Greetings, 

Thomas Jefferson, in a January 30, 1787, letter to James Madison, wrote, "I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing. . . ."

In that spirit, I am thrilled to share news from Arizona Law that may help to shape the next century of legal education in our state and beyond.

Today we are announcing that we are opening our JD admissions to all GRE test takers. We are the first law school to do so.
 
By using the GRE test -- already accepted by thousands of graduate and professional degree programs, from biochemistry to public policy to philosophy -- we are able to consider qualified applicants from more diverse backgrounds.
 
Below, I'll explain how we arrived at this groundbreaking moment.

Until the footnotes,

Marc
Arizona Law Becomes First Law School to Open Admissions to GRE
 
Over the last year we have so appreciated the support that our alumni community has shown for bold new programs at Arizona Law, including the new BA in Law and the new dual degree program (LLB/BA) with Ocean University in Qingdao, China

We have news of another major innovation focused on diversifying JD admissions.
 
In short: based on a study conducted by the Educational Testing Service (ETS), we have established that, for our students, the GRE meets the ABA standards requiring "a valid and reliable admission test to assist the school and the applicant in assessing the applicant's capability of satisfactorily completing the school's program of legal education." 
 
The study found that for our students the combination of the GRE and undergraduate GPA was as good (or better) a predictor of first year law school performance as the LSAT combined with undergraduate GPA. In other words, the GRE score tells us and tells applicants as much or more about their likely grades in the first year of law school.
 
We have notified the ABA Section on Legal Education of this study, and that we will, starting today, consider and admit students on the basis of their GRE score, combined, of course, with their undergraduate GPA, life experience, personal statement, and other factors (just as we combine our analysis of LSAT scores with other factors)

We invited our friends at Wake Forest University and the University of Hawaii to conduct similar tests of their students, again working directly with ETS, and they will do so over the next month.   

The study
 
I'd like to tell you more about the basis for our decision.

This fall, more than 90 of our current students and recent graduates (within the past two years) took the GRE or released their recent GRE score, and gave us permission to assess that score against their performance in law school, and against their performance on the LSAT. There was sufficient data on 78 of those students for ETS to conduct a detailed analysis.
 
We engaged in this study because we believe the goals of excellence and diversity in legal education and in the profession, in its fullest conception, could be better achieved if the LSAT were not the only standardized test used by law schools.

The advantages
 
There are many advantages to the GRE. Among them: it is administered using computers year-round, whenever may best suit the needs of applicants and schools. The GRE has lower cost for test preparation, and opens more pathways to graduate and professional study. 
 
The GRE is currently used for admissions by hundreds of graduate and professional degree programs worldwide. ETS conducted a similar data collection with business schools, many of which now accept either GRE scores or GMAT scores for admission decisions, including every school in the top 20 of the U.S. News and World Report rankings.
 
The GRE tests of verbal reasoning and analytical writing fit closely with legal skills and educational objectives. We also found that the quantitative section of the GRE added significant value. 

The bottom line
 
This research required the active participation of many of our current students and some recent graduates, including the willingness to take the GRE -- a four-hour test -- release prior GRE scores, and release for analysis their LSAT and GPA information. 

Their participatory spirit and broad vision of the potential of modern legal education and our changing profession animates this innovation. 

Leadership within the college came from many people, and from the community as a whole, but I want to acknowledge the special efforts of professors Kathie Barnes and Chris Robertson in helping to organize the study, solicit volunteers, and work closely with ETS.

Other schools will follow with their own research, and soon we expect this "little rebellion" to transform law school admissions, and ultimately the legal profession. 

For now we are very proud to again lead the nation in producing a superb and diverse generation of lawyers for our times.


Read more on our website here, and see today's 
National Law Journal article (with subscription) here.


Arizona Law Review
 

 
The 2015-16 Editorial Board of Arizona Law Review has elected a new board, with Lindsey Huang as Editor-in-Chief for the upcoming year. Please join me in congratulating Lindsey and the full newly elected 2016-17 board. Barak Orbach is faculty advisor.
 
Editorial Board 2016-2017
 
Editor-In-Chief, Lindsey Huang
 
Senior Articles Editor, James Florentine
 
Senior Managing Editor, Brett Gilmore
 
Senior Note Editor, Jillian Andrews
 
Articles Editors: Mason Storm Byrd, Margo Casselman, Sara Levine, David Lundmark, Elizabeth Robertson, Amanda Weaver
 
Managing Editors: Ricardo Robinson Bours, Janet Howe
 
Case Notes Editor, Matthew Hoxsie
 
Note Editors: Bryce Clark, Noah Hilgert, Nicholas Lucie, Bernardo Velasco, Hannah Willett

Footnotes

Alumnus from State Department Speaks on International Legal Education
 
Alumna Robin Lerner ('97), who is U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Private Sector Exchange, participated in a recent panel on international legal education exchange programs, including LL.M. programs, at the annual meeting of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) in New York City.  

She spoke to the importance of law students gaining experience in an international setting and discussed specific mechanisms and current exchange agreements facilitated through the State Department. 


 
Robin Lerner ('97), center, pictured with other members
of the AALS panel.

Nakamura Workshop, February 12

The Nakamura Judicial Workshop, a networking event for students and members of the bench and bar, will be held at the college this Friday, February 12. The afternoon workshop includes presentations by judges and merit selection commission members. Lunch will be served at noon, allowing a good opportunity to meet commission members in an informal setting. It's free, it's open to all, and it provides CLE credit. Sponsors include the Arizona Minority Bar Association; Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie; Kinerk Schmidt & Sethi; and the Pima County Bar Association. 

Please RSVP or direct questions to Erin Sunday at esunday@kss-law.com or (520) 545-1663.

QuantLaw Conference, February 12 - 13
 
The University of Arizona College of Law will host the third annual QuantLaw event on February 12 - 13, 2016, a workshop on data-oriented topics around the theme, "The Empirical Constitution."
 
The meeting will feature visiting scholars:

  • Saul Levmore (University of Chicago) -- one of our regular QuantLaw "gurus"
  • Dan Klerman (University of Southern California)
  • David Burnham and Sue Long (Syracuse and TRACFed)

Participating Arizona faculty include Jane Bambauer, Kathie Barnes, Carol Rose, Christopher Robertson, Jason Kreag, Roy Spece, Sergio Puig, James Hopkins, and Marc Miller.
 
The theme is broadly defined to include any empirical/experimental study of issues relevant to constitutional law or procedure, as well as non-empirical studies of constitutional doctrine relevant to data and public access thereto. The program will include works-in-progress sessions for extensive feedback, as well as methods sessions focusing on datasets and analytical tools.
 
Contact Chris RobertsonOthers are welcome to attend and participate (just email to register).

Arizona Law to Host U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Elena Kagan, February 15

United States Supreme Court Associate Justice Elena Kagan will speak on the evening of February 15 at the University of Arizona for the 37th McCormick Lecture, sponsored by the James E. Rogers College of Law and the J. Byron McCormick Society for Law and Public Affairs.

This event has reached capacity, and attendance is limited to those who have already registered. Updates and contact information are available here

Gutter Bowl Rolling Your Way!



The 9th Annual Gutter Bowl is scheduled for Friday, March 4, 2016, 6 - 9 p.m. at Bowlmor Scottsdale (7300 E Thomas Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251). Register as a team or individual today!

Individual bowlers $125 
Team of five $500

All participants will enjoy complimentary shoe rental, appetizers, 
pizza, salad, soft drinks, and pitchers.

Don't miss: 
Steve Hirsch ('80) and Chas Wirken ('75) as your 2016 King Pins Celebrity Bowlers
Individual and Team Awards
Arizona Raffle and Door Prizes
 
Questions? Contact Chris Gast at 520-626-2400 or cgast@email.arizona.edu.

Online Alumni Directory

Please take the time to join your online alumni directory. We are creating a shared resource to support our students and our alumni. If you need us to resend your personalized invitation, please email or call (520) 621-8430.
 
The latest weekly Arizona Law T-shirt drawing winner from among new directory members is Seth Slavin ('95). Congratulations, Seth, and thanks for joining!

Kristina Jonek ('98), one of our recent winners, sent this photo of herself in her prize in front of the Brandenburg Gate, Berlin's most iconic monument. She wrote, "The T-shirt immediately got the attention of some American tourists who commentated the scene with a smiling 'Way to go, Wildcats!'"




Every time we innovate, we do so in the character of our great college -- grounded in a century of innovation, and in the spirit of the West. 

Like all revolutions, we will not know the full impact of the GRE study for some time. 

What we do know is that the pathway we have followed has been open to all -- but we were the ones to act. We were the ones to see the potential. We were the ones to reach out to ETS. We were the ones to take the time and undergo the toil of a major study. We were the ones to try to make more real the potential of building the strongest and most diverse class, in all respects. 

Every day I am proud to be a Wildcat.  This is a special day indeed.  Bear Down.

 
Warmly,
  
  
  
Marc L. Miller  
Dean & Ralph W. Bilby Professor of Law
 
Shaping the next century of legal education 
 
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