest law school in the entire nation – according to US “News” & World Report.

Conclusion: At what point will the law school cockroaches simply accept a high school spelling quiz score of 80% or higher, in lieu of an LSAT score?!?! In the final analysis, the bitches and hags merely want to get asses in seats – especially if it does not impact this metric in US “News.” Remember, “law professors” and administrators want to get their grubby hands on all that federal student loan money! They couldn’t care less what happens to YOU, upon graduation.


  1. Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance KingFebruary 21, 2016 at 7:52 AM

    These Law Deans and Prawfs live the Life of Riley. They don't have to chase after clients for 2 bills. I now consider myself lower middle class and I am out 25 years. They don't want to have to struggle along like most Solos and Micro Firms. Most Deans and Prawfs would have to hang a shingle because they really don't have the seasoning nor practice skills to be hired at the salaries they have now...

  2. Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance KingFebruary 21, 2016 at 7:56 AM

    Check out the post by Law Prawf Alfred Brophy at the Faculty Lounge Blog on Harper Lee. His post says "everything."

  3. "At least five times more people took the GRE in the last admissions cycle than the LSAT." At least that's something to be grateful for. Maybe people are actually getting the message. I agree the faculty are screwed if they ever have to compete in the legal market. My torts professor had been teaching over twenty years and had never taken the bar. I can't imagine he'd fare well if he ever had to sit for that exam, not to mention find paying clients afterward.

  4. Anyone should be able to see where this "research" is going: this time next year, Wake Forest will accept the GRE in lieu of the LSAT, and will have (at least for internal use) a table of "equivalent" GRE and LSAT scores.

    By the way, $50 or even $75 is a stingy payment. For a four-hour test, it comes well under $20 per hour, with nothing for the time or expense of registration and travel to and from the testing site. On top of the work done, the recipient of that tiny fee also has to divulge a lot of personal information "for anonymous comparisons".

    Yes, before long the law skules will admit anyone who doesn't spell scam with a k.

  5. I went to a crapper in the early 90's and was subsequently licensed. Hell, it was tight even then, and the lower half of my school was on their own...

    THIS WAS IN 1991!

    But I graduated zero debt, did some sh!tlaw and gravitated out of the field, thankfully. Can't imagine people even daring to attend one of these admittedly sub-par schools now, unless connected or possibly for free. Otherwise, the work ahas been out there for some time of the risks attendant in any of these low-prestige schools. ANd let there be no doubt about it: law is a PRESTIGE-based profession; you're on your own, now more than ever, if you screw up 1L in one of these places.

    Watch your step indeed!

    1. Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance KingFebruary 21, 2016 at 5:44 PM

      Shit law was ok until 2007. The problem today is that EVERTONE is dabbling in Shit Law, even T-1 school graduates. They need cash flow. Normally, these T-1 guys would have 6 figure jobs...not any more.

    2. Shit law is a mess, it has too much competition.

      Even doc review has too much competition.

      There are just way too many attorneys, period. It is beyond all reason.

      Plenty of people with amazing careers are stuck on doc review now. And plenty of people can't even get on doc review because of that.

      It's a long cry from being able to walk onto a doc review gig and make some decent cash when on a down period doing shit law. Now shit law pays virtually nothing, and doc review pays barely enough to live off when you can even get on that.

      I think, honestly, most attorneys these days would be better off trying to become a fast food manager, especially with the increase in wages.

      The old condescending mockery from the left was you had to get a degree or else you'd be consigned to flipping burgers your entire life. Well now, you can get a degree and hope to get a burger flipper job, because at least it might have some benefits and you can even get free meals instead of starving to death.

  6. More evidence that some law schools are in a death spiral. They are doing what they can to keep the warm bodies coming and to postpone the inevitable SHAKEOUT.
    If the Fat Easy Federal Loan Money would stop, and soon, half the schools would be gone in six months.

  7. Anyone know if the GRE averages out your scores or can the schools just use the highest GRE score from an applicant?

    1. Three guesses as to what the law skules will do.

  8. For those who are considering going to law school and getting on some type of income based repayment plan: if you ever get married and file your income taxes jointly, Uncle Sam WILL CONSIDER BOTH YOU AND YOUR SPOUSE'S INCOME in determining what amount you should pay on a monthly basis. If you don't file your taxes jointly, you lose out on almost all tax deductions/exemptions. So if you run up that kind of debt and want to get married, keep in mind your spouse will most likely be marrying into your debt.

    1. Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance KingFebruary 22, 2016 at 2:22 PM

      You are correct. However, there are many hardships, deferments and forebearaces one could take advantage of that mitigates that. JUST DO NOT DEFAULT. Mrs. Carswell, a fine and proper lady, who has a better job than me (attorney), will help if my income from three bill traffics and retail thefts doesn't cover it.... Yes, he/she might be marrying into your debt, but a decent spouse will help out. Just don't spring it on them during the the first date. It is not like this is herpes or anything that is a big deal Mrs. Carswell was stuck with me by the time she found out. Plus, she couldn't get out of it because of her religious scruples.

  9. 9:03: My guess is that each law school will decide for itself how to use the GREs. But, U.S. News will definitely put together some sort of equivalence formula, since the GRE does not fit into their current ranking formula which, by the way, would become obsolete if the GRE becomes the new standard.

  10. Soon the admission "test" will be to write a paragraph of why you want to be a lawyer. Congratulations, you have won the privilege of paying us 50K, a year, for three years.

  11. At the law school I work at, we're trying to get it so applicants can get in with the TOEFL. I'm thinking it'll bring in an extra 10 students a year.

    1. How can you sleep at night knowing full well you are a scam enabler? My 2nd tier law school admitted an easter european refugee who could hardly speak or write English. Couldn't even pass the bar exam.

    2. Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance KingFebruary 23, 2016 at 7:10 AM

      Law Schools are scrambling for cash flow just like you and me, their ultimate products. Attorneys.

  12. Little standards
    Huge tuition
    Too many students
    Too many lawyers
    Too much debt

    What could go wrong?

  13. I had a dream of becoming a lawyer. It appears the legal market conditions have gotten worst?

    I remember watching "The Practice" and being so impressed! Eugene Young, and team, dolling out swift justice, and looking out for the little guy.

    $150,000 to be a lawyer and no way to pay it back. Since all 4th tier schools are equal, I might as well go to FAMU. Good thing no AMMPLE student are out there complaining. (Only the Tier 1 kids who did not have hustle in the first place).

    1. If the AAMPLE students have hustle, why were their GPAs and LSATs so low that they had to go to TTTToilets?


    Back on January 13, 2011, Elie Mystal authored an ATL piece that was entitled “ABA Considers Dropping LSAT Requirement for Admission to Law School.” Look at this portion:

    “Really, it’s a good news/bad news kind of thing. The good news: the ABA committee reviewing the accreditation standards for law schools is starting to remember it has some power over how law schools operate. The bad news: the committee is contemplating a change that will only result in making it easier for schools to recruit any and all with the ability to pay (or go into debt), while at the same time gaming the U.S. News law school rankings.

    The latest brain nugget to come from the ABA is a proposal to remove the LSATrequirement for admission into law school. Currently, the committee requires prospective law students to take a “valid and reliable” test. But a number of schools already have a waiver so they can admit their own undergraduates without taking a rankings hit due to low LSAT scores. The new ABA proposal would simply drop the requirement altogether.

    I don’t think the LSAT is indicative of whole lot more than one’s ability to study for the LSAT. Being able to take standardized tests is an important skill — at least if you ever want to pass your state bar exam — but it’s not the only skill. From an educational standpoint, I don’t think it really matters if students have to take the LSAT or not.

    But given the proliferation of law schools more concerned about generating tuition dollars than preparing the next generation of lawyers, the LSAT exists as one of the few barriers to entry to a profession that is already overrun with applicants. Dropping the requirement is a move in the wrong direction that will only make it easier for diploma mills to churn out the next generation of unemployed, wage-depressing attorneys….

    You can see the fundamental tension between what the ABA should be doing versus what it is doing in this statement, published in the National Law Journal:

    Much of the committee’s LSAT debate has focused on the proper role of the ABA in the regulation of law school admissions, said Loyola University Chicago School of Law Dean David Yellen, who sits on the standards review committee.

    “I think an accrediting body ought to ensure that law schools are producing students who can enter the practice,” he said, noting that he personally is on the fence about the LSAT requirement. “Is taking a standardized test the only way to determine if someone should be able to go to law school? Schools ought to be able to decide how they want to admit students.”
    Is the LSAT the “only” way to figure out who should go to law school? No, of course not. Only people who base their sense of self-worth on their standardized test scores believe that the LSAT has any objective relevance to the question of whether or not a person will make a successful attorney.

    But Dean Yellen conveniently misses the crucial point: right now, the LSAT is the only way we determine whether or not a person is a good fit for law school. It’s the only thing we’ve got. For the ABA to take that away, replace it with nothing, and then talk about ensuring that “law schools are producing students who can enter the practice,” is a joke. That’s like saying “The Breathalyzer isn’t a very good tool for determining who is too drunk to drive. So now we’re going to let the drunks themselves decide whether or not they should be driving. Because what we really care about is whether or not people make it home safely.”


    On February 24, 2016, Steven J. Harper wrote an epic Lawyer Bubble piece labeled “LSAT v. GRE – Rhetoric v. Reality.” Read the entire article when you have a chance. First, enjoy this ass-kicking opening:

    “The Wall Street Journal reports that the University of Arizona College of Law has begun accepting GRE scores in lieu of LSATs. Two other schools — the University of Hawaii and Wake Forest — are performing validation studies to determine whether they, too, should make the move to GREs.

    At Arizona, Dean Marc Miller said, “This isn’t an effort to declare war on anybody. This is an effort to fundamentally change legal education and the legal profession.”
    To “fundamentally change legal education and the legal profession,” accepting GRE scores instead of LSATs seems like a misfire. Beyond the rhetoric is a reality that might reveal what else could be going on.

    The GRE Is Easier

    According to the executive director of prelaw programs at Kaplan Test Prep, Jeff Thomas, “The GRE is regarded as the easier test. The entirety of the LSAT was meant to mimic the law-school experience, while the GRE was not created for that particular purpose.”

    But the fact that the GRE is easier doesn’t explain why some law schools want to use it. Self-interest and U.S. News rankings might.

    LSATs Are Telling a Sad Story

    As LSAT scores of entering classes have dropped at many schools, so have bar passage rates. According to the University of Arizona School of Law’s ABA Reports, its median LSAT for matriculants in 2012 was 161. For 2015, it was 160. That’s not much of a decline, but at the 25th percentile, the LSAT score went from 159 to 155.

    According to the school’s website, in July 2013, 92 percent of first-time test takers passed the Arizona bar exam. In July 2015, the passage rate was 84 percent.

    The GRE Isn’t the LSAT

    Such trends suggest another possible reason for allowing students to substitute the GRE for the LSAT: It buys law schools time and complicates prelaw student decision-making. At many schools, year-over-year LSAT score comparisons have documented the willingness of many deans to accept marginal students. The easiest way to stop such time series analyses is to make that test optional.

    The GRE will be a new data point. Until schools report those scores for two or three years, it won’t reveal trends in admitted student qualifications. That will deflect attention away from the “declining quality of admitted students” narrative that has become pervasive. Never mind that the narrative is pervasive because, based on LSATs and undergraduate GPAs for matriculants at many schools, it’s true. (Between 2012 and 2015, the University of Arizona School of Law’s undergraduate GPA for matriculants dropped at all three measuring points — the 25th, 50th, and 75th percentiles, according to its ABA reports for those years.)”

    Any questions, lemmings?! Sadly, many more waterheads will drown in NON-DISCHARGEABLE debt - while it becomes EASIER to get into law school!

  16. It seems that a law degree now a days is only good to impress the village idiots. $150,000 on average student debt and starting salary roughly $40,000k.

    Just doesn't add up.

  17. I have been practicing law for 23 years and today a colleague lamented in saying "brother, we are living in the Saul Goodman days in the legal profession."

    Sadly, I disagree. At least Saul Goodman is clever, albeit unethical at times. Today, the profession is saddled with unethical AND DUMB lawyers being defecated from these commodes. Not so much fun times these days.

    1. Saul Goodman's degree was from a fake school... hopefully kids take note of that.

      Every generation has the archetypal lawyer from pop culture. Atticus Finch, Perry Mason, Matlock, Jack McCoy, whatever the hell James Spader and Shatner's characters names were, and now it's Saul Goodman.

      I make more $$$ as a factory worker than I did when I was trashlaw attorney.

    2. Saul Goodman is clever, unethical, and connected to useful people. People call him because if they have a problem, he can solve it. And no, "solve" does not mean "write a wordy memo describing the application of social justice theory to the Constitution." It means bribing, extorting, and strong-arming his way to victory. It's a mode of business largely unfamiliar to some over-leveraged liberal arts dork.

    3. If you watched the first year of Better Call Saul, he was a broke loser, living in the boiler room of a dry cleaner's.

      Him becoming successful is an absolute fantasy, all of it connected to criminal activity. The moral of the story was that playing by the rules got him nowhere and he had nothing. So he had to cheat.

      When we see him in Breaking Bad he's already been a criminal for a long time and Walt's criminal activities are what really send him over the top.

      The chances of meeting up with a Heisenberg type is pure fantasy. The chemistry doesn't even work out, it's Hollywood imaginary fiction to have some sort of super pure drug that a HS chemistry teacher and a dropout druggie can make that nobody else can make and is some sort of awesome and popular drug but the authorities can't catch the makers of it.

      It was stupid for people to go to non-HYS schools and think they could be a big law attorney like in Legally Blonde. It's even more idiotic to think people can get drug cartel connections and become slick shit law attorneys like Saul Goodman.

  18. The standards to becoming a lawyer are so low today, that you can be a convicted murderer (the Tulane Law grad), illegal alien (see Sergio Garcia in CA), 2.0 GPA grad with a 10th percentile score on the LSAT and you still can get into an ABA accredited law school with a modest scholarship. The scammers are getting desperate. Look for law school deans to be visiting nursing homes and insane asylums to enroll new victims.

  19. If you're being taught to be a doctor by someone who has never practiced as a doctor, then something is very wrong. The same goes for law school

  20. @9:28am

    Your missing something.... I bet those grads are the ones who will hustle harder than the Tier 1 grads, thus making a better long term living.

    AMMPLE, LEAP, other alternative admissions law grads do not seem to be complaining. Instead they are more focused on how to out compete the competition.

    Big law is a far shot for them (depending on who they know) but at least they are making the best of an unfair situation.

    I would like to take a time out to give a shot out to FAMU and the other HCBU's keeping tuition low while allowing a legal education for the masses without robbing them.

    Anyone who counts the LSAT as serious criteria that should keep someone out of law school should get their head examined. Thus why they created those special admit programs in the first place.

    The historical data shows that they do just fine in life.... Just stay away from the overpriced schools !!

    1. 3:57, what was your practice area again? I forgot to ask earlier.


    2. 5:10, his practice area is fantasy law.

  21. You are a nice little crook most likely hired by fourth tier trash pits to generate revenue. You
    Rob the tax payer and destroy the lives of poor kids.

    You use cheap psychological tricks to trap your victims and permanently obliterate their lives. I.e "they are more focused on how to out compete the competition." There's nothing to out compete. Unless they have connections and money what you are selling will not benefit them.

    PRIVATE trash collectors in New York City earn 100k plus, and there is strong demand for them. PRIVATE. If you actually work for the city itself, 150k plus is completely realistic.

    You are using envy, ego, and irrationality to lure poor and impressionable idiots to their demise. These poor and disenfranchised kids can "out compete the competition" by getting in demand blue collar jobs, and if possible, politically protected municipal jobs so they can make money, enter the middle class, and provide a better future for themselves and their families. They aren't going to enter the middle class by signing their future away to crooks like you, so they can enter a completely glutted field where only very few people make
    Less than high school drop outs picking up garbage in NYC make. If they somehow manager to miraculously "out compete" anyone, they will never enjoy the comprable financial rewards and stability associated with protected and/or in demand blue collar work. Instead, they'll consign their lives to financial struggle and wanting. That's if they are lucky. The
    Majority of them, those who can't "out compete," will be poor, utterly poor, for life. And to that point, I can see right past your hollow words in fairness and structural unfairness: you are a crook who just wants to make money. You want idiots to be lured by your words and the false problem that they can out compete their way from the stain provided by toilets.

    and as an aside, even if the LSAT is imperfect, it provides some objective criteria for admission. This is the only "profession" that is trying to remove all objective metrics intended to assess ability and intelligence. If the LSAT doesn't measure lawyering skills appropriately, it should be replaced by an objective exam that more closely assesses those skills; we shouldn't be doing away with every objective metric all together. There are plenty of poor kids who gain admission to previously respectable T2 and T1 schools. People like you will do anything to keep the money flowing. You rob the tax payers and ruin the lives of thousands. You are the reason liberalism is cancer.


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