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Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Thursday, July 13, 2017

ABA May Add Gender Identity, Ethnicity To Law School Accreditation Diversity Rules

ABA Section On Legal Education (2016)ABA Journal, ABA Committee Weighs Adding Gender Identity, Ethnicity to Law School Accreditation Diversity Rules:

Proposed revisions to add gender identity and ethnicity to existing rules regarding diversity, nondiscrimination and equal opportunity are being considered by the Standards Review Committee of the ABA’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar at its July 15 meeting in Chicago.

The proposed revisions state that Standards 205 and 206 do not require religiously affiliated groups to act inconsistently with elements of their religious beliefs. The proposed revision to Standard 206 adds language that ABA-accredited law schools “may provide a preference” for people following the school’s religious affiliation or purpose, but that can’t be used to preclude admissions or retention of students on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, gender identity sexual orientation, age or disability. ...

The committee will also consider potential changes to existing law school accreditation standards involving acquiescence for major program changes, distance education and separate locations and branch campuses. Proposed revisions approved at the meeting will be forwarded to the section’s governing council.

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