Volume 93, Issue 31

Tuesday, October 26, 1999


OPINIONS

Students can reform the USC's role

LSAT isn't all about intelligence

LSAT isn't all about intelligence



Re: "Law schools sued for discrimination" Oct. 19

To the Editor:

I agree with the student that the LSAT is an inaccurate measure of the skills related to law school and should not be weighted as heavily for entrance purposes. Although intelligence is an important characteristic valuable to lawyers, there are several other traits that are as significant.

Good communication and interpersonal skills are crucial to the profession of law, but are not accounted for in law school admissions. Intelligence testing does not take into consideration work ethics, values, morals and personality, which are also key determinants of good lawyers.

The problem with the law school admissions is there is too much emphasis on standardized tests and academic performance instead of relevant, applicable skills related to the field.

There are also several problems associated with standardized intelligence tests, such as the LSAT. Intelligence tests have low validity because they are supposed to measure the ability to learn, but they do not control for learning.

Studies have shown intelligence tests do not measure tacit or practical problem solving, musical, bodily-kinesthetic, intra or interpersonal knowledge. Standardized tests are not fully accurate, since there are other variables that are proven to affect intelligence, such as heredity and the environment.

They are also inaccurate predictors of intelligence, since intelligence can be modified and changed with age.

Some studies also suggest intelligence tests are culturally biased towards white, middle class North American values and ideals of success, and some students, who are not part of this culture, may not have the static knowledge of our terms and methods of evaluation.

On what basis should law schools accept applicants? I believe that the acceptance process should combine a number of factors in order to account for different qualities and abilities. Academic performance and LSAT scores should be taken into account as a part of the acceptance process. I also think that interviews are an accurate method to determine work experience, extracurricular involvement and other personality characteristics, such as communication and interpersonal skills.

If all of these methods are used in conjunction, law school acceptance would be a fairer, more representative process.

Aleem Visram
Scholar's Electives



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Copyright The Gazette 1999