Standards Review Committee

Agenda for 2014-15 Academic Year

 

November 3, 2014, Council Memorandum

In August 2014, the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar (Council) completed a six-year comprehensive review of the Standards and Rules of Procedure for Approval of Law Schools (Standards). For academic year 2014-15, the Council has asked the Standards Review Committee (SRC) to continue to discuss two issues that were part of the comprehensive review:

  • Standard 206. DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION
  • Interpretation 305-2. [Prohibition on granting credit for participation in a field placement program for which a student receives  compensation.]

The Council also has requested that the SRC continue to review the Standards to identify technical corrections and modifications that may be needed following the comprehensive review and to recommend possible courses of action.

The SRC will hold a strategic planning retreat in November 2014 and will submit a memorandum to the Council in December with suggestions for additional matters the Committee might address during the current academic year. The 2014-15 meeting schedule for the SRC will be determined after the retreat.

We welcome ideas and suggestions regarding other issues the SRC might consider during this academic year. Please submit your comments to JR Clark at JR.Clark@americanbar.org by December 1, 2014.

 

Implementation of New Standards and Rules for Approval of Law Schools

 

At its meeting on Monday, August 11, 2014, in Boston, the ABA House of Delegates concurred in all of the proposed new Standards and Rules of Procedure for Approval of Law Schools with the exception of Interpretation 305-2. The Interpretation, which prohibits law schools from granting credit for field placement programs for which the student receives compensation, was referred back to the Council after the House heard strong testimony for and against the provision. Because the revised Standards proposed to continue the existing rule on this matter, the existing rule remains in place, pending further review by the Council.
 
In accordance with the Rules of Procedure, a decision by the Council to adopt, review, amend or repeal the Standards, Interpretations or Rules is subject to a maximum of two referrals back to the Council by the House. If the House refers a Council decision back to the Council twice, then the decision of the Council following the second referral will be final and will not be subject to further review by the House.
 
The revised Standards and Rules are legally effective as of the end of the ABA Annual Meeting on August 12, 2014. However, cognizant that law schools will need time to do the work that some of the changed Standards will require, the Council and the Section have established a transition and implementation plan.The revised Rules do not require a delay for implementation and are effective immediately.
 

This committee is charged with reviewing proposed changes in or additions to Standards, Interpretations, Rules, Policies, Procedures, and Criteria. Proposed changes are referred to the committee by the Council for its review and recommendations.

Comprehensive Review of the Standards

In September 2008, the Council of the Section of the Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar began a comprehensive review of the ABA Standards and Rules of Procedure for the Approval of Law Schools. The Council will rely on the work of its Standards Review Committee to complete this project, which we expect to take at least the next two academic years. We welcome and encourage comments, observations or suggestions about the efficacy and appropriateness of any of the Standards or Rules, or suggestions for new Standards or Rules. Comments can be sent to JR Clark.

If you are interested in attending a meeting of the Standards Review Committee, please contact JR Clark for additional information.

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