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The Law School Admission Council (LSAC) has taken the unprecedented step to offer the LSAT exam remotely, as in-person exams have become increasingly difficult during the COVID-19 health crisis.

test 986769 640The new, remotely proctored version of the exam was rolled out for both May and June LSAT sittings, according to the LSAC. The exam, dubbed the “LSAT-Flex,” was offered as a way to help ensure prospective students can continue to enroll in law school despite widespread changes to educational institutions and the entities that support them. 

“Whether future months’ LSAT administrations will be administered in person or via LSAT-Flex will be determined closer to those dates so that we can assess the state of the pandemic at those times,” said Kellye Y. Testy, president and CEO of LSAC. “Additionally, LSAC is committed to helping applicants who lack the necessary computer resources or simply a quiet place to take the test.”

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Recently,Testy hosted a webinar to discuss the impact of COVID-19 in legal education and the LSAT-Flex. Webinar panelists:

  • Andrew T. Guzman, dean of the University of Southern California’s Gould School of Law
  • Sophia Sim, associate dean for admissions and financial aid at George Washington University Law School
  • Julie Smith, assistant dean of enrollment management at Indiana University’s Robert H. McKinney School of Law

“Our panelists agreed that this is a time of significant upheaval in higher education, as classes quickly moved online for the spring term and uncertainty remains about the coming fall. At the same time, law schools have responded well to care for students and applicants during this time,” Testy wrote.

The panelists agreed that despite the numerous challenges facing students, going to law school even in these uncertain times does have some advantages over waiting until in-person meetings are the norm again. To that end, Guzman noted holding off attending could lead one to be in a larger class. Others might also be inclined to wait until the pandemic has passed, which could mean more competition for jobs upon graduation. Further, pandemic-related fiscal obstacles might limit scholarship money available next year, Testy noted.

Harvard Law School Offers Free Pre-term Classes for All Students in Response to Pandemic

To help mitigate the inevitable challenges facing incoming law students, Harvard Law School announced it is offering its “new online, pre-term course” titled Zero-L for free to any interested U.S. law school, according to the school’s news outlet. Initially, Harvard was going to make the course available to students attending other schools for a fee, but instead will offer it for no charge with the aim of bolstering success rates in the face of “COVID-related pre-matriculation educational challenges.”

Harvard Law School Dean John F. Manning, said the program was launched to give students a “common baseline of knowledge” about the American legal system ahead of their first few weeks in law school. “This has been an incredibly challenging period for so many,” said Manning to Harvard Law Today. “If Zero-L can help ease the transition and strengthen student success at other law schools as it has done at HLS, then we want to offer that support to all law schools by waiving the fee and making the course available for free this year.”

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