In other words, she said, unconscious bias could creep in. Like other opponents of the change, Ms. Brown argued that the association should wait and collect more data.
Danielle R. Holley, who is the dean of the law school at Howard University and sits on an advisory committee for the Law School Admissions Council, a nonprofit organization that earns revenue from administering the LSAT, said that the bar association could take an interim step — for example, by allowing for more exceptions to the LSAT requirement — and watch the results.
“I am very concerned that things like recommendation letters, and other types of packaging that rely on students having both information and privilege, will become the currency of the realm, instead of a more objective factor like the LSAT,” she said.
She added that if the accreditation board left the matter up to individual schools, market forces could drive law schools to drop the LSAT requirement — not out of careful consideration about best admissions practices, but as a way to compete for applicants.
Kristin Theis-Alvarez, the dean of admissions and financial aid at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, argued that law schools were already making careful choices informed by diversity goals, even with the testing requirement in place.
“I think supporters of the change,” she said, “are overlooking something experienced admissions professionals understand well: that the appropriate use of tests, as part of a holistic review process, contextualizes scores within a much larger and more nuanced qualification profile.”
What does this all mean for law students?
If the council’s proposal to drop the LSAT requirement is approved, law school applicants would probably not see any change until 2026, and even then, law schools could decide to continue to require the test.