Paul L. Caron

Monday, July 20, 2015

Law Profs, Law Grads Debate Changing Accreditation Standards To Permit Paid Externships

ABA Logo 2ABA Journal, Educators and Young Lawyer Take Opposing Sides at Hearing Over Academic Credit for Paid Externships:

The governing council of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar has approved six proposed changes to the law school accreditation standards for notice and comment.

But only one—a proposal to eliminate the current ban on students receiving academic credit for paid externships—drew any testimony at a public hearing Thursday.

Representatives from two legal education groups—the Society of American Law Teachers and the Clinical Legal Education Association—spoke out against the proposed change.

Deborah Jones Merritt (Ohio State), More on Paid Clinical Externships:

I’ve posted before about my support for a proposed change in Interpretation 305-2 of the ABA’s accreditation standards for law schools. The proposal would allow law schools to offer externship credit for paid positions. Today I sent an admittedly tardy letter to the Council, expressing the reasons for that support.

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It's not "law profs" debating "law grads," it's the Clinical Legal Education association and SALT debating "law grads." These are special interest organizations that are largely hostile to the interests of law students and law schools. I think most normal law profs favor allowing students to be paid to help decrease the cost of law school and offer real world experience. It's the cartel of clinical law professors who are opposing this.

Posted by: Fred | Jul 20, 2015 10:37:45 AM

It's odd that students can't get paid for an externship that gives credits but can get paid as part of an internal law school clinic that also gives credits. At my school for example many of our clinical students get paid a stipend for their summer work on the clinic, and get tuition remission for summer credits. No one has a problem with that. But should a student want to get paid for working at a firm and also get credits, suddenly its a huge problem. I think one of the main concerns with paid externships is that they will compete with clinics (hence the clinician association's \ opposition to a change in the rules).

Posted by: jason Yackee | Jul 20, 2015 4:56:06 AM