The LSAT Goes International
“Dan Bernstine, president of the LSAC, said: “The Law School Admission Test has been used very successfully in the US and Canada for over 60 years. Interest in using the test for law school admission has spread to Australia, Japan, Korea, China, and countries in Eastern Europe. We are very excited about the opportunity to adapt this excellent tool in a way that will be useful for assessing the critical thinking skills of applicants to law programs in India.”
The Necessity of LSAT Growth – Declining Revenues and A Franchise Under Attack!
The simple fact is that LSAT is a business. The conventional view about business is that “it is either growing or dying.” It is clear that LSAT revenues are under attack in North America. The reasons include:
– a major decline in the number of applicants to law school. A law degree is no longer seen as an automatic ticket to the “middle class”. Furthermore, there is the question of graduating with too much law school debt
– decline in the number of LSAT test takers as a result of fewer applicants to law school
– the ABA is reconsidering the question of whether to require “a valid and reliable admissions test” (not that the requirement of a test is NOT the same as a requirement of the LSAT). In other words, it is possible that the LSAT will not be required for law admissions.
– Even if a “valid and reliable admission test” continues to be required, there may be substitutes for the LSAT. After all, the GRE has successfully targeted the GMAT market. Many applicants to MBA programs now consider the GMAT vs. GRE question. The question of using the GRE as an alternative to the LSAT should be considered by law schools who want to be more applicant friendly. There are question formats that both have and do overlap with the LSAT question formats. Foir example LSAT Logic Games and the GRE Analytical section overlapped during the 1990s. LSAT Reading Comprehension is similar to GRE Reading Comprehension questions.
How To Sell More LSAT – Some Business Models For Growth
In any case, like any good business, it is clear that LSAT is expanding its horizons. The LSAT can grow internationally in any of the following three ways:
First, the LSAT is now used as part of the admissions process in foreign law schools. The LSAT is a requirement for those applying to law school in Canada. It is now used in certain law schools in Australia and New Zealand. It is interesting that in Australia, New Zealand, and Asia the LSAT is not administered on the same day that it is in the U.S. and Canada. For example in June 2012 the LSAT is admistered on Monday June 11. In Australia and New Zealand the test is administered on Sunday June 24, 2012. Presumably, this means that the New Zealand edition of the LSAT is different from the U.S. edition.
Second, many students around the world, who are interested in applying to law schools in North America, take the LSAT administered in India and other countries.
Third, a special version of the LSAT – LSAT India, has been developed for use in India as part of the admissions process for law schools in India.
The “special version” of the LSAT for India is the most interesting of the LSAC initiatives. The Times of India reported that:
“To be christened as LSAT-India, this will be held for those institutes which volunteer for it, in all probabilities from 2010. “We are coordinating with the institutes here. We have also spoken to all National Law Schools but they already have Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) in place. Though the response has been positive from them, it may not be immediate,” said Sandeep Gupta, senior manager, business development, NCS Pearson (India) Pvt Ltd, which is coordinating with Law School Academic Council (LSAC).
“However, other law schools have expressed interest in introducing the test. We are still finalizing on this,” Gupta added.
This multiple-choice based question comprises critical-thinking skills, which are key for law studies.
“Earlier, we introduced general knowledge but later realized that it didn’t correlate with the performance in law schools. Critical thinking skills are essential for law. Once a student enter law school, then they are constantly updated on current affairs,” said James M Vaseleek Jr, executive assistant to the president and associate general counsel, LSAC.
Also, he said LSAC has been helping law schools evaluate critical-thinking skills of their applicants for 60 years. LSAC has been running the Law School Admission Test since 1947. It successfully administers an average of 1,40,000 tests every year.
“We have created a special version of the LSAT, specifically for use by law institutes in India. Keeping in mind that the test for those getting into under-graduate courses, the difficulty level varies,” James added.”
About the Special LSAT for India
The test is administered by Pearson (the company that also administers the GMAT). Information may be found at http://www.pearsonvueindia.com/lsatindia/test_prep.html
Here is what you should know about LSAT India
1. If you download the free sample LSAT you will see that it is almost idential to the sample free LSAT for North America – the June 2007 LSAT.
2. Three of the four sections have only four multiple choice answer choices instead of five.
Download the free India LSAT here.