Daniel Bernstine Named CEO of the Law School Admission Council

Last month JBHE reported that Daniel Bernstine, president of Portland State University in Oregon, was one of three finalists for the presidency of West Virginia University. But Bernstine withdrew his name from consideration prior to the board of trustees vote on the three candidates.

But soon after the announcement that he withdrew his name from consideration, Bernstine was named president of the Law School Admission Council, the Newtown, Pennsylvania-based organization that administers the Law School Admission Test.

Over the years JBHE has been highly critical of the LSAT, which increasingly has acted as the gatekeeper for admissions to the nation’s top law schools. The average black student’s score on the LSAT is below the median score of all entering students at all predominantly white law schools in the nation. Despite the importance of the LSAT to law school admissions officers, the Law School Admission Council has never authorized an independent study to determine if the test has any value in predicting who will be an effective attorney.

Bernstine has been president of Portland State University since 1997. During his tenure, enrollment at the university has increased from 14,000 to 25,000 students.

Bernstine is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley. He holds law degrees from Northwestern University and the University of Wisconsin. Before coming to Portland State, he was dean of the law school at the University of Wisconsin.

When Bernstine takes the leadership reins on July 1, it will be interesting to see what, if any, changes are made so that African Americans can have greater opportunities to pursue a legal education.