ABA Journal


Law Schools

ABA Committee Approves Proposed Changes in Law School Accreditation Standards

Nov 20, 2012, 02:50 pm CST


This is the biggest crock of sh!t. Thanks for nothing, ABA. Newsflash: research and scholarship (that nobody reads) benefits PROFESSORS, not students, and the relationship between how published a prof is and how good of a teacher s/he is is usually INVERSE.

But hey, it's just what we need to justify EVEN HIGHER tuition for an education that doesn't provide graduates with ANY marketable skills. The tone-deafness of these change is MIND-BOGGLING.

For shame.

By Are Youkidding on 2012 11 20, 3:30 pm CST

This is sweet! Only 55% of lawyers find jobs in no small part because of ABA accreditation standards, but we're concerned about what? Books. Yes books are expensive, but how on earth is this supposed to help people find jobs?

By Whoops on 2012 11 20, 5:43 pm CST

@ 1- It's a shame you don't read. Legal scholarship influences the development of law in all kinds of ways. This issue has been discussed extensively over the past few years in response to posts like yours and the evidence now is overwhelming. Even Roberts (who mistakenly linked Kant to Bulgaria in his amateurish attempt at a put down), uses it in about 40% of his opinions, and he's on the low side for federal judges generally. There's also a pretty direct relationship between good scholarhsip and good teaching. Someone who has nothing new to write has nothing new to say, in a classroom or anywhere else. You might as well read it directly for yourself. But then I forgot, you don't read.

By Pushkin on 2012 11 20, 5:54 pm CST

My guess is that it shouldn't be long until Cooley has a school in all 50 states so who cares about ABA accredidation.

By tim17 on 2012 11 20, 8:19 pm CST

@tim17, #4: people care because, last time I heard, the vast majority of states (everyone but California?) require graduation from an ABA accredited law school before you're allowed to sit the bar. So, no accreditation = no bar = no license = you don't practice law. So yeah, people care.

By RecentGrad on 2012 11 20, 10:13 pm CST

This committee consists of deans and representatives from low tier law schools. Can anyone say conflict of interest? The Department of Education needs to provide more oversight to how the ABA is conducting itself. More books, more "scholarship," so that professors can spend more time on sabatticals and outside the classroom, does not benefit students.

By cjfardle on 2012 11 20, 11:03 pm CST

@4. For better or worse, Cooley is ABA-accredited. However, I could see them trying to expand to all 50 states. The question is, if Cooley becomes a national chain, would this lead to lower tuition (due to economies of scale) or higher tuition due to national branding out-competing local law schools.

I ponder the affect of the new standards on foreign law schools or online programs seeking accreditation.

By Intl Space Lawyer on 2012 11 21, 10:01 am CST

"'Tis an unweeded garden. That grows to seed. Things rank and gross in nature. Possess it merely."

One of my favorite profs said, "The LSATs were designed by failed actuaries and have nothing to do with law school, which has nothing to do with the Bar Exam, which has nothing to do with the practice of law." The system needs a convulsive paradigm shift, not tweaking.

The ABA represents a mere 34% of American lawyers yet this one committee, composed of academics unsullied by legal practice (but gaining points for tenure), gives its perpetual imprimatur to an 1870's curriculum in desperate need of a Karma transplant.

Just sayin'.

By Master Thespian on 2012 11 21, 3:20 pm CST

Rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic comes to mind.

By Gentlemen, it was a pleasure playing with you on 2012 11 21, 3:55 pm CST

What is so wrong with Cooley? I really want to know.

By Emily Wong on 2012 11 21, 5:03 pm CST

@1 - AMEN!
@ 3 - Lighten up...and FYI - You Can't Spell....or just can't read yourself!

By Dixie Chick on 2012 11 21, 6:03 pm CST

RE: # 11

@1 - Amen too
@3 - Yes, lighten up...

By He Is on 2012 11 21, 7:42 pm CST

@10. Thomas M. Cooley Law School is among the best law schools at fulfilling student needs, as evidenced by its rapid growth in both Michigan and Florida. Cooley's multi-state presence provides a national reputation and increased career opportunities for its graduates. Further recognition of Cooley's national leadership is that Cooley was selected as the site of the prestigious 59th Annual National Conference of Law Reviews event (March, 2013).

Sadly, a few "bad apple" graduates of other law schools feel threatened competition from Cooley's successes and hence make unsubstantiated statements.

By Law Professor on 2012 11 22, 12:55 am CST

Law Professor is right. Just two years ago, we were ranked the #2 school in the entire country. Many of our students go on to enjoy successful careers within and outside of the legal profession. It's too bad that a few internet tough guys have taken it upon themselves to spread vicious rumors about our institution.

By Another Law Professor on 2012 11 23, 3:32 am CST

Once again, the ABA has labored mightily and brought forth a mouse. More accurately, a pack rat, whose function is to amass as much as possible for its own benefit and enjoyment. Surely even the hoary members of this committee must acknowledge the computer age, where any school can have access to the type of library they desire.

By Faulhaber on 2012 11 23, 4:50 pm CST

#14, Cooley was ranked #2 in a study created by Cooley, no?

By Jill on 2012 11 26, 4:32 pm CST

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