Paul L. Caron

Monday, March 17, 2014

ABA Votes to Maintain Faculty Tenure, Add Requirement of 6 (Not 15) Experiential Credits as Accreditation Requirements, and Send Paid Externship Proposal for Notice and Comment

ABA Logo 2Best Practices for Legal Education, Council on Legal Education Maintains Tenure and 405, Adds Requirement of Six Experiential Credits and Calls for Notice and Comment on Paid Externships:

The ABA Council of the Section on Legal Education met in San Francisco on March 14th and 15th and voted on the final recommendations of the Standards Review Committee’s (SRC’s) comprehensive review of the standards begun in 2008. ...

On the controversial SRC recommendations on faculty tenure, security of position and academic freedom, the Council voted down both alternatives to the current standards, thus retaining the current system of tenure and security of position pursuant to ABA Standard 405. ...

On the competing proposals to require experiential learning for all students, the Council voted to require six credits, rejecting an alternative proposal for 15 credits. ...

As to proposals concerning student pro bono hours, the Council adopted 50 hours as an “aspirational” goal, thus rejecting an hourly requirement such as that imposed by the New York Court of Appeals for admission to the bar in New York. With respect to inclusion of LGBT law students and law students with disabilities, the Council rejected proposals for affirmative inclusion, relying on general non-discrimination language.

Finally, the Council voted to send out for Notice and Comment a proposal to permit students to receive academic credit for paid externships. The Council is expected to vote on this proposal at its June meeting.


Legal Education | Permalink


The bar passage requirement for accreditation bought the farm a few months ago, where it was sent back for further "study."

Law faculty at decent institutions, it is transparently self-serving manure like that by the diploma mills that brings derision to law schools. You cannot self-police (even through your regulatorily captured ABA). We need legislative reform from the lender of last resort.

Posted by: Jojo | Mar 17, 2014 9:11:12 AM

Keeping the tenure requirement ultimately harms law schools with failing finances who NEED to shed some tenured faculty to, you know, stay open. Six hours of experiential learning is not enough - us grads from Northeastern get a full year's worth of practical experience from co-op (we don't, but the school likes to say so), and very few among us would feel the slightest amount of confidence in doing anything without supervision, let alone hang a shingle. Med school residency/fellowship/etc requirements are the equivalent of dozens of credit-hours, and the ABA recommends... six. Death by half-measures.

I'll leave it to others to count how many folk on the ABA Section of Legal Education are or were tenured law faculty.

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Mar 17, 2014 9:27:59 AM