Harvard Law school is opening its doors to a more diverse pool of applicants, as it will be accepting Graduate Record Examination, known as GRE, as an alternate to LSAT for the admission of students entering its fall 2018 class.
The change in admission applications by Harvard Law School represents a major shift in its admissions criteria. The only other law school to accept GRE in addition to the LSAT for student’s admissions is the Arizona University Law School, which had begun doing the same for the current admissions cycle. Though, the American Bar Association is reviewing which exams law schools may accept from applicants for admissions.
Even though in its initial stage, the program is directed in a broader sense to encourage diverse and larger population of students to apply to the school.
A year back when Arizona Law School adopted the change, it provoked a heated debate in the legal profession on whether LSAT (Law School Admission Test), should be relied on as a single valid predictor of a law school success. Since then, 150 Law School deans has expressed support for the change. Now Harvard Law is taking the step forward with its pilot program in the fall, for the three-year juris doctor program that begins in 2018.
“The change will encourage more students in the United States and internationally from a greater degree of disciplines to apply,” said Jessica Soban, assistant dean and chief admissions officer at Harvard Law.
GRE test is offered many times and across different places over the whole year. The decision to go for the change was finalised after a study of student’s GRE and LSAT scores was conducted at Harvard Law. It concluded that “the GRE is an equally valid predictor of first-year grades.”
In recent years the Harvard Law School, which admits 560 students in each fist year class, has seen an increase in number of applications as compared to other law schools in the United States. Now it remains to be seen how many law schools follows the move, as another study projects 56% of law schools do not plan to accept GRE test as criteria for admissions.