Paul L. Caron

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

The ABA Should Be Required To Disclose Law School Accreditation Information

Following up on last week's post, FedSoc Debate: Should The ABA Be Stripped Of Its Monopoly Law School Accrediting Power?: Henry Webb (Palm Beach Atlantic University), Patrick Baker (Tennessee) & Kaleb Byars (J.D. 2021, Tennessee), Accreditation Information Produced by United States Law Schools to the American Bar Association Should be Made Available to the Public From Both Law and Policy Perspectives, 34 Loy. U. Chi. Consumer L. Rev. ___ (2022):

ABA (2022)This article argues that, from a legal perspective, the American Bar Association (“ABA”) is the functional equivalent of a government agency and so is subject to the United States Freedom of Information Act. Under Soucie v. David and related cases, the fact that the ABA has the final decision-making authority to decide whether a United States law school is or is not to be accredited renders it the functional equivalent of a government agency, and the ABA’s refusal to make available to the public the voluminous amount of important information produced to the ABA by law schools going through the accreditation and accreditation review processes is illegal and would not likely survive a challenge in court.

In addition, as the closure of a number of United States law schools over the last few years, and in particular the closure of the Charlotte School of Law in 2017, make clear, a strong public policy also exists for the ABA to make available to the public the information it obtains from law schools during accreditation and accreditation review processes.

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