GRE instead of the LSAT for Law School Admission?

The GRE used to be just for graduate school. Then, in 2009, business schools started accepting GRE scores in place of GMAT scores. Now over 1,000 business schools worldwide accept either the GRE or the GMAT, with about 80% of MBA programs reporting no preference between the two. What about law schools? Are there any JD programs that will accept GRE scores?

Yes! The University of Arizona (UA) College of Law now lets you submit GRE scores in place of LSAT scores, according to a February announcement. Two other law schools, University of Hawaii and Wake Forest University, will likely follow suit later this year. In fact, the Dean of UA Law, Marc Miller, predicts that many more will soon be accepting the GRE. Speaking in a recent interview, Dean miller said:

I know at least one other law school has already called and said ‘can I get in line’? My guess is that will be a dozen by the end of the week.

The line appears to lead to ETS, maker of the GRE. In 2015, the testing organization ran a study for UA Law that investigated whether GRE scores are a valid and reliable predictor of first-term grades in UA’s JD program. According to the study, they are. And, so, according to the legal education standards set by the American Bar Association (ABA), UA Law can use the GRE in admission decisions, presumably while maintaining the school’s ABA accreditation. Other law schools that hope to use it too can likewise enlist ETS to conduct a GRE study.

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If the GRE does catch on in law school admissions, that will be a boon to GRE test takers as well as postgraduate degree seekers more broadly. Undecided (or redeciding) among graduate, business, and law school? At least you’ll know which standardized exam to take: the GRE will fit all three.

For now, though, if you’ve decided on law school, taking the LSAT gives you the most options. In fact, not only does it meet admission requirements for JD programs, the LSAT will even help get you into some graduate and business programs.

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