Home » More course uniformity across law school is suggested by the ABA. Many deans were in opposition.

More course uniformity across law school is suggested by the ABA. Many deans were in opposition.

by Jackson

The American Bar Association’s (ABA) most recent proposal for educational standards is facing resistance from several deans of law schools. The idea of introducing more uniformity across law school courses has been met with hostility by more than one-third of U.S. law school deans. The independence of legal educators and the diversity of legal education, according to these deans, may be jeopardized by the ABA’s need for standardized learning outcomes.

A synopsis of the ABA’s proposal across law school

The ABA attempted to reach a compromise by releasing a second proposal on universal standards in March, following the unfavorable reception of its first plan in August. The modifications were minimal, though, and deans of law have similarly criticized the updated plan. The updated proposal focuses on the accrediting standards’ “students learning outcomes” part.

The idea highlights how important it is that across law school  have clear objectives for every course and make sure that courses with several sections, like contracts or torts, are aligned. Additionally, it requires first-year (1L) classes to conduct early assessments in order to provide students with feedback prior to their final exams. The goal is to give law students the professional skills and foundational information they will need for their future legal careers.

across law school

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Mixed Reactions from Law Deans

Deans of prominent universities, including Georgetown, New York University, Vanderbilt University, and the University of Michigan, have led the opposition and written a public response critical of the proposal. They voice worries about what they see as the ABA’s overzealous micromanagement, which they believe could be detrimental to legal education by limiting instructors’ ability to adapt their curricula to changing student needs and dynamic legal concepts.

The possibility of restricting creative education and the strain of additional administrative responsibilities to continuously adjust course offerings are highlighted in the deans’ critique. They contend that across law school , not the ABA, should be in charge of deciding what the main objectives of legal education are.

Support and Resistance from the Legal Sector

Although the concept has encountered significant opposition from certain deans of across law school, it has earned backing from other segments of the legal education sector. Standardizing some curriculum components, according to proponents, will guarantee that students obtain comprehensive and consistent education, which can be especially advantageous for instructors of advanced courses. Supporters include:

  • A group of law professors on an ABA committee on student outcomes and assessment.
  • Former administrator of the ABA’s legal education program.
  • Barry Currier.
across law school

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Predicted Results

On May 17, 2024, the ABA’s legal education council will take up the idea at its next meeting. The public comment session has ended. The council will now consider the comments made by both proponents and opponents.

The ruling might have a long-term influence on the way across law school function and how well they are able to modify their curricula to suit the requirements of a varied student population and the changing needs of the legal industry.

Relevant Sources:

  1. The New 2024–2025across law school Rankings: The Law School Shuffle(The Practice of Law Blog on FindLaw)
  2. The ABA has just accredited a new law school. How Does That Signify? (The Practice of Law on FindLaw)
  3. What Happens If Your Law School Is Not Accredited? (The Practice of Law on FindLaw)