For the past several years, the University of Arizona has been piloting and studying the results of a new exam for law school admissions called JD-Next. The program consists of a nine-week, virtual, part-time (approx. six hours per week) course on law school skills followed by a test of the skills the course teaches.
Though a standardized test (LSAT or GRE) is still required by the American Bar Association for admission to law school, 33 law schools have obtained variances, or exceptions, to this rule for JD-Next for fall 2024. That means that, if you are applying to the below law schools, you may have the option to take the JD-Next course and exam in lieu of the LSAT or GRE. (Be sure to check with each school to which you plan to apply individually, as while the below schools have been granted variances according to the ABA, each school's timeline and policy may vary.) 32 of the law schools that have obtained variances for JD-Next are listed below. There may be more that have or are in the process of obtaining variances for the 2024-2025 application cycle, and we will continue to update this list.
Law Schools Accepting JD-Next
- University of Arizona College of Law
- Brigham Young University (BYU) Law School
- California Western School of Law
- University of California-Davis School of Law
- Case Western Reserve University School of Law
- Charleston School of Law
- University of Cincinnati College of Law
- City University of New York School of Law
- Cleveland State University College of Law
- Creighton University School of Law
- University of Dayton School of Law
- Drake University Law School
- Florida International University College of Law
- Georgetown University Law Center
- Hofstra University School of Law
- Loyola University-New Orleans College of Law
- University of Miami School of Law
- Mississippi College School of Law
- University of Nebraska College of Law
- Nova Southeastern University Law Center
- Oklahoma City University School of Law
- University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law
- University of Pittsburgh School of Law
- University of South Dakota School of Law
- St. Mary's University School of Law
- Suffolk University Law School
- Syracuse University College of Law
- Temple University School of Law
- Texas A&M University School of Law
- Texas Tech University School of Law
- Vanderbilt University Law School
- Widener University Delaware Law School
This is not an authoritative list; please contact each school for school-specific details.
We also want to share a couple of quick thoughts on the program—and note that, while all of the above is simply factual information, this is our considered speculation as former law school admissions deans, directors, and officers.
First, keep in mind that, as with the GRE when it was first authorized for use by select law schools that obtained variances, we expect that admissions offices will move slowly and admit only a select few JD-Next applicants in their first classes. Given that these schools do not have experience admitting such applicants in the past and seeing how they perform at their law school, they will likely be cautious, and we don't anticipate that they will be bringing in sizable groups of students through JD-Next.
Second, if you already have an LSAT or GRE score, note that that score will have to be reported to the ABA by the law school to which you matriculate regardless of your JD-Next participation. Thus, that LSAT or GRE score will likely take precedence over your JD-Next score.
If we had to guess, we would anticipate that the above law schools will likely take very small numbers of JD-Next applicants in 2024, and most of those admitted will have strong undergraduate records and/or otherwise compelling backgrounds (impressive work history, significant adversity overcome, etc).
The nine-week JD-Next course begins October 2, 2023. You can find more information (and a link to sign up) here.