Worth transferring to Iowa as an undergrad to avoid taking the LSAT?

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Offline StrawMan

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Let's say you're a sophomore at Iowa State who is planning on going to law school. Is it worth transferring to the University of Iowa to take advantage of their new policy making the LSAT optional? I mean, all you gotta do is be in the top-10% of your class, get a 3.5 GPA, and wish to stay in Iowa after graduation. It may sound like an overkill to avoid taking one test, but you'd be virtually guaranteed admission into their law school if  you meet the criteria.

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Offline Sal

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Re: Worth transferring to Iowa as an undergrad to avoid taking the LSAT?
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2015, 03:13:45 PM »
Wow; really?! Do you have a link to this info?


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Offline Sal

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Re: Worth transferring to Iowa as an undergrad to avoid taking the LSAT?
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2015, 11:29:20 AM »
;good;

Thanks, StrawMan! This is very interesting...I wonder if any other schools may follow suit.

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Offline StrawMan

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Re: Worth transferring to Iowa as an undergrad to avoid taking the LSAT?
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2015, 12:46:00 PM »
Some say that, with the rapid decrease in enrollment numbers, other low-ranked law schools will follow suit. I don't buy it. It's already easy enough to get into Tier 2/3 schools; dropping the LSAT requirement but requiring exceptionally strong undergraduate record is unlikely to make much of a difference. First, it's easier to get a 155 on the LSAT than to be in top-10% of your college class. Second, those who are already in the top-10% can probably at least meet, if not exceed, the LSAT medians for those schools without a problem. For them, dropping the LSAT requirement is unlikely to be a deciding factor. Third, most students eligible to attend their "home" law school without having taken the LSAT will have their sights set on better law schools; their "home" law school is probably a safety.

The only way this new policy can even begin to shake the current status quo is if several top law schools decide to drop the LSAT requirement for a portion of their incoming classes. This is because such schools set the LSAT bar exceptionally high (165+), so dropping the requirement would lift a heavy burden. It's also because few students would qualify any of the top-14 schools as "safeties": a Penn undergrad will probably be thrilled to attend Penn Law without bothering to take the LSAT, even if taking it - and doing exceptionally well on it - might open up a few more doors. However, given the statistically high predictive validity of the LSAT and the imperative to assemble an exceptionally gifted class, I don't see why any of the top law schools would ever go down that route.

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Offline lawdog

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Re: Worth transferring to Iowa as an undergrad to avoid taking the LSAT?
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2015, 09:38:26 PM »
Thanks for those links!  I agree with that blog post!!   ;)    I think it sounds like a big story but is not that big a deal. There were already other schools that were doing the same thing--10% of their incoming class exempt from the LSAT, but as discussed above, it's not like some kind of big back door into those schools. The applicants have to be honor students who have done well on another standardized test. The idea seems to be based on the notion that the schools have sufficient non-LSAT tools to assess the relatively small number of students to whom this exception can apply. The idea behind this exception also speaks to the need for the LSAT in general: For the most part, it can be very difficult to assess the relative merits of various candidates from different schools and backgrounds, without some objective standard basis. Even GPA doesn't fit the bill (how does a decent Harvard GPA compare with a stellar GPA from a small community college?), so without nearly firsthand knowledge of the candidates (which is basically required for the recent exceptions), law schools rely on the LSAT as the primary basis for such comparisons.

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Offline LSAT Eliminator

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Re: Worth transferring to Iowa as an undergrad to avoid taking the LSAT?
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2015, 02:45:46 PM »
;good;

Thanks, StrawMan! This is very interesting...I wonder if any other schools may follow suit.

They will, and I think Michigan started doing this a while back already.

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Offline lawdog

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Re: Worth transferring to Iowa as an undergrad to avoid taking the LSAT?
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2015, 04:25:13 PM »
;good;

Thanks, StrawMan! This is very interesting...I wonder if any other schools may follow suit.

They will, and I think Michigan started doing this a while back already.

;yeah; They did!  and so did the law schools at the University of Alabama and the University of Illinois...