Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Recent Decisions From The ABA's Legal Education Section

The ABA Journal reported on the recent meeting of the ABA's Legal Education Section in San Diego.

"The [Legal Ed.] council approved several chapters of proposed changes in the standards that will now go to the House of Delegates at the ABA Annual Meeting in Boston in August, including one that would increase the experiential learning requirement from one credit hour to six credit hours.

It also agreed to post for notice and comment a number of other proposed changes in the standards, including one that would eliminate the current prohibition against granting academic credit to a student who participates in a field placement program for which the student receives compensation.

Those changes, if approved by the council in June, would also go before the House in August. The House can either concur with the changes or refer them back to the council for reconsideration with a statement setting forth its reason for the referral, but the council has the final say on any changes in the standards."

The Section is moving in the right direction for legal education reform. The experiential learning increase is great for practical training, and to be compensated while receiving credit will help ease the debt burden of law graduates.

The one proposed changed that the ABA Legal Education Section did not advance was the one dealing with eliminating the tenure requirement for law school professors.

"That leaves in place for the foreseeable future the current standard, which is widely understood to require tenure or a comparable form of security of position for all full-time faculty members, except for clinical professors and legal writing instructors."

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