Access to legal education seems to be the talk of the town for law schools these days. Schools like the University at Buffalo are reviewing whether accepting GRE test results will lead to higher enrollment.
UB Law School Dean Aviva Abramovsky said there’s a variety of reasons to review if taking GRE test results is the right thing to do.
“The GRE is offered more frequently and there is an interest in harmonizing or reducing the number of tests a student would have to take if seeking graduate education,” said Abramovsky. “There’s a lot of good reasons why different law schools might be thinking about moving to accepting both the GRE and the traditional LSAT.”
Abramovsky said that includes student access, student taking, and other types of those issues. Currently, four law schools across the country are accepting GRE scores.
One complaint about the LSAT is that it puts minorities at a disadvantage because they may not have access to the education necessary to score high enough. Abramovsky said these days students pay a lot of money to take these standardized tests.
“Asking students to focus that same level of studying on two different tests when they have a world of different options that they haven’t necessarily yet committed to, seems to me to be somewhat duplicative to them,” said Abramovsky. “If law schools determine that as an industry as a whole that the GRE is equally as valid, then we want to make a smoother path to our doors.”
Abramovsky said she doesn’t want there to be any false barriers for students looking to access education. The current cost of the LSAT and GRE is about $200 dollars each.
While it may provide better access to legal education, the acceptance of GRE test results into law schools is currently in a pilot phase.
“This is something the law school is carefully considering,” said Abramovsky. “It is one way to increase acceptability to legal education, especially for students who for whatever reason may not have access to the LSAT or may need to have taken the GRE but have the talent and the ability to succeed at law school.”
Abramovsky said there is no date in mind for if and when they started accepting GRE test results. She feels it could potentially work well with one of UB’s dual-degree programs.