The University of Arizona’s James E. Rogers College of Law has introduced JD Next, a new admissions test and preparatory course aimed at helping students from diverse backgrounds succeed in law school. This test has been in development for the past eight years.

According to the American Bar Association (ABA), accredited U.S. law schools are required to admit students based on a valid exam that predicts their performance in law school. Traditionally, the LSAT has been the primary exam used for this purpose. Recently, the University of Arizona identified the GRE as another valid predictor of law school success. However, the University of Arizona felt there was need for a third exam.

“We needed a third exam because neither of the legacy exams took account effectively of differences in race and ethnicity and wealth. There were significant disparities in the scores of groups in that exam, and that has been recognized by the companies that administer them and recognized for a long time,” said Marc Miller, Dean of the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law.

JD Next is more than just an admissions test; it is also a one-credit course designed to introduce students to the methods and materials encountered in a legal education. “JD Next is like a tryout for law school. They get a snippet of a law school class. They learn critical skills in case briefing and legal analysis, and then they are tested on their ability to demonstrate those skills on an admissions test,” said Jessica Findley, Director of Bar & Academic Success at University of Arizona.

The course and test have active participation from over 40 law schools, colleges, and universities, involving thousands of students across the country. JD Next helps expose students to law school, prepare them for its challenges, and be a third option for an admissions test.