I'm not sure that you're follow the economics of the situation. Firms that want the best lawyers will pay the most money to get them. This is the whole Biglaw concept. Do all the best lawyers get paid the most? No, Biglaw pays the most to recruit as many of the top candidates as it can. Some students choose not to take that route. My point is that industry generally defines what a good lawyer is, and by tracing backward from there, you can find that a good LSAT is generally a prerequisite to becoming a good lawyer.
Good lawyers aren't defined. They are identified. The main thing that big firms care about is the bottom line, and if they found out that Cooley and Widener were producing the best lawyers then the big firms would hire them and pay them shitloads of money. If the best articles every year were by Cooley and Widener students, then they would be the one's getting published. Ultimately there isn't any conspiracy keeping Yale and Harvard at the top -- they just have the students that the people who care about the bottom line want to hire and they have the students whose writing is the most publishable and so on. I repeat: there is no conspiracy.
so.. is this the argument on is the lsat sufficient or necessary to determine who the best lawyer will be?sounds like a bit of overstatement.. although I've heard on some occasions lsat scores being requested, most want to know class rank and GPA for the FIRST job out of school.. after that it's all about book of business which means rain-making skills are even more important. In this case, perception is carries more weight than objective reality.
I am pushing an inquiry as to the LSAT's predictor of lawyer performance. Ninja had the best post on this so far. The problem that I'm finding is that "lawyer performance" is ill-defined, at best dependant on too many variables that the LSAT doesn't take into account.