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Harvard Law School: LSAT No More

Harvard Law School: LSAT No More
CAMBRIDGE, MA - MAY 10: People walk outside Harvard Law School's Langdell Hall on May 10, 2010 at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. U.S. President Barack Obama announced today the nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan, former Harvard Law School Dean from 2003-2009, to the Supreme Court succeeding retiring Justice John Paul Stevens. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

Taking the LSAT is nothing to mess around with. The exam is expensive, and you have to pay for prep courses as well. Along with taking the LSAT, once you pass, you have to worry about paying for law school itself. With this in mind, Harvard Law School recently made the decision to put the Graduate Records Examination (GRE) in place of the LSAT, hoping to expand student access to legal education.

An arm and a leg

Law school in general is not something to enter into lightly; it’s incredibly expensive, and the LSAT is expensive as well. To register for the LSAT in the United States, you have to pay $180 along with another $175 to have access to a standardized service for submitting admissions information and your test scores. That’s at least $355 for one exam, and most people end up taking the LSAT multiple times. On top of the fees for the exam, prep courses can be more than $1,000. There is even a $90 fee if you end up registering for the exam late, or if there is a change in the date or location of the exam.

Although the GRE is still on the pricey side, it’s not as expensive as the LSAT, and it is a more popular exam.

Maybe just the arm

The GRE is the general test used for numerous master’s programs. There is a registration fee of $205, and it costs $27 per school to submit your scores. Despite the GRE also having fees for things such as a date or location change and late registration, they are considerably cheaper than the LSAT fees. Also, prep courses for the GRE are usually priced around less than $1,000.

While this seems perfect for those who might struggle to pay for such an expensive exam, there are a few ways that Harvard is trying to benefit from the change.

Searching for students

There has been a steady decline in the number of people taking the LSAT in the recent years, and this change was administered with the intention of increasing the number of applications to Harvard Law School by decreasing the burden of applying.

The change is also meant to encourage students who haven’t pursued a traditional pre-law course of study to apply because the GRE is more familiar and accessible to a wide variety of students. However, this doesn’t mean that being accepted to Harvard Law School will get any easier.


The LSAT is not easy, and neither is law school. Hopefully implementing the GRE will give more people a chance to apply for law school without breaking the bank, as well as help Harvard boost the number of applications they receive.

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