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Dive Brief:

  • The American Bar Association’s House of Delegates will vote again in August on a plan to allow ABA-accredited law schools to admit students without using standardized tests.
  • On Friday, an ABA governing body, the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, voted to return its test-optional proposal unchanged to the nearly 600 officials in the House of Delegates after they voted down the plan earlier this month.
  • Under ABA procedures, the Council will have the option to approve the plan if the House of Delegates votes it down a second time.

Dive Insight:

Standardized test opponents say giving the law schools the option to make their admissions test-optional or test-blind would help boost diversity among the student population. Supporters of tests like the Law School Admission Test, or LSAT, say they give marginalized students more options to demonstrate their academic readiness.

The ABA previously discussed removing testing requirements in 2018, but a plan never made it to a delegate vote. But the current push benefits from the swell of support the test-optional movement experienced following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ABA has successfully implemented changes to its admissions’ requirements in recent years. The association began allowing the use of the Graduate Record Examinations, or GRE, as a law school entrance exam in November 2021.