Sunday, August 2, 2020
Deans Letter to Council of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar on Bias Training (July 30, 2020)
Dear Members of the Council of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar:
Preparing law students to be lawyers requires that they should be educated with respect to bias, cultural awareness, and anti-racism. Such skills are essential parts of professional competence, legal practice, and being a lawyer. We believe that every law school should develop such training and education for its students.
The American Bar Association mandates the minimum requirements that every law school must meet, though often it is left to individual law schools to decide how to implement these obligations. We believe that the ABA should require, or at least consider requiring, that every law school provide training and education around bias, cultural competence, and anti-racism. That said, we do not believe that the specific content of such training and education should be mandated by the American Bar Association; instead, we believe such work should be left to each law school to decide for its students.
We therefore collectively urge the Council to charge the Standards Review Subcommittee to study and consider enacting a requirement that every law school must provide training and education of its students with regard to bias, cultural awareness, and anti-racist practices. We are in a unique moment in our history to confront racism that is deeply embedded in our institutions, including in the legal profession, and we hope that the Council will take this important first step.
For the list of 150 law school dean signatories, see here