“Many schools have expressed an interest in such a program,” said John O’Brien, chair of the Council of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar. “In an environment where the actions of a few schools have raised questions in the minds of some about the integrity of data reporting by law schools more generally, this program gives schools a straightforward and efficient method to have their admissions data verified and to assure that they are accurately reporting admissions data to the ABA and to the public. We appreciate the efforts of the LSAC to make this possible.”
To make the certification program possible, the ABA is now requiring schools to report their information about their first-year students. The ABA and LSAC will use these reports to correlate and cross-check students and provide to schools that request it a report of their entering-class credentials. Reports for each school will include the 25th, median and 75th percentile undergraduate grade point averages and LSAT scores.
Although law schools will now be required to provide entering-student data in the ABA Annual Questionnaire each fall, participation in the certification process is voluntary and is being offered on a pilot basis for the 2012-13 academic year at no cost. Law schools that receive voluntary certification of their students’ credentials from the ABA and LSAC are free to publicize that fact, giving further assurance about the accuracy of the data.
“This program offers a service to our member schools that we are pleased to be able to provide,” said Steven L. Willborn, chair of the Law School Admission Council. “Having a process that enhances the integrity of entering-student data is a positive step toward creating greater consumer confidence in the admission process, and it is a natural fit to do this in conjunction with the ABA.”
The Council of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar is the federally recognized accrediting agency for U.S. law schools. The Law School Admission Council administers the Law School Admissions Test and provides admissions data assembly services to law schools, including pre-law school academic transcripts of law school applicants.
With nearly 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is the world’s largest voluntary professional membership organization. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.
LSAC is a nonprofit association of 216 law schools in the U.S., Canada and Australia whose mission is to ease the law school admission process for applicants and law schools. Based in Newtown, Pa., LSAC is the sponsor of the Law School Admission Test and myriad services for law schools and their applicants.