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Law Schools That Do Not Require the LSAT
For some people, taking the LSAT is more nerve wracking than the idea of attending law school. The good news is this: the LSAT is optional at some schools. A number of law schools allow students to submit LSAT or GRE test results. In this article, we briefly go over what the LSAT and GRE are, as well as the major pros and cons of the LSAT. We then talk about which schools are dropping their LSAT requirement and what else those schools focus on for admission. Let’s dive right in!
What is the LSAT?
The LSAT, or the Law School Admissions Test, is the standardized knowledge and skills test that students take to gain entrance to law school. The LSAT has both required multiple choice and written components. Doing well on the LSAT requires a lot of preparation on the part of aspiring law students.
The LSAT is an online exam that is all multiple choice. This exam is used only for applying to law schools, and is a little under three hours long. The LSAT has four sections, which include:
- Logical reasoning
- Reading comprehension
- Logic games
Related: What is the LSAT?
What is the GRE?
The GRE, or the Graduate Record Examination, is a common standardized exam for graduate school admission. There are two separate options when choosing which GRE test to take; these include the General Test and the Subject Test. Both are online tests that are nearly four hours long. The GRE has seven sections, which include:
- Two essay sections
- Two verbal sections
- Two quantitative sections
- One experimental section
Related: What is the GRE?
Pros and cons of taking the LSAT
There are many pros and cons to the LSAT, depending on which side you see it from. When it comes to which test is best for a particular student, that depends on a number of factors. For some, the GRE is superior to the LSAT because it includes math. For others, the LSAT’s emphasis on analytical reasoning is ideal because of their skills in that regard. Choosing whether to take the GRE over the LSAT takes research on the part of the student. Taking free practice LSAT and GRE tests is one way to find out which test might be the best fit.
Below are just a few of the major pros and cons of the LSAT:
Pros of taking the GRE over the LSAT
The LSAT is only offered eight times per year, meaning scheduling might be challenging. In contrast, the GRE can pretty much be taken anytime. You also have to sign up for the LSAT far in advance, whereas with the GRE, you only need to sign up two days in advance. LSAT score reports usually report all of your test scores, while applicants can choose the GRE scores they wish law schools to see.
Cons of not taking the LSAT
One of the biggest cons about not taking the LSAT is that not every law school accepts the GRE as a replacement. This means that you may not be able to apply for all of the schools you would like to if you don’t take the LSAT.
Colleges that do not require the LSAT
There is a long list of colleges and universities all over the country that do not require students to take the LSAT. Although the list of law school that accept the GRE is too long to share in its entirety, here are some of the most notable:
Harvard Law School
Harvard Law School is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The famous university consistently ranks in the five best law schools in the nation and has a long list of prestigious alumni.
- Factors for acceptance: Exceptional undergraduate admission record, test scores in the top percentiles, a great deal of accomplishments in work and extracurricular activities
- Interview process: Harvard Law’s interview process is a 15-minute interview conducted over Zoom. They have a video for tips and tricks to help you feel at ease going into your interview as well.
Georgetown University is a private school located in the heart of Washington D.C. As you can imagine, a university located in the nation’s capital sets out to immerse their students in the real world experiences that the city has to offer them.
- Factors for acceptance: They are looking for a strong personal statement, letters of recommendation, professional and academic experiences, and extracurricular activities
- Interview process: Georgetown Law has two separate interview programs– Alumni interviews and group interviews. You have to be invited back for interviews, and it is just another way for the admissions committee to get to know you better.
Columbia Law School
Columbia Law School is located in New York City, New York. The school touts renowned faculty, innovative curriculum, and various career opportunities, including connections to Fortune 500 companies and non-profit organizations.
- Factors for acceptance: Reliable body of undergraduate coursework, LSAT or GRE scores, strong resume, personal strengths and weaknesses. Applicants are also evaluated on their personal motivation, self-discipline and industry.
- Interview process: The interview process is important to Columbia Law because they use a holistic approach to acceptance, and they do not use numeric thresholds when determining candidates. You have to be invited to the interview process.
Massachusetts School of Law
The Massachusetts School of Law is a private law school located in Andover, Massachusetts. It is known as New England’s “most affordable and diverse law school in New England.”
- Factors for acceptance: The admissions committee at Massachusetts School of Law wants to see a personal statement, two letters of recommendation, and they also conduct the Massachusetts School of Law Aptitude Test.
- Interview process: Every applicant must have an interview with the Admissions Department, but will be conducted after your entire application and transcripts are submitted. This will just be an extension of things that could not be answered from your application.
Arizona State University
Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Conner School of Law is located in Phoenix, Arizona. ASU Law is known for its engaged alumni network and career opportunities within the community. It is important to note that Arizona State does not require any type of standardized test.
- Factors for acceptance: Factors that determine acceptance are quality of scores on standardized tests, undergraduate grade point average, previous graduate education, demonstrated commitment to public service, extracurricular or community involvement, and uniqueness of experience and background.
- Interview process: Although there are no required interviews, they do give you the option to submit an addendum to explain more about your undergraduate performance, test performance, and any other information you would like the admissions committee to know.
Notre Dame Law School
Notre Dame Law School is the oldest Catholic law school in the United States. What makes Notre Dame unique is that they train their students to view law as a vocation rather than just a profession. They also offer specialized degrees, such as LL.M. in International Human Rights.
- Factors for acceptance: One of the important factors for acceptance to NDL is the personal statement. If you have taken the LSAT, GRE, or both, they would like to see all of the scores from every time that you’ve taken a standardized test. They also request that you send a resume, and two letters of recommendation.
- Interview process: The interviews for Notre Dame’s Law School are by request of the Admissions Committee only.
Yale Law School
Yale Law School is located in New Haven, Connecticut and is considered one of the top few law schools in the USA. The school has unmatched faculty resources and career placement– two of the major things that draw students into their school.
- Factors for acceptance: Applicants are expected to have high grades and test scores. They do use a holistic approach, so they want letters of recommendation, personal statements, diversity statements, and an activities section.
- Interview process: The interview process will be different for each applicant because the interview is not required– it is requested if the committee needs more information on the applicant.
Final thoughts for students
When choosing whether to take the GRE or the LSAT, the biggest thing you need to consider is what kind of test taker you are. Really look into both exams, the material that is on them, and the way you need to study for each, and think about which one best fits your test taking style. For some people, although it will be more expensive, they might benefit from taking both the LSAT and the GRE, and choosing to submit whatever the better score is.
At Scholarships360, we understand that applying to law schools and deciding which one is right for you is an important process. Luckily, we have many resources to help you out with your law school journey. This includes articles about how much law school could cost and how to pay for it. Good luck with the rest of your law school journey!
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