The Georgetown University Law Center announced Monday it will allow applicants to submit their scores on the graduate school entry exam, becoming one of four programs to offer an alternative to the once-mandatory law school aptitude test.
The administration hopes the new policy will open the school’s doors to a more diverse pool of applicants, especially those considering other graduate programs. The announcement comes just over 18 months after the University of Arizona’s law school became the first to offer the GRE as an alternative to the LSAT in 2016.
Georgetown Law now joins Arizona Law, Harvard Law School and the Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, which announced the shift just hours before Georgetown.
An Arizona Law study found the GRE was as good a predictor of law school success as the LSAT, and its results were later corroborated by studies at each of the other three schools.
Law applicants have long lamented the limited testing schedule of the LSAT ― just four test dates are offered each year, while the GRE can be taken at any time on a computer at designated test centers. Moreover, the $118 registration fee and the cost of preparation can be enough to deter some students, particularly those who already have to take the GRE for other graduate programs, according to the press release announcing the new policy.
“We believe this change will make the admissions process more accessible to students who have great potential to make a mark here at Georgetown Law and in successful legal careers, but who might find the LSAT to be a barrier,” Georgetown Law Dean William M. Treanor said in the release.
— Georgetown Law (@GeorgetownLaw) August 7, 2017
Though most U.S. law schools still require the LSAT for admission, Georgetown Law is the largest law school in the country and one of the most prestigious LSAT defectors yet. The nation’s law institutions are set to discuss the American Bar Association’s admissions policies at the association’s annual meeting in New York this week.
The Law School Admission Council, which administers the LSAT, responded to increased competition from the GRE in May when it lifted a longstanding ban on any student taking the LSAT more than three times in two years.