Thursday, June 4, 2015
National Law Journal, Paid Law Student Externships Top ABA Council’s Agenda:
Should law schools grant students academic credit for externships that pay student participants? The ABA’s Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar has debated that question for more than a year, and will take it up once again this week in Minneapolis.
Also on the agenda during a two-day meeting that begins Friday is reconsideration of an accreditation standard that allows some law schools to admit up to 10 percent of their classes from among high-performing undergraduates from their own university who have not taken the Law School Admission Test. Additionally, the council will take up proposals to broaden the ABA’s law school diversity rules.
The externship-for-pay issue has been one of the thorniest the council has confronted during the past two years. The ABA’s Standards Review Committee, which makes recommendations to the council about accreditation rules, has for the second time suggested dropping the ban on paid externships and letting individual schools decide whether students should receive both pay and academic credit.
The committee has also recommended that schools maintain separate records on paid externships so the ABA can evaluate the quality of those programs periodically.