Paul L. Caron

Thursday, February 17, 2022

The ABA's New Diversity Training Mandate For Law Students: A 'Must-Have' Or 'Forced Wokeness'?

Following up on Tuesday's post, ABA Approves Mandatory Bias Training Beginning In Fall 2022 By 95%|5% Vote:, A 'Must-Have' or 'Forced Wokeness'?: Mixed Reaction to ABA's Newly Adopted Diversity Training Mandate for Law Students:

ABA Legal Ed (2021)The American Bar Association House of Delegates on Monday adopted several changes to the ABA’s accreditation standards, including adding a controversial requirement that law schools provide ”education on bias, cross-cultural competency and racism” to students.

The newly revised Standard 303 of Standards and Rules of Procedure for Approval of Law Schools says law schools must provide substantial opportunities to law students for “the development of a professional identity” and requires curriculums to include bias, cross-cultural competency and racism education “at the start of the program of legal education, and at least once again before graduation.” ...

Many of the critics of Section 303 have argued that curricular requirements should be left up the individual law schools and not mandated by their accreditor.

“Mandating the content of such courses misconstrues the accreditation function and what a successful institution of higher learning seeks to inculcate in its students: to teach them skills, but not to require students to adopt a specific world view,” read one comment submitted by 10 Yale Law faculty members, including former Dean Robert Post. “Institutions of higher education challenge students intellectually and provide them with the analytical capacities to think for themselves and reach their own conclusions.”

William A. Jacobson, a clinical professor of law at Cornell Law School, wrote last week in a commentary piece for Real Clear Politics that Section 303 represents “another instance of woke ideology being forced on the nation, and may necessitate that states revisit the ABA’s government-granted near-monopoly accrediting power.” ...

Fordham University School of Law’s Senior Director of Professionalism Jordana Confino told on Wednesday that the law schools taking steps to add or improve diversity training on their own are “few and far between.”

“It shouldn’t be left to the schools because this is a must-have in order to operate effectively,” Fordham University School of Law’s Senior Director of Professionalism Jordana Confino told on Wednesday. “This isn’t a ‘nice to have,’ but it’s an essential element of students’ legal education and what all law students need to be successful, satisfied lawyers in the profession.”

Samuel Goldman (George Washington), Down With the Woke Cartels

Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink