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Law school admissions keeps average LSAT rule

Many law schools are now evaluating applicants based on their highest LSAT score rather than their average score, though the University of Miami Law School is not one of them.

This trend is due to a recent American Bar Association policy change. Before June 2006, law schools submitted data based on the average score of their incoming class. Now the ABA asks for incoming students’ highest scores.

Michael L. Goodnight, assistant dean of Admissions and Enrollment Management for UM’s law school, said the admissions process is not going to change, noting that the Law School Admissions Council determined that students’ average scores are most indicative of their first-year performance.

“We’ve always taken a look at all the scores,” Goodnight said. “If there is a large discrepancy between two scores, we ask a student why that happened and we may still take the top score. That’s always been our policy.”

The change in LSAT score evaluation may attract more pre-law students, said Eva M. Alonso, director of Transfer and Pre-Law Advising.

“In the past you would always take the test once and your LSAT score was your scarlet letter,” Alonso said. “If you got a 148, you’re scarred for life. Now there’s hope.”

Karin Dreyer and Rebecca Sarinsky, both first year law students, agree that more people will take the test multiple times.

“People will study lighter,” Sarinsky said. “People will take it once just to see how they do.”

Goodnight said the number of times a student takes the LSAT will not affect the goal of the admission process.

“Our goal is to determine as best we can if a student is going to be successful,” Goodnight said. “That’s the bottom line.”

Kelly Herson may be contacted at k.herson@umiami.edu.

November 8, 2007

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