New Options for Law School Applicants
The GRE General Test for law school admissions began as an experimental pilot program initially adopted at the University of Arizona and then expanded with Harvard's announcement this spring; now that Northwestern Law (officially) and Georgetown Law have announced their adoption of the GRE for law school admissions, the floodgates appear to have opened.
With several top caliber law school accepting the GRE and others certain to follow, potential law school applicants now face a real decision, previously somewhat abstract, of whether to consider writing the GRE as an alternative to the LSAT or taking both to have the option of submitting a superior score to different schools based on their policies.
While our existing advice to law school applicants remains the same—prepare for the LSAT if interested exclusively or primarily in law school admissions—these rapid developments require us to qualify this advice somewhat depending on individual circumstances:
- Interested exclusively in law school: take a free practice LSAT, assess your performance, and plan to prepare for the LSAT.
- Interested in law school but also considering other graduate programs or dual degree programs: take the free practice LSAT but also take an official ETS computer based GRE; evaluate performance on both tests. Contact law programs and other graduate programs in which you are interested to determine their existing admissions test policies and any planned changes. You should weigh your relative desire to pursue law against your interest in other advanced studies as well as your ease with both tests to help make a final decision about which standardized test to take. If at any point you find yourself dissatisfied with your results with one exam, you now have the option to consider the other.
- Interested primarily in graduate studies other than law: consider the GRE first. Take an official ETS computer based GRE; evaluate your performance; make a preparation plan. As law school adoption of the GRE continues, your GRE score may open additional doors for you. Should you wish to consider law, you could apply for law programs that intersect with your other academic and professional interests.
In the following post, we highlight existing resources we have prepared for students weighing the GRE against the LSAT. In addition, before this latest news came out, I conducted an interview with a current GRE student who is preparing to use her score for law school admissions. Watch the interview to get some insight into Mckenzi's story and decision-making process. She has decided to prepare for the GRE to expand her options and make herself a more competitive law school applicant. Some of her circumstances may be familiar to you.Read More