In a Move Designed to Expand Access to Legal Education, BYU Law Announces it Will Accept the GRE for Current Applicants
PROVO, Utah, Nov. 20, 2017— BYU Law School announced today that it will begin accepting GRE scores for applicants to its class entering in the fall of 2018.
BYU Law Dean Gordon Smith explained that many potential law students have completed or are considering graduate programs that already require or recommend the GRE test. “By accepting the GRE as an admission test for BYU Law School,” Dean Smith observed, “we hope to facilitate entry to law school by students who would otherwise be required to prepare and pay for two admission tests.”
Students from a wide range of disciplines take the GRE every year, and many of these students are still deciding what educational paths to pursue after completing their undergraduate degrees. Accepting the GRE as an admission test will enable BYU Law to identify additional talented candidates from diverse backgrounds. “A legal education teaches students to analyze and solve complex problems across all fields, from science and technology to business to international relations. By expanding our admissions policy to allow for the GRE, we are encouraging greater diversity on all measures, including disciplinary diversity,” adds Dean Smith. “This is a positive step that will improve legal education and the legal profession.”
BYU Law has determined that the GRE, like the LSAT, is a valid and reliable admission test for its program of legal education. BYU Law participated in a multi-school study conducted by Educational Testing Service (ETS), the organization that administers the GRE. The study found the GRE to be a valid performance predictor of first-year law school grades. BYU Law carefully considered the study and BYU Law students’ inclusion in that study before deciding to move forward. BYU Law joins Arizona, Columbia, Georgetown, Harvard, Northwestern and several other law schools in making the decision to accept the GRE. The BYU Law Admissions Office is an excellent resource for those with questions about the admission process.
Assistant Dean of Admissions Gayla Sorenson explained, “We began examining the question of using the GRE as an admissions test more than a year ago. We are strongly committed to expanding access to legal education, and part of that commitment includes making sure that our students are prepared for a rigorous, exciting academic undertaking. BYU Law students are in the top 20 nationally for academic credentials, so we wanted to be thorough in our evaluation of whether the GRE could be included as an alternative data point in our admission process. We are excited about the prospect of expanding the scope of our qualified applicant pool.”
BYU Law embraces the need for progress in legal practice and recognizes that innovation in legal education is key to preparing for and leading in a changing economy and society. As Dean Smith stated, “BYU Law is one of the most innovative law schools in the country. We are offering courses in legal design, blockchain and cryptocurrency, cyber security, leadership and social change. The GRE reaches more students in STEM majors and other fields beyond the “traditional” prelaw majors. We are looking for talented candidates with a diversity of backgrounds and experiences who will enrich life at the law school and in the legal profession, who will become leaders and problem solvers, capable of handling the world as it is and as it will be.”
About BYU Law School
Founded in 1971, the J. Reuben Clark Law School has grown into one of the nation’s leading law schools – recognized for innovative research and teaching in Corpus Linguistics, Entrepreneurship, Social Change, and Religious Freedom. The Law School has more than 6,000 alumni who now are serving in communities around the world. In its most recent rankings, SoFi ranked BYU Law as the #1 best-value US law school in their 2017 Return on Education Law School Ranking. For more information visit http://www.law.byu.edu/.