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Stephen L. Carter

RIP to the LSAT? Let’s Kill the Bar Exam, Too

The push to do away with the law school admissions exam has merit — and there’s no reason to stop there.

Some barriers to entry are better than others.

Some barriers to entry are better than others.

Photographer: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Should law school applicants still have to take the LSAT? A proposal by a committee of the American Bar Association would eliminate the longstanding rule that accredited law schools must require prospective students to take a “valid and reliable test” as part of the application process. If the LSAT is axed, maybe the bar exam should be next.

The recommendation to eliminate the admissions testing requirement comes amidst cascading charges that reliance on the Law School Admission Test hurts minority applicants. The proposition is sharply contested by many friends of diversity.  Some find it stigmatizing to be told they can’t do as well on the test as White applicants. But given that the case against the test appears to have persuaded the wordily named Council of the ABA’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, let’s assume for the sake of argument that the LSAT does indeed represent an unfair barrier to entry to the legal profession.