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May 20, 2012

Rutgers Law School Takes GMAT Scores

Last week, Rutgers School of Law at Camden sent out an email blast suggesting that the school would accept GMAT scores as an alternative to LSAT scores. (HT: Above the LawCampos)

Why would they do such a thing? Well, amid declining applicant numbers, lower-tier law schools must work harder than ever to maintain their class sizes in order to keep tuition money coming in.

They apparently sent out this email to people who hadn't even expressed interest in law school. Given how intimidating the LSAT may seem at first, Rutgers Camden is looking to make it easier than ever to apply [emphasis added]:

The traditional law school program is a three-year program, which is extremely attractive to most graduate students given the difficult economy. The program is open to all students who have completed their undergraduate education with a 3.3 GPA or higher and scored in the 70th percentile or higher on any one core section of the GMAT.

You might ask, "But what about the LSAT requirement? That's not fair!"

No, it isn't. I haven't ever heard of a study on the correlation between GMAT scores and 1L grades. On the other hand, the LSAT is known to have a good correlation (0.58) with 1L grades.

The ABA's so-called "LSAT requirement" doesn't actually require law schools to use the LSAT in particular. It just requires them to use a "valid and reliable admission test." Low-tier law schools are free to interpret that however they like.

So, yeah, it's not fair that some get to take the GMAT instead of the LSAT, but, on the other hand, they have to go to Rutgers-Camden, rather than a law school actually worth attending.

In the past, I've heard of law schools accepting GMAT scores in lieu of LSAT scores, but only for joint JD/MBA programs. For example, Northwestern Law School:

Do I need to take the GMAT and LSAT?
Candidates are required to submit only the GMAT score; the LSAT is not required.

This makes a bit more sense, as such programs will typically require the applicant to have a stellar overall score on one of the two exams. And the applicant is definitely going to business school if accepted.

However, Rutgers' minimal standards here are only requiring 70% or higher on one of the GMAT's core sections for admission to law school alone, and the school's marketing this fact via email to solicit applications a mere 3 months before classes will start. (I searched the Rutgers-Camden website and found no mention of the fact that GMAT scores would be accepted in lieu of LSAT scores.)

Anyway, here's the Rutgers email reproduced in full. Be sure to check out the links below for some analysis of the numbers the dean tosses around.

Date: May 17, 2012 5:40:21 PM CDT
To: Subject: Rutgers School of Law - Camden 
Dear __________, 
In the ever-volatile job market, you may be considering graduate school. Consider this - Rutgers School of Law - Camden is giving high-achieving students, such as you, the opportunity to enroll in the Fall 2012 class. The traditional law school program is a three-year program, which is extremely attractive to most graduate students given the difficult economy. The program is open to all students who have completed their undergraduate education with a 3.3 GPA or higher and scored in the 70th percentile or higher on any one core section of the GMAT. If accepted at Rutgers law School at Camden, you will join other bright, talented students who are pursuing their legal education at our law school. To encourage you to participate in the program, the Law School is waiving the application fee, and if accepted, the $300 deposit fee. Joint JD/MBA degrees with the Graduate School of Business are also possible. Scholarship awards and in-state tuition are available. 
The School is proud to carry on the tradition of excellence at Rutgers University, which is one of the oldest and largest public institutions of higher learning in the nation. As a direct result of the quality of legal education at Rutgers, of those employed nine months after graduation, 90% were employed in the legal field and 90% were in full time positions. Our average starting salary for a 2011 graduate who enters private practice is in excess of $74,000, with many top students accepting positions with firms paying in excess of $130,000. In a recent Forbes publication, Rutgers School of Law-Camden was ranked 18th nationally as one of the "Best Law Schools for Getting Rich". Rutgers is also ranked high in the nation at placing its students in prestigious federal and state clerkships. 
I hope that you will consider this opportunity and join this class. Please apply on-line at our web site at We are a direct student loan institution so financial aid is easily processed. We also have newly constructed on-campus law school apartments available, adjacent to the Law School and the Federal Courthouse, and guaranteed for our law students. 
Camille Andrews
Associate Dean of Enrollment 

For further reading:

LST Calls for Dean’s Resignation and ABA Investigation [Law School Transparency]

Law School Sales Pitch Doubles Down On The Getting Rich Rationale For Law School [Above the Law]

Rutgers-Camden goes old school [Inside the Law School Scam]

LSAT Requirement May Be Eliminated [LSAT Blog]

1 comment:

  1. The Graduate Management Admission Test is a Standardized test that measures verbal, mathematical and analytical writing skills. It is intended to help the graduate schools of business assess the potential of applicants for advanced study in business and management.

    Nearly 900 management institutes all over the world (almost all of them in the US) require GMAT scores from each applicant. The GMAT tests the fundamental skills - Reasoning and Comprehension included - and does not require any subject-specific theoretical study.

    The test is designed in such a way that it would be unlike any other test you would have taken at school or college. First, the test has no question paper or answer sheets, nor does it have the same set of questions for all the examinees. Further, it does not give you the option of not answering a question (unless, of course, you run out of time at the end). All this because the GMAT is now an entirely Computer based test - the keyboard and mouse do the work of a pen or pencil. The test is scored out of 800 (in multiples of 10), and most scores fall in the range of 500-600. However, a score of even 800 is not unheard of!

    The GMAT test is only one of several parameters which the graduate schools look at to determine the selection of an applicant. A high score alone does not translate into an admission offer from a great school. But the test can be looked upon as the first major hurdle to be cleared in the process of getting admission into a B-school of your choice.