Monday, May 21, 2018
Law.com, Suing the ABA Over Accreditation? Get In Line:
The queue of plaintiffs suing the American Bar Association’s legal education arm is snaking out the courthouse door.
The ABA’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar has been named as a defendant in three different lawsuits in the past week and a half, each centered on its law school accreditation activities [Charlotte I, Charlotte II, Florida Coastal]. A fourth accreditation suit brought by Western Michigan University Thomas Cooley Law School in November is pending.
The flurry of litigation is unprecedented for the ABA’s legal education section and appears to be a byproduct of its two-year-old effort to step up enforcement of its accreditation standards. The section has warned at least 10 law schools of accreditation shortcomings in the past two years, including the three schools that have sued. Previously, such warnings and sanctions were rare. ...
Barry Currier, the ABA’s managing director of accreditation and legal education, did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday on the pileup of lawsuits targeting the legal education section. The ABA has previously declined to comment on the pending litigation. However, Currier posted a general statement to the section’s website Wednesday that said the ABA’s accreditation process “provides meaningful opportunities” for schools to establish that they are complying with the accreditation rules. “Courts have regularly upheld the ABA’s law school accreditation process,” Currier wrote. “We will continue to follow our established procedures and expect to be successful in any future litigation challenging the actions of the [Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar].”