The Day the LSAT Died?

On November 7, the American Bar Association Journal posted an entry about a very interesting study being conducted at the UC-Berkeley School of Law. According to the ABA post, the study is being conducted by “researchers” and has unearthed tests that measure legal skills such as negotiation and problem solving (in addition to the rather ridiculous “skill” of stress management). The biggest news of all? Berkeley’s law school dean, Christopher Edley has announced that two professors have validated the test and is now pushing to take the study to a national level. The Law School Admission Council (LSAC) is taking a look and plans to help fund the research. Amazing!

Setting aside whether the LSAT is a valid test, or whether any test can (or should) assess “lawyering skills” (rather than the skills that would project well for law school success, which I don’t have to remind anyone, is a staging ground for more than just lawyers), it seems impossible that LSAC would ever throw its support behind any test other than its prized LSAT.

It is commendable that Edley and the good people at Berkeley are striving for a better test and the fairest possible assessment process, and I suppose that November 7 could go down as the day that the LSAT died, but we’ll believe it when we see it.

In the meantime, if you’re applying to law school, take a look at Veritas Prep’s law school application tips.

Law School Fever at Princeton

The American Bar Association blog is reporting a spike in LSAT prep among Princeton students due to the recent financial crisis. While law schools have been tight-lipped with regard to application increases, this is further anecdotal evidence that the expected recession-driven law school bump might be headed toward something historic.

Not only do the typical graduate school temptations come into play (ride out the downturn, increase earning potential), but the erosion of many MBA career prospects has further pushed finance escapees toward J.D. pursuits. As the ABA post notes, many Princeton students (and, presumably, students across the country) who were destined for careers in finance are now racing to take the LSAT and ready their law school applications.

The flip side of all this is that legal careers are also being impacted by the financial crisis, which is putting evermore pressure on students to get into elite programs. (This is where I’ll note that Veritas Prep’s law school admissions consulting is a great option for law school applicants who seek to work with experts from specific programs, providing the kind of insight to navigate the current application frenzy.)