Friday, September 26, 2008

More on LSAT-free admissions and the rankings

There are lots of good posts on this issue (see, e.g., here, here, here, and here), and I'm guest-blogging about it at Race to the Bottom (see here).

Looking forward to reading your comments on all of this.


Stephen said...

It does reward grade inflation, all in all. Maybe a good thing.

Mark said...

At first blush it would seem that Michigan should be lauded for relying less heavily on the LSAT. Upon further investigation however, it does not seem plausible that Michigan does not realize how transparent their system truly is.

It would be one thing for the admissions staff to acknowledge that the staff has a strong grasp on particular Michigan undergraduate programs' reputations, difficulty, and preparation for law school. That is entirely reasonable. It would be entirely reasonable to say that if a student receives X GPA in B major that student has a high probability for success during law school. But the caveat that the student cannot take the LSAT to demonstrate that aptitude seems laughable. I initially understood this to mean that if a student graduated from Michigan with a particular GPA that student would automatically gain admission irrespective of the student's LSAT score. That is not the case; the student must not take the LSAT. How does Michigan support that requirement?

Also, I would presume that not all Michigan undergraduate majors are equal in their difficulty, nor in their capability to produce legal scholars. It would also appear to be less "gamesy" if Michigan established a sliding scale for their undergraduate majors. For instance an Electric Engineering major only needs X GPA whereas a Recreation Management major needs Y GPA. An approach accounting for major also seems like it would be somewhat less transparent.

It is disappointing that schools go to such lengths to get the leg up on the competition. With the lengths that schools go to "game" ranking institutions (1 in particular) at least lawyers (and the subject of lawyers' jokes) can point to their institutions of higher education as basing their ethical compass.