Paul L. Caron

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

ABA Council Votes To Nix Accreditation Requirement That Law Libraries Have A Physical Collection

Following up on my previous posts on Friday's meeting of the Council of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar:

ABA Journal, Legal Ed Council Votes to Send Academic Freedom Proposal to ABA House of Delegates:

Also at the Friday meeting in Dallas, the council voted to move a proposal ... nixing the requirement for law libraries to have a physical collection. ... “The purpose of these revisions is to give law libraries flexibility to use space, technology, information resources and collection formats most appropriate for their law schools,” an Aug. 17 memo from the council’s Strategic Review Committee states.

However, after receiving 10 comments, the original proposal received minor changes, such as clarifying that the law library director must be full-time and the processes of hiring library personnel. ...

The council’s call for comment regarding Standard 304, which covers experiential learning, comes as some jurisdictions consider alternatives to the classic bar exam. ...

The council’s Experiential Credits Working Group found in a survey of 83 law schools that 56% were in favor of increasing the number of clinical credits required, with nine being the most suggested amount, said Mary Lu Bilek, who is chair of that working group and chair of the council’s Data Policy and Collection Committee. She told council members that legal education lags behind other professions in the amount of required supervised clinical credits. While the cost of live in-house clinical instruction can be high, she said, other options like externships might offer less costly options.

The council will post an online form seeking comment on these issues and will send it out to all law schools for comments and suggestions, Bilek said.

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