Predictive Validity of the LSAT: A National Summary of the 2009 and 2010 LSAT Correlation Studies (TR 11-02)

Executive Summary

Since the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) was first administered, the sponsors of the test have carried out predictive validity studies to evaluate the effectiveness of the test as well as other predictors in determining first-year law school performance. Over the years, increasingly large numbers of law schools have participated in these studies, commonly called correlation studies.

This report presents a summary of results for the 2009 and 2010 LSAT Correlation Studies. This summary can serve as documentation of the generalizability of the claim of the validity of LSAT scores for use in the law school admission process. More importantly, this study provides national longitudinal data for law schools to examine against their school-specific results to increase understanding of their own admission process. Since correlation studies are conducted for individual schools and school-specific results are reported only to the schools whose data were analyzed, the results reported in this study may be used by schools as a benchmark in evaluating their own results.

The effectiveness of LSAT scores alone, undergraduate grade point average (UGPA) alone, and the combination of these two variables for predicting first-year average (FYA) in law school is evaluated. Results reported in the current study indicate that LSAT scores alone tend to be a better predictor of law school performance compared to UGPA alone. The combination of LSAT scores and UGPA, however, continues to be superior to either predictor variable alone for predicting FYA. These results, combined with similar results from previous studies, support the validity of the LSAT for use in the law school admission process.

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