ERIC Number: ED212554
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1981
Reference Count: N/A
Towards a Diversified Legal Profession: An Inquiry into the Law School Admission Test, Grade Inflation, and Current Admissions Policies. [with] A Statement from the National Institute of Education "An Investigation into the Validity and Cultural Bias of the Law School Admission Test."
White, David M., Ed.
This is the final report and critique which investigated the law school admissions process, and especially the role of the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) within that process, for possible bias against minority applicants. The study involved the reanalysis of existing data. Results show that current admission policies unfairly limit the enrollment of minority applicants. The report begins by reviewing the Bakke decision. It then examines each of the components of the Admissions Index which is a weighted combination of the undergraduate grade point average (UGPA) and the LSAT score. Overall, the UGPA is less biased against minorities than is the LSAT. The report presents evidence that shows the differential effect of adding LSAT scores to UGPA's for minorities vs. whites. The author examines items from the "Law School Admission Bulletin and LSAT Preparation Material" which is commonly used for practice by potential test takers. Factors inherent in the LSAT which might be contributing to low test performance for minorities are explained. Finally the Thorndike and Cole models for admissions decisions are evaluated. The report's recommendations include: adjusting the LSAT scores of minority applicants in recognition of possible cultural bias in the test; evaluating LSAT scores on an individual basis through extensive review of applicant files; separating evaluations for minority applicants; and disregarding LSAT scores. Without exception, reviewers, who critiqued the study agreed with the author's concern for the rethinking of current admissions policies. However, many reviewers pointed out problems with the methodology used, with the validity of the report's conclusions, and with the final set of recommendations. (Author/RM)
Descriptors: Admission Criteria, College Applicants, Educational Needs, Educational Research, Ethnic Bias, Evaluation, Higher Education, Law Schools, Minority Groups, Selective Admission
National Conference of Black Lawyers, Inc., 126 W. 119th Street, New York, NY 10026 ($12.95).
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Reports - Research; Books
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Spencer Foundation, Chicago, IL.; National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Conference of Black Lawyers, Inc., New York, NY.
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Law School Admission Test