Annual Meeting

Law schools should have flexibility in responding to 'extraordinary circumstances,' ABA House of Delegates says

  • Print.

graduation cap and gavel

Image from Shutterstock.

Resolutions regarding distance-education programs, the adoption of emergency policies by law schools, teach-out plans and provisional program approval were approved this week by the American Bar Association's House of Delegates.

The proposed revisions to the ABA Standards and Rules of Procedure for Approval of Law Schools were submitted by the council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar. Under ABA rules, the House can send a potential revision back to the council twice for review with or without recommendations, but the council has the final decision on matters related to law school accreditation.

Because the proposals were placed on the consent calendar, they were adopted Monday without discussion. The revisions are as follows:

• Deleting Standard 306, which focuses on distance education, and folding it into Standard 105, which deals with substantive changes in programs. (Resolution 109A)

• Adding new language to Rule 2, authorizing the council to adopt emergency policies and procedures in response to “extraordinary circumstances” under which meeting the standards would constitute an extreme hardship for law schools. The proposal would apply to law schools regionally or nationally, not individually. (Resolution 109B)

• Adjusting various rules regarding council authority in accreditation matters to fit new U.S. Department of Education regulations. (Resolutions 109C and 109D)

Follow along with our coverage of the 2020 ABA Annual Meeting.

Give us feedback, share a story tip or update, or report an error.