New research on LSAT alternative

The New York Times reports this morning on some preliminary research at UC Berkeley about an alternative measure for predicting lawyer success.

Instead of focusing on analytic ability, the new test includes questions about how to respond to hypothetical situations. For example, it might describe a company with a policy requiring immediate firing of any employee who lied on an application, then ask what a test taker would do upon discovering that a top-performing employee had omitted something on an application.

More than 1,100 lawyers took the test and agreed to let the researchers see their original LSAT scores, as well as grades from college and law school.


The study concluded that while LSAT scores, for example, “were not particularly useful” in predicting lawyer effectiveness, the new, alternative test results were — although the new test was no better at predicting how... read more »

More financial food for thought

Two more recent articles continue to paint a bleak financial picture for law world.

Many recent law graduates finance their bar prep courses—and the eight to ten weeks of study post-law school with private loans.  A recent article on tells how those loans are now becoming harder to obtain, an indicator of a potential tightening of the private educational loan market as well.

In a separate piece, a commentator at American Lawyer magazine summarizes the most common predictions about the coming (dramatic) changes in the big law firms.

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Guest speaker: Politics at the Department of Justice

This Thursday, February 19th, the Pre-Law Advising Office welcomes Lisa Graybill, currently the Legal Director of the ACLU of Texas.  Attorney Graybill began her legal career in the Civil Rights Division of the US Department of Justice under Attorney General John Ashcroft.  As a result, she had a front row seat to the initial development of politicized hiring and firing processes at DOJ.  Attorney Graybill will speak both about her experiences at DOJ as well as about the larger issues surrounding legal employment in government.

The talk will take place Thursday, February 19th, at 1:00 pm, in Dickinson 216. All are welcome.


Lisa Graybill, Esq., is the Legal Director of the ACLU of Texas.  Before joining the ACLU, she spent 3 years in the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice under John Ashcroft.  While there, Attorney Graybill investigated and prosecuted complaints... read more »

ABA Legal Opportunity Scholarship

The American Bar Association Legal Opportunity Scholarship Fund offers up to $5000 a year to law students attending ABA-accredited law schools.  The Fund is “intended to encourage racial and ethnic minority students to apply to law school and to provide financial assistance to the scholarship recipients.”  Applications are now available online and are due no later than March 2, 2009.  The application is open to any citizen or permanent resident of the US who will be attending law school beginning Fall 2009, and who achieved a grade point average of at least 2.5 as an undergraduate.

Applications require financial information, a personal statement, recommendations and an official transcript, so if you’re thinking of applying, please don’t put this off.

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Amherst College starts new undergraduate law journal

From the Pre-Law inbox:

Amherst College has started a new undergraduate law journal.

Res Publica Undergraduate Law Journal was founded in an effort to promote

scholarship in the field of law in the liberal arts. The mission of Res

Publica is to bring the best traditions of the contemporary humanities to

bear on the most difficult and urgent juridical problems of our time. With

the saturation of everyday life by modern science and technology, the

increasingly global and unequal flow of culture, capital, commodities and

populations across nation-state boundaries, the transformation and even

crisis of the basic concepts of modern law and politics, the worldwide

recognition of human rights and the dismaying consistency of human rights

abuses, and the constant depiction of law in diverse traditions of... read more »

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