EDUCATION
03/09/2017 11:38 am ET Updated Mar 09, 2017

Taking The LSAT Is No Longer Required To Get Into Harvard Law School

The school hopes to diversify its pool of applicants by shaking up the admissions process in Fall 2017.

Harvard Law School says that beginning this fall it will no longer require students to submit the traditional Law School Admissions Test as part of their application, marking a major shift in the schools rigorous admissions process. 

Instead, candidates will be allowed to submit either the Graduate Record Examination or LSAT when applying for entry into the 2018 three-year Juris Doctor program, the law school said Wednesday.

In the past, many students have taken both the GRE and the LSAT when applying to graduate programs, costing them hundreds of dollars in testing fees. By accepting the GRE, Harvard Law School officials hope to ease the financial burden and expand legal education access to applicants from a range of socioeconomic and academic backgrounds.

Students graduating from the School of Law cheer as they receive their degrees during the 364th Commencement Exercises at Har
Brian Snyder / Reuters
Students graduating from the School of Law cheer as they receive their degrees during the 364th Commencement Exercises at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts May 28, 2015.

“Harvard Law School is continually working to eliminate barriers as we search for the most talented candidates for law and leadership,” Harvard Law School Dean Martha L. Minow said in a press release. “For many students, preparing for and taking both the GRE and the LSAT is unaffordable. All students benefit when we can diversify our community in terms of academic background, country of origin, and financial circumstances.”

A recent Harvard Law School study found that the GRE and LSAT equally predict the success of first-year law students prompted the school to change its admissions requirements. The American Bar Association is currently reviewing its rules regarding exam requirements for law schools.

For decades, the LSAT was a requirement for nearly all J.D. programs. The University of Arizona’s college of law announced it would accept either the GRE or the LSAT in February 2016, becoming the first ABA-accredited law school to do so. Harvard is now the second.

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