Law schools to ban bias on applications

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Law schools to ban bias on applications

Starting next semester, law school applicants will be penalized for writing about their relatives in their cover letters. On Wednesday, the 42nd Council of Law Education reviewed an Education Ministry’s ordinance requiring schools to publicize admissions criteria in advance, in addition to implementing other policies to make the process more transparent.

According to regulations for the 2017 law school admissions, applicants must not include details about their relatives in any of the required papers. Methods for converting quantitative evaluations into points must be made open to the public, including points allocated for the LEET (Legal Education Eligibility Test), GPA and English scores, which have not previously been made public.

The council also discussed ways to make the qualitative assessment process more impartial. Personal identifications on the admissions applicants will be shaded, interviewees will be given random numbers so interviewers cannot choose specific applicants and schools may hire outside specialists to conduct interviews. Also, final results must be made public, including the average scores of finalists, their alma mater, major and gender.

Special admissions will be limited to students who have been classified as disabled by the Welfare of Disabled Persons Act and those receiving welfare from the government based on the Basic Pensions Act. Should a student, selected through the special admission process, drop out and enroll in a different school then the student will have limitations in receiving scholarships.

Tuition is to be based on the tuition fees for general graduate schools, law undergraduates and master’s course in law, as well as other factors such as the school’s reliance on tuition and the inflation rate. More than 30 percent of all tuition collected must be used for scholarships.

Wednesday’s meeting also included inspection reports from law schools, which take place annually to ensure schools are following regulations. The ministry scrutinizes each school’s admissions, curricula, faculties, students and finances. All schools passed the standards, so none were penalized.

On the basis of the council’s deliberation, the Ministry of Education will follow through with the enactment procedure, starting with the prior legislature announcement. “We constantly endeavor to heighten law schools’ quality based on collaboration with the assessment committee so that law schools will keep improving,” said a senior official from the Ministry of Education.

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