TaxProf Blog

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

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

A Legal Education Report Card

ABA Logo (2016)Barry Currier (Managing Director, ABA Section on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar), A Legal Education Report Card:

If you were asked to grade legal education as an enterprise, what would be the categories or roles for which grades should be assigned? What grades would you give legal education? ... Here’s a first take:

Legal education must provide accessible, high quality legal education confirmed by measurable outcomes related to learning, skill development, and employment outcomes that serves well the students, the profession, and the public. Grade: A/F ...

[A]t its best, U.S. law schools offer an education of unsurpassed quality, and it is better than it has ever been. True, the education can be expensive, but for many the expense is justified by the careers that the education makes possible. At its worst, legal education carries a hefty price tag that leaves graduates with high debt and limited opportunities. ... The quality of programs, outcomes, and opportunities for graduates are a mixed bag across legal education as a whole, thus the A/F grade.

Legal education must conduct research that advances knowledge and protects/promotes the rule of law in the U.S. and the world. Grade: A

The research that has been and continues to be done in U.S. law schools is at or among the best in the world by almost any measure. It makes major contributions to the evolution of both public and private law, leads the growing conversation about the increased use of technology in law and the practice of law, and is increasingly interdisciplinary and global in approach. Legal education has been and continues to be blessed by the participation of some of America’s most talented and wise individuals.

Legal education must be a leader in assuring that the bar, and law-trained people in general, reflect the diversity of the society and the communities in which they work and serve. Grade: B- ...

While many law schools and individuals in those schools have done much to stand up for, nurture, and encourage the diversity that we must achieve in our institutions and in the profession, the problem remains acute.

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Comments

Interesting how Barry was playing the same tune before the ABA almost lost its accreditation powers for being completely asleep at the wheel. If one reads the transcript of that infamous NACIQI-ABA meeting that led to the loss of accreditation recommendation by the former, it comes across that NACIQI's lack of patience with the ABA's indifferent and uninterested behavior as accreditor came as a complete surprise to Barry & co. From this interview, it seems like they've learned... almost nothing.

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Nov 6, 2018 7:18:54 PM

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