May 25, 2010
ATLANTA—The Society of American Law Teachers (SALT) has urged law schools to stop providing U.S. News & World Report with their incoming students' LSAT scores on the theory that the immense pressure to snag incoming students with high scores is making it harder to admit diverse classes.
According to a May 24 story by writer Karen Sloan published in The National Law Journal, the median LSAT scores of the entering class accounts for 12.5 percent of each law school's U.S. News score - a greater weight than the magazine gives to average grade point average or acceptance rate.
While the U.S. News rankings have plenty of critics in legal education, it isn't realistic to ask law schools to boycott them altogether, said Andi Curcio, chairwoman of SALT's legal education committee and a professor at Georgia State University College of Law. Individual deans have called for boycotts, but there has been no widespread movement. SALT's members believe that taking LSAT scores out of the mix is an achievable goal that will have a real effect in terms of diversifying classes, Curcio said. The group hopes to work with the ABA to devise a strategy to withhold LSAT score data.
"Deans, and to some extent faculty, feel compelled to play the game because of the effects of the rankings on their schools," Curcio said. "SALT's idea is the pragmatic approach to dealing with the problem of the U.S. News rankings. This will allow law schools more freedom to admit a broader array of candidates."
Jim Hellegaard, 404.413.9050
Director of Communications