Paul L. Caron

Sunday, July 25, 2010

ABA Considers Dramatic Changes This Weekend in Law School Accreditation Standards, Including Dilution of Tenure

ABA Logo Following up on my prior post, ABA Proposes Changes to Law School Accreditation Standards (June 30, 2010): the Standards Review Committee of the ABA Section of Legal Education & Admission to the Bar concludes two days of meetings today in Chicago.  The committee released these documents in advance of the meeting:

The Clinical Legal Education Association accuses the committee of sandbagging the process by posting some of the material only three days in advance of the meeting:

I write for the executive committee of the Clinical Legal Education Association (CLEA) to express our concerns regarding the document entitled “Draft, Security of Position, Academic Freedom, and Attract and Retain Faculty” dated July 15, 2010, which was posted on the web site of the Standards Review Committee on July 20, only three days in advance of the Committee’s meeting to begin to discuss the issues it raises. This “Draft” proposes the elimination of the longstanding provisions in Standard 405 addressing tenure and other forms of security of position for law faculty.

First, it is troubling that this proposal, which raises issues that are fundamental to the structure of legal education, is posted so late that interested persons and organizations cannot provide comments prior to the Committee beginning its deliberations on those issues. ...

[T]here are many stakeholders who are deeply interested in the issues raised by this document. Indeed, they are so concerned that, even in advance of receiving the July 15 “Draft,” many have provided the Committee with their views. These include the Association of American Law Schools, the American Association of University Professors, the Society of American Law Teachers, and over a dozen law school deans and university presidents. None of their viewpoints is so much as referenced in the “Draft” and none of them have had the opportunity to comment on it. We hope that the discussion of these issues will proceed from now on with more notice of the Committee’s discussion documents, more clarity regarding the sponsorship of proposed changes in the standards, and more precision regarding the sources for the proposed changes.

Here are the documents submitted in reponse to the proposed dilution of tenure and job security:

For more, see Best Practices for Legal Education:

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