In the News


Marjorie Shultz in the news:



As law schools struggle, diversity offers opportunities

Marjorie Shultz cited in The Chronicle of Higher Education, February 10, 2014
Marjorie M. Shultz and Sheldon Zedeck … conducted a study in which they identified 26 skills that were important to lawyer effectiveness…. The professors found that the LSAT had very weak predictive value for 10 of the skills and no value at all for the other 16. Interestingly, two of the 10 correlations were negative—meaning, the higher the LSAT score, the less effective the lawyers in the study were at exhibiting the skills in question (in this case, networking and community service). Undergraduate GPA had even less predictive value across the 26 skills.


Jahi McMath: Could her case change how California determines death?

Marjorie Shultz quoted in San Jose Mercury News, January 25, 2014
Professor Emeritus Marjorie Shultz, who specializes in medical ethics, said the family’s personal religious beliefs cannot compel a hospital to abide. “The thing that might have weight is our knowledge of the brain is still quite limited, and we have a tendency to confuse what we can measure as a fact,” she said. However, Shultz said it would likely take the legislature to craft a similar law to those in New Jersey or New York to make any real change.


Judge rules against brain-dead girl’s family

Marjorie Shultz quoted in San Francisco Chronicle, December 24, 2013

There remains “a lot of turmoil about the definition of death and whether the brain is or is not functioning,” said Marjorie Shultz … who had her own harrowing encounter with the system 18 years ago, when her 19-year-old son’s car was struck head-on by a wrong-way driver….

“We were told over and over there was no hope for him,” Shultz said. She insisted on continuing his medical care, and her son now lives on his own and has bachelor’s and master’s degrees, she said…. But if doctors, using established criteria, make a finding of brain death, she said, “the law takes the position that there isn’t anything to argue about, that the person is dead.”


The pedigree problem: Are law school ties choking the profession

Marjorie Shultz quoted in ABA Journal, July 1, 2012

“The LSAT itself says it only tries to predict three things: analytic reasoning, logical reasoning and reading skills,” she says. “While I certainly want lawyers to be skilled at those things, nobody has asked whether if you know about a candidate’s logic and analytical skills, do you know all you need to know to evaluate them for entering the legal profession?”


Marjorie Shultz, Robert Berring Discuss Professional Skills

Yale Daily News, January 19, 2012 by Daniel Sisgoreo
http://www.yaledailynews.com/news/2012/jan/19/law-professors-stir-national-debate/

There are students at every school in the country who had top scores on [the LSAT] and they’re highly polished applicants — but they bomb,” she said. “Every law firm will tell you that: that they’re not good at lawyering, that they can’t get along with people, that they can’t manage stress.”

Robert Berring, a professor at UC Berkeley’s law school, compared the proposal to an essay published by a pair of law professors after World War II. The essay, which called for several changes to legal education, was highly controversial at the time. “But none of that ever got taken up, and that will probably happen with this too,” he said.


Marjorie Shultz, Sheldon Zedeck Study LSAT Alternatives

U.S. News & World Report, January 2, 2012 by Shawn P. O’Connor
http://bit.ly/ur8gQa

The most outspoken challengers of the LSAT are University of California—Berkeley Law School professors Marjorie Shultz and Sheldon Zedeck, who advocate replacing the LSAT with a new test that better measures an applicant’s potential for success in the practice of law.


Marjorie Shultz Recaps Study Results on Effective Lawyering

Daily Journal, August 10, 2011 by Marjorie Shultz and Sheldon Zedeck
http://dailyjournal.com/ (registration required; go to H:\Law School in the News\In the News 2011\News Clips for article)

After all the numbers were crunched, results suggested that our new tests (particularly two of them) predicted almost all (24) of the 26 factors identified in the first phase of research as being important to lawyer effectiveness. By contrast, LSAT scores, UGPA, and Index Scores predicted fewer than 10 of the job-effectiveness factors, with several of the relationships being negative.


Christopher Edley and Marjorie Shultz Support Alternative to Law School Admission Test

UC Berkeley News, August 4, 2009 by Carol Ness
http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2009/08/04_lawschool.shtml

“I can’t overstate the potential of this work to transform the way law schools conduct selected admissions and, perhaps, the way law firms think about training and evaluating young attorneys,” says Edley.

In addition, while research indicates that standardized tests that focus on academic skills put minority candidates at a substantial disadvantage, Shultz says “there is not a race or ethnicity difference in performance on our tests. That’s why I say fairness demands that you have a system that’s a bit broader than the one currently used to pick applicants,” she adds.


Marjorie Shultz Notes Limitations of the LSAT

-The New York Times, March 11, 2009 by Jonathan D. Glater
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/11/education/11lsat.html?pagewanted=print

“Proposition 209 and the reduced numbers of minority admits prompted me to think hard about what constitutes merit for purposes of law school admission, and to decide LSAT was much too narrow, as well as having big adverse impact,” Professor Shultz said.

-KCBS 740AM, March 11, 2009 Hosts Patti Reising and Jeff Bell
http://www.kcbs.com/topic/play_window.php?audioType=Episode&audioId=3564877

“The LSAT was designed to predict who would be good as a student in law school and it actually does quite a good job of that. It’s not that it’s not useful; it’s that it’s narrow because a lawyer needs many more talents than simply logic and reasoning which is the focus of the LSAT. And our test development is trying to gauge other kinds of skills like problem solving and practical judgment and stress management and all the range of things that practicing lawyers need to have.”


Marjorie Shultz Calls for National Study on Tests to Supplement LSAT

The California Aggie, Nov. 19, 2008 by Pooja Kumar
http://www.californiaaggie.com/article/2002

“Some of tests were predictive in ways that we think would be valuable if confirmed on a national level,” said Shultz…. “You wouldn’t expect to substitute or remove the LSAT but we would hope—pending on national research—the testing process to include a wider range of tests used in a variety of ways.”


Marjorie Shultz Argues for Improved Law School Admissions Tests

-The Recorder, Nov. 6, 2008 by Petra Pasternak
http://www.law.com/jsp/ca/PubArticleCA.jsp?id=1202425831224

“We know that many times minority students in school don’t perform as well as whites if you look at it as a group, if you look at test taking and grades. But there don’t appear to be significant racial differences in performing in factors like problem-solving, negotiation or advocacy based on our sample data,” Shultz said. “Our test shows that, and earlier research in the employment field also supports that.”

-The Wall Street Journal Law Blog, Nov. 7, 2008 by Dan Slater
http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2008/11/07/berkeley-calls-for-research-into-lsat-alternative-testing-for-empathy/

Shultz and Berkeley psychology prof Sheldon Zedeck have been studying alternatives to the LSAT. They recently published their findings in a 100-page report. They say the LSAT, with its focus on cognitive skills, does not measure for skills such as creativity, negotiation, problem-solving or stress management, but that they have found promising new and existing tests from the employment context that do.