Back in 2007, I wrote Volokh post, Should the LSAT Have A “Logic Games” Section?. arguing that the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) should drop the logic games section because it tested abilities that didn’t relate to work as a lawyer:
I confess I don’t understand why the LSAT has a “games” section (aka “analytical reasoning”). This section tests an ability to understand relationships among a handful of variables and to see the different ways that different combinations of those variables can fit different criteria. The skill set seems to be keeping a lot of variables in mind and working with how a change in the boundaries of a problem changes how the different pieces can relate to each other. That is an important skill set in many professions, to be sure; it’s something that I did all the time when I was in engineering graduate school. But I wonder, how important is that skill to either the study or the practice of law? What kinds of legal tasks rely heavily on that skill?
The Law School Admission Council’s report on the history of different LSAT questions explains that the purpose of these questions is “to understand the structure of a relationship,” and claims that they “represent the kind of detailed analyses necessary in solving legal problems.”(p.8) But I don’t see why. (The report cites a 1993 study, but I couldn’t find it online.) It’s not clear to me that this particular kind of reasoning is directly relevant to either the study or practice of law.
Some Volokh Conspiracy posts change the world immediately, while others simmer for a while. This one took sixteen years, apparently, as the people who administer the LSAT just announced the following, via Reuters:
The Law School Admission Test will ditch the so-called “logic games” section of the exam in 2024, according to the organization that creates the test, marking a major change to the exam’s content.
The change means that perplexing questions such as who gets which meal at a dinner party if Mary has a fish allergy, Devin doesn’t eat gluten and Jamal prefers organic will no longer be part of the test.
The Law School Admission Council (LSAC), which develops and administers the test, sent an email on Wednesday to U.S. law schools, which was reviewed by Reuters, notifying them of the change.
Seriously, glad to see this. I don’t think the games section should have ever been part of the test, and it ended up a silly barrier to entry to many that only distorted the admissions process. Good riddance.