Category Archives: law school admissions

The ABA requires a “valid and objective admissions test”. What is the reason for this requirement?

The above tweet references an article which appeared in the Wall Street Journal on March 31, 2016.

The overall theme of the article is that because grades are no longer a reliable indicator of student abilities, then standardized tests are the only thing that schools really have.

An excerpt from the article includes:

It might seem unfair that admissions officers place almost as much weight on a one-morning test as they do on grades from four years of high school, as a 2011 survey from the National Association for College Admissions Counseling showed. But there’s a simple reason for this emphasis on testing: Policy makers and educators have effectively eliminated all the other ways of quantifying student performance.

Classroom grades have become meaningless. Last year a public-school district in northern California decided to score on an “equal interval scale”—meaning every letter grade is assigned a 20-point range. Students who score above 80% get an A. Only those below 20% will be given an F. This is only part of a larger trend.


A comment to the article included:

I have never recruited for an academic institution, but I have done a great deal for businesses. When recruiting for entry level technical or management career path positions, SAT, ACT, GRE, LSAT and other competitive standardized tests are great indicators of a candidate’s general mental “horsepower” and ability to learn relative to other candidates. Grades by subject matter areas give an idea of where a candidate’s interests and proclivities are. The presence of difficult subject matter courses, even with mediocre grades, gives a sense for work ethic. Extracurricular activities give an idea of a candidate’s psychological balance and social engagement. Absent a work history, these indicators, supplemented with personal interview results, work pretty well to predict success when matched up with job requirements. Businesses look at SATs and the rest because the information they convey is very predictive of performance.

This debate has been going on since the beginning of the standardized testing industry.

How to become a lawyer through a legal apprenticeship and avoid #Lawschool and #LSAT

Times have changed. Applications to U.S. law schools have fallen dramatically. It has been reported that graduates of Ivy League schools are less enthusiastic about attending law school. Law schools are feeling the financial strain and offering “Two Year JD” programs in order to effectively compete. Some ABA law schools are offering applicants the chance to avoid the LSAT and use the GRE as their “valid and reliable admission test” for law school admission.

But, maybe you can become a lawyer without attending law school at all

The motivation for this post came from a posting at one LSAT Facebook group which led me to an interesting organization referenced in this tweet:

Why should the American Bar Association control entry into the legal profession?

There is no reason at all. The presumption of three years of law school is an American tradition. Although Canada now requires three years of law school, this was NOT always so. Prior to the mid 1950s, in Canada people become lawyers NOT by attending law school, but by a process of “Articling”. “Articling” is a “law office apprenticeship” and IS STILL required (in addition to law school) as part of the process of becoming a lawyer in Canada.

By the way, Foreign law school graduates who want to become a lawyer in Canada should read here!

We live in interesting times!

GRE considered by some to be “valid and reliable admissions test” for ABA approved law admissions

The above tweet references a fascinating article in the Wall Street Journal that includes:

Continue reading

Interesting: @SUNYBuffaloLaw offers 2 year JD for foreign law grads

All the U.S. law school market may be recovering, U.S.law enrollments are still below what they once were. For law schools: students mean revenue and revenue is needed to prosper.

The law school at SUNY Buffalo is offering a “Two year J.D.” for graduates of law schools outside the United States. This program may be of interest to SOME “foreign law graduates” who are navigating the “NCA Route” and seeking bar admission in Canada.

Information about the program is here.

The program description includes:

If you hold a law degree from a non-U.S. jurisdiction (a J.D. or its equivalent), you may qualify for our Advanced Standing Two-Year J.D. for Internationally-Trained Lawyers program.

The Advanced Standing Two-Year J.D. for Internationally Trained Lawyers is intended for students who:

already hold a law degree from a jurisdiction outside the United States;
would like to earn a Juris Doctor degree from SUNY Buffalo Law School;
and wants to take the New York State Bar.

In this new and innovative program, they can receive advanced standing, and therefore can finish the J.D. degree in just two years.

Speaking of the “Two Year JD“:

Do lower #LSAT scores for #lawschool admissions imply lower bar pass rates?

The article referenced in the above tweet covers a lot of ground and is interesting. As you know, the number of applications to law schools in the United States has fallen over the last few years. Obviously, it’s easier to “get in to” to U.S. law schools than it was. (This is not true in Canada which has such a small number of law schools.)

In any case, you will find this article to be an interesting read.

For example:

At least two studies, including one this year that examined admissions exam scores from 2000 to 2011, have concluded that scores on the test, administered by the Law School Admission Council, closely track later bar passage rates.

Mr. McEntee of Law School Transparency, a graduate of Vanderbilt University Law School, said his group’s recent study showed that many schools were admitting students whose lack of legal aptitude made them vulnerable to failing the bar. And, at the same time, they are incurring six-figure student debt that will weigh them down in the future.

The steady erosion in admissions scores between 2010 and 2014, Mr. McEntee, said in his study, is “directly linked to the falling bar exam passage rates in many states.”

The author of the article – Elizabeth Olson – has written a number of law school admission articles that you might find to be of interest.

#Lawschool personal statement examples – Chicago and U of T Law School

It’s time for you to consider the Law School Personal Statement.

Personal Statement samples from the the University of Toronto law school:

 

Personal Statement samples from the University of Chicago law school:

Advice from the Berkely Career Center:

#LawSchool Preview -“Take The Bar and Beat Me” by Raymond Woodcock

 

 

Introduction

I have been a “Pre-Law Counsellor” for many years. Over the years I have encountered a number of books of interest to future law students. They include:

“The Good, The Bad and The Ugly”.

Leaving aside “The Bad and The Ugly”, I wanted to share with you  a VERY Good back for Pre-Law students. Actually, can share not only the recommendation, but the book itself.

The book is kind of old (Yes, read it in the 90s). But, it is very good. The book is called:

“Take The Bar and Beat Me”. The author is Raymond Woodcock.

takethebarbookcover

And yes, I received Mr. Woodcock’s kind permission (some years ago) to share the book with you for free.

I hope that you enjoy the book as much as I did.

John

Joint Canada U.S. joint #lawschool degree programs

LW – 2005 Lawyers Weekly Article

For many years I have advocated joint law degrees. There are many different kinds of joint law degree programs. These include:

– Canada U.S. joint law degrees,

– Law school degrees combined with a graduate degree in another discipline.

You will spend three years in law school. Why not pick up another degree along the way.

To be clear, joint law degree programs allow you to earn two degrees. Examples include the joint degree programs offered by:

– the University of Windsor

– the University of Ottawa

and more.

About Non-Canadian law degrees that prepare you for a legal career in Canada

There is a shortage of law schools in Canada. As a result, more and more people are leaving Canada to attend law school. The goal is to return to Canada – go the NCA route – and become admitted to the bar in Canada.

What is the NCA and what role does it play in bar admissions?

You will find basic information here. The question is:

where should one attend law school outside of Canada? For most people, the choice is either the United States or the United Kingdom. Many U.K. law schools market themselves to Canadians. Fewer U.S. law schools market themselves in Canada.

A possible opportunity in Arizona …

 

 

Debt, #lawschool and law school debt – Is there such a thing as good debt?

Debt is a growing problem in all segments of society. Education is expensive and can result in sizable debt. The video referenced in the above tweet is a about a University of Ottawa law student. It’s well worth watching.