Harvard Law School announced that they will accept JD applicants' GRE scores in lieu of LSAT scores. Does this signal a larger shift in the law school admissions landscape? As of February 2018, 16 law schools accept GRE scores from applicants. 

These schools have cited studies showing that GRE performance is a reliable indicator of their students' first-year law school grades. Administrators at each school say that accepting GRE scores will make legal education accessible to students with a wider variety of academic, geographic, and financial backgrounds.

GRE scores for law school admissions

Will more law schools accept the GRE? That depends on the American Bar Association, which governs law school accreditation. The current admission standards for ABA-accredited law schools state that no more than 10% of an entering class may be admitted without LSAT scores, and those students must meet specific academic requirements, be undergraduates at same institution as the law school, and/or be pursuing a dual degree in another discipline. Law schools may apply for a variance from these standards by demonstrating that another test (in this case, the GRE) is a valid predictor of law students' performance at that institution. The ABA, however, is currently considering changes to the LSAT score admission standard.

At The Princeton Review, we are following the action and including questions on these policy changes in our annual survey of law schools. Our goal is always to provide students with the most accurate, comprehensive, and timely information they need to achieve their academic dreams.

Quick Facts about Law School Admission & GRE Scores

  • University of Arizona's policy states that if an applicant has taken the LSAT, the score must be submitted. So you can't take the LSAT and the GRE and then choose which score to submit.
  • Current ABA rules state that for a law school applicant to be admitted without LSAT scores, they will need a GRE score in the 85th percentile or above (along with meeting other criteria).
  • Even if more law schools begin accepting GRE scores, applicants won't have competitive GRE score benchmarks until at least one admission cycle is complete and schools begin reporting the score ranges of their admitted students.
Format Paper and pencil Computer-adaptive
Time 3 hours, 30 minutes 3 hours, 45 minutes
Topics Logical reasoning, games, arguments questions, unscored writing sample Vocabulary, reading comprehension, basic algebra, geometry and other math, scored analytical writing section
Date 6x per year Almost any day of the year
Fee $180 (plus a $175 subscription to the Credential Assembly Service, which is required for application to most law schools) $205 (plus you may still need a CAS subscription)
Accepted by The vast majority of law schools in the United States