While I was preparing for the December 2008 LSAT, I couldn’t help but find other things the acronym stood for besides “Law School Admissions Test”. Lame, stupid and tedious. Long, scream-inducing, anxiety-stirring tripe. Long shot at T14.
It wasn’t just that the test is difficult. For me, it was. I also couldn’t understand how law schools could gauge how successful of a law student I would be from how effectively and quickly I could jump through logical reasoning, reading comprehension and logic game hoops. I didn’t think they could.
Apparently, there are those in the academic world who think the same way too. Criticism of the LSAT ranges from its accuracy at predicting law school success, to the hurdles it presents for some minority students, to its ability to find students who would make good lawyers.
But a team of professors at U.C. Berkeley say they have come up with a test that would be better at finding students who would succeed in the legal profession.
Retired professor Marjorie M. Schultz started investigating the matter after the passage of Prop. 209, which banned the consideration of race in school admissions.
The result of Schultz and colleague Sheldon Zedeck’s inquiry — which was funded by the organization that administers the LSAT, the Law School Admissions Council — was a test that measured not solely analytic ability, but also an individual’s ability to respond to hypothetical situations.
After administering the test to 1,100 practicing attorneys, the researchers concluded that while LSAT scores were not particularly useful “in predicting lawyer effectiveness, the new, alternative test results were — although the new test was no better at predicting how well participants would do in law school.”
Read what some admissions deans thought about the test here.
Got an opinion, or something else “LSAT” could stand for? Share your thoughts below!