20 St. Louis U. Pub. L. Rev. 393 (2001)
The LSAT Myth

handle is hein.journals/stlpl20 and id is 417 raw text is: THE LSAT MYTH

JEFFREY S. KINSLER*
Predicting which students will perform well in law school may seem like
an impossible task, but law schools endeavor to do so everyday, and the
primary tool they use to make such predictions is the Law School Admission
Test (LSAT), a standardized, 101-question multiple-choice examination. Over
the past couple of decades, the LSAT has become the single most important
factor in the entire law school application process.1 It is more important than
the undergraduate grade point average (UGPA), the reputation of the
undergraduate institution, or the rigor of the undergraduate major.2 This article
explores whether the LSAT warrants such prominence.
Using statistical and anecdotal evidence, this article analyzes recent
graduates of Marquette University Law School (MULS) to ascertain whether:
(1) the LSAT is a valid predictor of three-year performance in law school; (2)
the LSAT is a better predictor of law school performance than the UGPA or
the reputation of the applicant's undergraduate institution; (3) an applicant's
undergraduate major is useful in predicting law school performance; and (4) an
applicant's age at the time of entry into law school is a valid predictor of law
school performance.3
I. ExEcuTIvE SUMMARY
The statistical and anecdotal analyses of MULS's 1998 and 1999
graduating classes produced some noteworthy results. First, the LSAT was a
very weak predictor of three-year law school performance at MULS; it was a
valid predictor for less than 20% of students. Second, the UGPA was better at
predicting law school performance than the LSAT. Third, the reputation of a
student's undergraduate institution was also better at predicting law school
performance than the LSAT. Fourth, a combination of the UGPA and
* Associate Professor of Law, Marquette University Law School. I would like to thank Dr.
Naveen Bansal, Ms. Maxine Plewa, and Mr. Thomas M. Hruz for their invaluable assistance with
the collection, computation and interpretation of the data used in this article
I. IAN VAN TUYL Er AL., THE BEST LAW SCHOOLS 31 (2000 ed.).
2. Id.
3. THE OFFICIAL GUIDE TO U.S. LAW SCHOOL 7 (2001 ed.). Other qualitative factors
considered by law schools are the applicant's improvement in grades and graduate work. These
factors are not considered in this article.

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