Paul L. Caron

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

ABA Standards Review Committee Approves Tougher Bar Exam Accreditation Requirement:  75% Pass Within Two Years Of Graduation

ABAABA Journal, ABA Committee Recommends Tougher, Simpler Bar Passage Accreditation Standard:

An ABA committee has voted to recommend the adoption of a tougher but simpler bar passage requirement in the law school accreditation standards.

Under the proposed new standard (PDF), approved Friday by the Section of Legal Education and Admission to the Bar’s Standards Review Committee, a law school would have to show that at least 75 percent of its graduates who took a bar exam within two years of their graduation passed.

Legal Education | Permalink


Sounds great but what happens if a school violates this standard? They get a firm scolding by the ABA? The ABA has done nothing to demonstrate that it is anything other than a toothless regulator that has been captured by the very entities they are tasked with regulating. The ABA is not doing its job of policing legal academia, and as a result our profession is being seriously harmed - perhaps irreversibly. If you are employed by the ABA and your job has anything to do with determining which law schools should be accredited or should retain their accreditation, you should be ashamed of yourself. It's an immoral failure and refusal to do your duty and it is harming tens of thousands of students who have no business being in law school but will pay this debt for the rest of their lives.

Posted by: El Guapo | Feb 17, 2016 7:08:39 AM

On the whole, accreditors do not appear to function well as consumer protection agencies. see Richard Epstein, The Role of Accreditation Commissions in Higher Education: The Troublesome Case of Dana College, 79 U. CHICAGO L. REV. 83 (2012)

Posted by: Matthew Bruckner | Feb 17, 2016 7:39:09 AM

Why doesn't the ABA just enforce the rules it already has enacted.

Posted by: Justin | Feb 17, 2016 2:30:43 PM

The ABA is no different than the American Truckers Association, Home Builders Association, AOPA, National Retail Federation, and on and on and on. They are a trade group and nothing more. What power do they possess? I don't agree with much of what President Bush II did, but I agree when he signed an Executive Order cancelling the ABA's approval of a Supreme Court justice.

Posted by: Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance King | Feb 17, 2016 2:32:26 PM

Justin, the ABA's mission is not to close law schools. Even if there was a violation of their rules, they would likely help the school come back into compliance rather than remove their accreditation.

Posted by: Matthew Bruckner | Feb 17, 2016 5:09:59 PM