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LSB publishes aptitude testing research

21 June 2011

The LSB is today publishing research into aptitude testing and the legal profession. The report, commissioned from Dr Chris Dewberry, Department of Organisational Psychology at Birkbeck College, University of London reviews the academic evidence for the effectiveness of aptitude testing. The review captures and summarises evidence from a wide range of studies charting the history of their development, their reliability and criteria for assessing effectiveness. The report concludes by setting out twelve recommendations any organisation seeking to use aptitude testing in legal services should consider.

The research was commissioned to inform the LSB’s consideration of any future request to introduce such testing by any of the approved regulators, and to explore whether such tests could help enhance diversity and fair access to the profession by testing the potential of aspiring lawyers on a “level playing field” where inequalities in prior educational attainment are irrelevant. The LSB is committed to making all of its decisions with reference to the available evidence and so chose to commission this literature review. We hope that those considering introducing aptitude tests in legal services will consider this report and take account of the recommendations.

We believe that this report will also prove a valuable contribution to the review of legal education and training requirements that the Solicitors Regulation Authority, the Bar Standards Board and the Institute of Legal Executives Professional Standards are currently leading.