The American Bar Association (ABA) Council voted to permit law schools to accept Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores in place of Law School Admission Test (LSAT) scores during a closed session in November 2021. Since then, a number of law schools – including Western State – have made the transition to accept GRE scores as part of the admission process. Western State’s decision to accept GRE scores immediately supports our commitment to making law school accessible to all.
Understanding the Two Tests
The LSAT and GRE are both standardized tests used to assess an individual’s skills in a variety of areas. The LSAT is focused on testing skills necessary for success in the first year of California law school. It includes reading comprehension, reasoning and writing. The GRE has a vocabulary, reading comprehension and analytical writing section, and it also includes a basic math section. The LSAT is offered eight times a year, requiring individuals to prepare and schedule far in advance, and have a back up option if they want to take the test again before submitting the score with the law school applications. On the flipside, the GRE is offered throughout the year, making it more convenient and widely available.
The ABA’s Decision to Accept Both
The University of Arizona law school started accepting GRE scores in 2016 and was followed by several other law schools, including Harvard University in 2017. These law schools and the Educational Testing Service (ETS) which oversees the GRE have found through numerous studies that the GRE is a strong, valid and reliable predictor of academic performance, similar to an LSAT score.
Benefits to Western State
Western State has always prided itself on its diversity and efforts to make law school accessible to all. Adding the GRE score to the application process created a significant advantage in both areas.
- Improves Accessibility: While choosing to go to law school should be a well thought out decision, accepting the GRE means that students don’t necessarily have to delay their start date based on the LSAT testing cadence. Western State has a rolling admission process and allows students to apply to begin law school at two different intervals – fall semester or spring semester. Accepting the GRE score enables students to apply when they are ready versus waiting for one of the six testing dates for the LSAT.
- Facilitates Greater Diversity: Last year, roughly 170,000 individuals took the LSAT exam compared to over 206,000 who completed the GRE. The GRE has been the required exam for most graduate programs across a variety of areas including life sciences, physical sciences, engineering and social/behavioral sciences as well as more recent business programs. Therefore, the GRE opens the door for individuals with different passions and strengths who might not have originally considered law school to apply – expanding the applicant pool.
Applications for the fall 2022 class at Western State are open through July 15, 2022. To learn more about the application requirements at Western State, visit https://www.wsulaw.edu/prospective-students/how-to-apply/ or contact the admissions office at (714) 459-1101 or firstname.lastname@example.org.