Changes coming to the LSAT: What pre-law students should know

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Dani Jardine
The J. Reuben Clark Law School. The school’s class of 2017 had a median LSAT score of 163 and a median 3.80 GPA. (Image courtesy of Dani Jardine)

In October 2023, the Law School Admissions Council announced that as of August 2024, the LSAT will no longer contain the analytical reasoning section as a result of their 2019 lawsuit.

Angelo Binno, a legally blind man from Michigan, filed the lawsuit with fellow blind test taker, Shelesha Taylor. They argued the analytical reasoning portion of the test, commonly referred to by test takers as “logic games,” precluded prospective law students with visual disabilities from passing the test and getting into law school. 

This section of the test heavily relies on the use of drawings and diagrams in order to successfully complete the exam, barring those with visual impairment or visual spatial learning disabilities from properly assessing the games.

Binno and Taylor argued the test was discriminatory based on the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The case was settled on the condition that the section in question would be re-evaluated within the next four years. 

Evan Jack is an aspiring law student at BYU who took the LSAT in September before the change was announced. 

“When I heard about the changes, I was like, ‘Shoot,’ because the section they’re doing away with, the logic games, is what I excel the most at,” Jack said. “Me doing well in that section could cover me doing weaker in other sections. So when I heard it was going away, I was like, ‘Well, I’m glad I already took it then.’”

Jack said even though the changes are meant to make the LSAT more accessible, the new version of the LSAT will replace the logic games section with a second logical reasoning section, which might prove to be a barrier for dyslexic test takers.

“To be fair, being a lawyer is a lot of reading,” Jack said. “And so if not being able to read efficiently is an issue, then maybe — because there’s so much reading (involved) — it’s not quite as great of a fit, as terrible as that sounds.”

BYU senior Claire Murphy also took the LSAT before the announced changes. When asked if she thought the logic games sections negatively impacted her score, she said yes.

“I felt super confident in the other two sections,” Murphy said. “I was consistently scoring super well and I just felt so good about them but the games were the one thing that was so hard for me to wrap my brain around.”

Murphy has since decided not to attend law school.

“It’s hard sometimes for me to think as logically as you need to as a lawyer, you know?” Murphy said. “And like, that probably is another reason as to why those games are hard for me because I just don’t super think in that way. I definitely am more creative in the way that my brain works.”

BYU has test prep programs designed to help students prepare for major exams like the MCAT, ACT and the LSAT, among others. Heather Patterson is the programs director for BYU Test Prep. She said its “hard to say” the changes to the LSAT won’t have a negative effect on the quality of law school applicants.

“They’ve done tons of research to test this out and, you know, with over 200,000 unique testing sessions, they found that removing the analytical reasoning section didn’t negatively impact scores,” Patterson said. “I guess it’s just a matter of trusting their research.”

Students looking to take advantage of the LSAT’s logic games section have until the end of the 2023-2024 test cycle. Those wanting to take the LSAT without logic games will need to wait until August when the first rounds of the new LSAT will take place.

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