Paul L. Caron

Monday, November 26, 2018

ABA Legal Ed Council Sends 75% Within 2 Years Bar Passage Accreditation Standard Back To House of Delegates

ABA Logo (2016)ABA Journal, ABA Legal Ed Council Sends Bar-Passage Standard Back to House of Delegates:

Paperwork for the ABA’s House of Delegates to again consider a proposed revision of the bar passage standard for law school accreditation has been submitted, said Barry Currier, director of accreditation and legal education, on Friday at a council meeting for the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar.

The council would like the delegates to reconsider the proposed revision at the January 2019 Midyear Meeting. Rejected by the House in 2017, the proposal calls for a bar passage rate of at least 75 percent within two years. Language for the proposed revision remains unchanged, Currier said.

There are various ways to meet the standard’s current requirements, and it’s been reported that no law school has ever been out of compliance with it. ...

A council memo addressing diversity concerns about the proposed revision, as well as what it would mean for law schools in California, where the cut score of 144 is the nation’s second highest, is posted on the section’s website. ...

The memo also suggests reviewing teach-out rules for ways the process could be made easier for law schools that are closing and to consider adding a rule where law schools that sue the council or the ABA regarding accreditation matters are responsible for attorney fees if the lawsuits are unsuccessful.

In the past year, four law schools sued the ABA after public notice was made about the schools being out of compliance with accreditation standards. One, filed by Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School, settled in October, and the other three, filed in May by for-profit InfiLaw schools, remain open.

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One can only hope it passes this time. Would be a devastating blow to many schools, especially in California where probably half the ABA schools would be in jeopardy of losing accredited status based on recent bar exam performances.

Posted by: JM | Nov 27, 2018 6:34:43 AM