Summary: Columbia Law will accept the GRE for fall 2018 candidates.
Columbia Law School is joining Harvard Law and Northwestern in the growing club of law schools that accept the GRE score for admissions. The change will affect applicants for the fall of 2018, and the school said in a press release that the move was to prepare students to be leaders in the legal profession as well as other fields.
“As part of its ongoing commitment to preparing students to be leaders in the legal profession, as well as other fields such as science, technology, public policy, and business, Columbia Law School will accept Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores in addition to LSAT scores from applicants to the three-year J.D. program beginning on a trial basis in fall 2018,” Columbia stated on its official website.
Columbia said that accepting GRE exam scores as well as the LSAT will allow more candidates to apply.
“The GRE will allow an even broader pool of candidates to apply to Columbia Law School,” Columbia Law wrote. “The GRE is offered frequently in hundreds of locations around the world and is accepted by a wide range of graduate and professional degree programs. This option could be particularly attractive to those whose academic or professional pursuits—such as engineering and the life sciences—have historically not been aligned with the study of law. Encouraging such individuals to pursue a law degree reinforces Columbia’s commitment to fostering an interdisciplinary approach to legal studies.”
Columbia’s decision is not surprising. According to Kaplan Test Prep, more law schools are warming up to the idea of accepting the GRE. This comes at a time when the number of law school applicants is at an all-time low and schools are looking for ways to broaden their candidate pools. Allowing the GRE has been a solution to diversification, but there is a chance that the American Bar Association could eventually put an end to the practice.
“Our survey finds the clearest sign yet that there is a shift toward greater GRE acceptance among law schools, but there’s still much uncertainty since one ruling from the American Bar Association could put an end to the practice,” said Jeff Thomas of Kaplan Test Prep. “However and importantly, there are numerous caveats for applicants who plan to seek the GRE route to get into law school. Firstly, most applicants will still have to take the LSAT as only three law schools accept the GRE this year. And even if you rock the GRE, but bomb the LSAT, law schools will see your LSAT score. You can’t only send the score you want to the schools you want. You will not be able to withhold your LSAT score. That means that while a high GRE score could mitigate against a weaker LSAT score, it will not be overlooked entirely. Plan on taking the LSAT.”
Columbia Law’s decision to accept the GRE came after they conducted a study to determine whether or not the GRE is comparable to the LSAT in predicting law school success. The school also said that the decision reduces the cost of applying for individuals who no longer are required to take the LSAT. According to the press release, “This is in keeping with the Law School’s drive to make a Columbia Law School education even more accessible for all qualified students, regardless of socioeconomic status.”
- Washington University in St. Louis Accepting GRE
- Northwestern Announces GRE Acceptance
- GRE Trend May Be Catching on at Law Schools
- Harvard Law Will Accept GRE Scores
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