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Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Monday, August 6, 2018

ABA Legal Education Council Delays Action On Annual Questionnaire Guidance

ABA Logo (2016)ABA Journal, Legal Education Council Delays Action on Questionnaire Guidance:

As the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar awaits action on a proposal to eliminate an admissions test requirement for law schools, its council postponed decisions on new guidance for annual questionnaires, which are used for 509 Reports.

Part of the Friday’s discussion, held during ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago, centered on whether guidance needs to be issued now, since the questionnaires are not due until Oct. 18, according to existing direction. Alternatively, some thought it could be helpful it law schools knew sooner, rather than later, what could be expected for the questionnaires.

In May, the council approved a proposal to cut Standard 503 requiring the tests and to beef up Standard 501 to include the use of admission credentials and academic attrition when determining accreditation compliance. The current version of Standard 503 requires that law schools using tests other than the LSAT demonstrate that the alternate exams are valid and reliable in determining whether a candidate can complete the school’s legal education program.

Under ABA rules, the House of Delegates reviews accreditation standard revisions, and it can send a proposed rule back to the council twice for review with or without recommendations. The House is expected to act on the test proposal when it meets Monday and Tuesday, but the council has the final decision on matters related to law school accreditation.

Materials shared at the meeting show a proposed annual questionnaire format with questions about non-LSAT entrance exams used, including scores and percentiles.

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