Wednesday, February 23, 2022
ABA Journal, ABA Legal Ed Section Plans to Send Another Diversity Standard, Revisions For Remote Learning Requirements to HOD:
A law school accreditation standard requires full opportunities for underrepresented groups, and on Friday the council of the ABA's Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar approved a proposed revision to clarify that the standard does not allow schools to engage in “racial balancing” or limit representation of individuals from any group.
The proposed revision to Standard 206 is one of various suggested changes set to go to the ABA House of Delegates as soon as August 2022 at the annual meeting.
Earlier this month, the House of Delegates approved a plan to add “ethnicity,” “gender identity or expression” and “military status” to the Standard 205, which focuses on nondiscrimination and opportunity. It also approved a requirement for Standard 303, which focuses on curriculum, that law schools provide education about bias, cross-cultural competency and racism.
Regarding the more recent proposed revisions to Standard 206, notice and comment has been held, and there were concerns that earlier proposals did not comport with existing case law, according to a Feb. 10 standards committee memo.
The memo states that religiously affiliated law schools are not required under the standard to “act inconsistently with the essential elements of its religious values and beliefs,” providing the schools’ actions are protected by applicable law. The issue of state law and affirmative action are also addressed in the memo.