Paul L. Caron

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

ABA Is Working On A Proposal To Increase Number Of Experiential Credits Required Of Law School Graduates

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:

Reuters, ABA Eyes Increasing Hands-On Learning Requirement For Law Schools:

Legal education may soon get more practical, thanks to a forthcoming proposal that is winning early support inside the American Bar Association.

The arm of the ABA that oversees law schools is developing a proposal to increase the number of so-called experiential credits students must take in order to graduate. The credits may include clinics, externships, and simulation courses that involve hypothetical legal tasks — intended to give students experience handling real-world matters.

Members of the ABA’s Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar indicated widespread support for more hands-on learning during a Friday discussion during a quarterly meeting in Dallas. A working group is ironing out the proposal’s details and plans to gather more input from law schools. ...

The ABA did not have any practical learning requirement until 2014, when it mandated that every student complete a minimum of six credits of experiential coursework. The working group on Friday presented three potential updates, one of which would increase that minimum to 15 credits. ... The other two proposals involve increasing the minimum to nine credits, either with or without a limit on the number of simulation credits that may apply. ... An earlier survey of law schools found that 57% of respondents favored increasing the experiential credit requirement, with nine credits emerging as the most popular option.

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