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Harvard Law to Accept Applicant GRE Scores in Place of LSAT for Diversity

Harvard Law to Accept Applicant GRE Scores in Place of LSAT for Diversity

“moving to open its doors to a larger, more diverse pool”

This seems wrong-headed.

The LSAT is supposed to be a predictor of law school success. So admitting people with a lower likelihood of success accomplishes what?

The New York Times reports:

Harvard Law, Moving to Diversify Applicant Pool, Will Accept GRE Scores

Harvard Law School, moving to open its doors to a larger, more diverse pool of applicants, said on Wednesday that it would accept the graduate record examination, known as the GRE, for the admission of students entering its fall 2018 class.

The law school, whose alumni include senators, chief executives, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and President Barack Obama, is the second accredited law school in the United States to accept the GRE for admission. It follows the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law, which made the change a year ago.

At the time, Arizona’s decision provoked a heated debate in the legal profession, which has long supported the Law School Admissions Test, or LSAT, over whether that test should be relied on as a single valid predictor of law school success.

Since Arizona’s move, around 150 law school deans, including Martha Minow of Harvard Law, have expressed support for the change. Now Harvard Law is taking the same step. The school said it would start a pilot program in the fall, when students begin submitting applications for the three-year juris doctor program that begins in 2018.


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Like any manufacturer, what should go in as raw material depends on what is supposed to come out. The purchasing department handles entirely different things depending on whether the factory produces Silly Putty, yo-yos, hammer heads, snooze alarms, etc.

Same thing for Harvard Law. Is it manufacturing workaday lawyers, or politicians? If politicians, this switch is probably an appropriate move; “diversity” is nowadays a far bigger selling point in the political market than is mere competence.

The Obamas went to Harvard. Who gave them the cheat sheet for the bar exam?