First-year law students who complete the study will receive a $250 gift card.
Invitation to Participate in an LSAC Research Study
LSAC is looking for first-year law students to volunteer to participate in an exciting research opportunity. Those who complete the study requirements will receive a $250 Visa gift card.
LawReady is being designed to provide students with a new, holistic pathway to law school, and this research study is focused on evaluating the validity of LSAC’s LawReady measures for use in law school admission. Data from this study will be matched to participants’ LSAC accounts to examine the relationship between LawReady, the LSAT, background factors, and law school success. Data collected will be used for LSAC research purposes only and will not be shared externally.
Students’ participation in this research is critical in the collection of validity evidence for this new program.
Study Requirements and Timeline
In order to evaluate the validity of the new LawReady Argumentative Writing Scoring Rubric, students will read a 15-page article on famine, affluence, and morality and write a critical essay in response to a prompt about the article. The critical essay should be about 2,000 words and will be due on February 10. LSAC will grade the essay using the LawReady Argumentative Writing rubric, and students will be provided with the scoring rubric in advance so that they know how their critical essay will be evaluated.
Students will also be asked to submit their first-semester law school grade-point average, which will serve as a measure of law school success. We will examine the relationship between performance on the LawReady measures and first-semester law school GPA to evaluate the validity of these measures as a signal of law school readiness and thus the appropriateness of their use in law school admission. All of the data collected will be used solely for this research study and will not be shared externally.
In addition to the student portion of the study, participants will identify one of their law school faculty members, with whom they have had considerable interactions within the classroom, to complete the LawReady Observational Scoring Rubric, which is an evaluation of a student’s skills in the following areas: speaking, active listening, time management, effort/persistence, attention to detail, working constructively with others, and open-mindedness. The faculty evaluation component is critical as we evaluate the validity of the LawReady Observational Scoring Rubric for use in law school admission. In recognition of their contribution to LSAC’s research goals, faculty will receive a $20 Visa gift card for completing the evaluation form.
The rating scale is short and should be able to be completed within 5 to 10 minutes. There are 13 questions, and each question has four response options — beginning, developing, proficient, and advanced — with detailed performance-level descriptors to help ensure consistent use of the scale.
Students must reach out to the faculty member and obtain their agreement that they will complete the evaluation before agreeing to participate in the study. Here is a sample email (11KB, DOCX) for you to use as a guideline when composing your faculty correspondence.
Once participants sign up to participate in the study and LSAC receives a completed interest form , they will be emailed the writing assignment and instructions on submitting the name and email address of their chosen faculty evaluator. They will receive another email at a later date with a survey where they can submit their essay and first-semester GPA.
Our goal is to have 250 participants for this study. Once we have reached our target, this research opportunity will no longer be available.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is eligible to participate?
The study is open to first-year law students attending an accredited law school in the United States or Canada. Participants must be at least 18 years old.
What are the benefits of participating?
Participants will receive a $250 gift card. They will also contribute to research that is being used to develop LawReady — an innovative new program which will create a new, holistic pathway to law school.
What is LawReady?
LawReady, a bold new LSAC initiative, will offer undergraduate students an opportunity to explore a future legal career and pursue a legal education via a holistic pathway to law school admission. The program is designed to help undergraduate students develop the skills necessary for success in law school, navigate the admission process, and build a supportive network — all as part of their regular undergraduate experience.
If you have additional questions or would like to learn more about this research opportunity, please contact us at LawReadyValidityStudy@LSAC.org.