The ABA Task Force on the Future of Legal Education has released its draft report and recommendations
An ABA task force is recommending wholesale changes in the financing
of legal education, the elimination of some law school accreditation
standards, and it is pushing for more innovation and practical skills
training in law school educational programs.
The task force is also calling on courts, state bar associations and
bar admitting authorities to come up with new or improved frameworks for
the licensing of limited legal service providers.…[T]ask force member Nancy Hardin Rogers, a professor emeritus
at Ohio State University, wrote separately to seek public comment on a
different approach to some of the law school pricing and funding
problems identified by her colleagues.
Rogers noted a recent proposal by the Obama administration (and cited this New York Times
article that covered it) that would base federal financial aid to
students on such factors as a school’s tuition, graduation rates, debt
loads, earnings potential and the percentage of lower-income students
The task force recommends, among other things, that the ABA undertake
a fuller examination of law school funding and pricing issues than the
task force has been able to do. It also suggests that the ABA Section of
Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar revise accreditation
standards that increase the costs but not necessarily the quality of a
legal education. And it calls on state supreme courts, state bar
associations and lawyer regulatory agencies to look for ways to reduce
the educational requirements for admission and authorize people without
JDs to provide limited legal services.
The task force will use the public comments it receives on the draft
report to help prepare its final report and recommendations, which it
plans to issue by Nov. 20, the filing deadline for consideration by the
House of Delegates at the ABA’s Midyear Meeting in February in Chicago.
Source: ABA Journal article, ABA task force report proposes scrutiny of law school funding, pricing and accreditation standards.