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How to force change at law schools? Little agreement emerges at ABA conference

Posted Apr 25, 2013 7:30 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Should the ABA tighten law-school accreditation standards to force change? Or loosen them to allow for more experimentation?

No consensus emerged on that question and several others debated on Wednesday during a conference sponsored by the ABA Task Force on the Future of Legal Education. The National Law Journal covered the discussion.

“Some said law schools should be required to spell out the core competencies that students should develop at set points during their legal educations; others, that tuition reduction was the first priority,” the NLJ reported. “Several attendees endorsed higher teaching loads. No single idea dominated.”

Panelists also suggested creating a tiered system of legal education that allows for different legal training depending on career goals. A replay is available here.

The task force is planning to release preliminary recommendations in late summer or early fall, and a final report in mid-November. It will address how law schools, the ABA and others can react to issues such as rising tuition, high student debt and the poor job market for lawyers.

Bloomberg Law has video highlights from the conference here.

Prior coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "Quicker route to JD, uniform bar exam on ABA task force agenda; session will be live-streamed"

ABAJournal.com: "Two-year law school was a good idea in 1970, and it’s a good idea now, prof tells ABA task force"

Updated on April 30 to include Bloomberg video.

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