Controversy as Law School Cuts Off Students Below 142 LSAT

By William Vogeler, Esq. on March 01, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Bob Orr, formerly a justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, has a problem with the American Bar Association.

The ABA put pressure on his old law school at North Carolina Central University over admission standards, compelling NCCU to cut off applicants who score less than 142 on the LSAT.

"To imply the school is somehow admitting a lesser-talented group and the administration is somehow responsible defies comprehension and is insulting in so many ways," Orr complained.

But how do you really feel, your honor? Oh, wait. He's not the only one complaining...

Admission Standards

N.C. Supreme Court Justice Michael Morgan and N.C. Court of Appeals Judge Wanda Bryant also wrote to the ABA about the admissions issue. They, too, are graduates of NCCU School of Law.

According to reports, last year the law school's median LSAT score was 145 and its lowest was 142. That placed NCCU in the bottom 10 out of nearly 200 law schools across the country.

To paraphrase Above the Law, that's "incredibly depressing." Joe Patrice says, "can we all come together and just admit to ourselves that someone who can't crack 142 on the LSAT probably shouldn't be going to law school?"

As NCCU announced, those people won't be going to law school there. That cuts off about 25 percent of its potential students, but there's way more to the ABA admissions story.

Bottom Line

Whittier Law School, for example, closed admissions completely because student enrollments there started to bottom out. Its lowest LSAT score last year was 146.

The real bottom line is not an LSAT score; it's money. Enrollments have taken a hit across the country, and law schools have been scrambling to stay in business.

Orr, for his part, expressed his concern that the ABA crackdown is based on a desire to "limit the number of admissions to the practice of law due to a declining job market." He said NCCU, which is an historically black university, is dedicated to "public service and the legal profession."

Interim chancellor Johnson Akinleye said in January that the law school is an "opportunity school," and will continue to serve applicants who don't have top LSAT scores and undergraduate GPAs.

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