Paul L. Caron

Saturday, May 16, 2020

ABA Council Approves Power To Permit Online Legal Ed During Pandemics, New Distance Ed Rules; Rejects Call To Suspend 75% Bar Passage Requirement

Following up on my previous posts (here and here):  ABA Journal, Expanded Online Law School Classes Could Continue Under Plan Endorsed by ABA Legal Ed Council:

ABA Section On Legal Education (2016)The council of the ABA's Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar would have more authority to enact short-term, emergency policies and procedures for schools under a proposed law school accreditation rule change endorsed Friday by the council. ...

A May 8 standards review subcommittee memo detailed the proposal, which suggests adding new language to Rule 2, authorizing the council to adopt emergency policies and procedures in response to “extraordinary circumstances” under which meeting the standards would constitute an extreme hardship for law schools. The proposal would apply to law schools regionally or nationally, not individually. ...

Separate from the rule proposal, the council Friday also voted in favor of a plan to delete Standard 306 and fold it into Standard 105, which deals with substantive changes in programs, Bill Adams, managing director of ABA accreditation and legal education, told the ABA Journal.

Also on Friday, the council addressed requests to suspend Standard 316, which requires at least 75% of a law school’s graduates pass a bar exam within two years. ... Diane Bosse, chair of the council, said the council understands law schools’ concerns about what will happen with the July bar exam, given the coronavirus pandemic. However, the 2017 graduates who will determine law schools’ compliance with Standard 316 this year are not directly impacted by the ongoing bar exam issues.

The changes would take effect if approved by the ABA House of Delegates at the 2020 ABA Annual Meeting in August.

ABA Releases 9-Part Questionnaire On Law School Responses To COVID-19 In The Spring 2020 Semester

For complete TaxProf Blog coverage of the coronavirus, see here.

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