Barry A. Currier
Managing Director of Accreditation and Legal Education
When the gavel falls on August 7th, signaling the adjournment of the ABA House of Delegates meeting and the 2018 ABA Annual Meeting, if things go as planned, the approvals needed to restructure the work of the ABA accreditation process will have been completed. The work and the responsibilities, previously shared by the Council with the Accreditation and the Standards Review Committees, going forward will rest solely with the Council.
This is a bittersweet moment. While these changes will improve our work in many ways, we will miss the contributions to our work by, and the collegiality of, these two committees.
The Accreditation Committee is at least a half-century old. The Standards Review Committee, though of more recent origin, has been part of our process for a long time. As is usually the case, the committees started small and grew larger over the years, as both legal education and the regulation of legal education evolved. In recent years, the Accreditation Committee has had 19 members and the Standards Review Committee’s roster ranged from 10-15 members. Each member could serve a maximum of six years, and most did. A little arithmetic suggests that perhaps as many as 500 individuals have served on one (and, in some cases, both) of these committees.
All time spent preparing for, attending, and following up on committee meetings was volunteered. Occasionally, someone asks if we ever calculated the value of the pro bono time given. We did not, but if we did, the number would be a big one. Trying to put a dollar value on the contributions of committee members over the years, however, really misses the point. Volunteers gave their time, wisdom, and perspective to support and advance quality legal education – for the good of the students, our country, and the rule of law.
As we move forward to the next era in the ABA accreditation process, I take this opportunity to say thank you to the many wonderful lawyers, judges, and public members who pitched in along the way. Thanks to…
Jonathan Alger, Dennis Archer, Bucky Askew, Joe Baca, Steve Bahls, John Baker, Scott Bales, Margaret Martin Barry, Joe Bellacosa, Ike Berkman, Dan Bernstine, Doug Blaze, Jim Blumstein, Craig Boise, Diane Bosse, David Brennen, Alice Gresham Bullock, Martin Burke, Ed Butterfoss, Anthony Caprio, Catherine Carpenter, Gillian Cell, Brad Clary, Bob Cooper, Bob Cordy, Peg Corneille, Barbara Cox, Don Dahlin, Cissy Daughtrey, Sara Davies, Mike Davis, Roger Dennis, Bob Dinerstein, Allison Dussias, Sid Eagles, Allen Easely, Tom Edmonds, John Elson, Ward Farnsworth, John Feerick, Steven Frankino, Dan Freehling, Nick Gaede, Tom Galligan, Antonio Garcia-Padilla, Pam Gann, Jose Garcia-Pedrosa, Marie Garibaldi, Lollie Gasaway, Art Gaudio, Paul George, Bobbie Gitenstein, Peter Glenn, Bob Glidden, Chuck Goldner, Jesse Goldner, Jack Grosse, Harry Groves, Jerry Hafter, Jane Hammond, Jim Hanks, Reese Hansen, Harry Haynsworth, Joe Harbaugh, Fred Hart, Rudy Hasl, Randy Hertz, Pat Hobbs, Randy Holland, Gil Holmes, Joan Howland, Richard Hurt, Monica Ingram, Alex Johnson, Chris Johnson, Kevin Johnson, Nate Jones, Peter Joy, Carol Kapsner, Sue Kay, Joel Kaye, Jim Klein, Lisa Kloppenberg, John Lahey, David Leebron, Judith Leonard, Jeff Lewis, Anne Lukingbeal, Dennis Lynch, Pam Lysaght, Frank Macciarola, Dan Madzelan, Wayne McCormack, Lucy McGough, Nancy Marlin, Kiyo Matsumoto, Peter McDonough, Ruth McGregor, Lucy McGough, Ada Meloy, Tomea Mersmann, Veryl Miles, Jack Miller, Erica Moeser, Liz Moody, Dick Morgan, Jim Morse, Greg Murphy, R.W. Nahstoll, Jequita Napoli, Charles Nash, Nancy Neuman, Richard Neuman, Scott Norberg, John O’Brien, Sean Olivas, Solomon Oliver, Russell Osgood, Scott Pagel, Gary Palm, Rex Pershbacher, Chris Pietruszkiewicz, Don Polden, Joanne Scanlon Prestia, H.G. Prince, Maria Ramirez, Judith Reed, Kathryn Ressel, Rita Reusch, Suzanne Richards, Dot Ridings, Andree Roaf, Maggie Robb, Harold Rock, Sharren Rose, Catherine Ross, John Ryan, Barbara Safriet, Gordon Schaber, Kurt Schmoke, Pauline Schneider, John Sebert, Randy Shepard, Claude Sowle, Len Strickman, Barry Sullivan, Paul Sypherd, Kent Syverud, Beverly Tarpley, Leigh Taylor, Daniel Thies, Cliff Thompson, Patricia Timmons-Goodson, Karen Tokarz, Edward Toussaint, David Trager, Ed Tucker, Charlotte Wager, Rosalie Wahl, Bob Walsh, Frank Walwer, Kevin Washburn, Don Weidner, Fred White, Rebecca Hanner White, David Williams, Charles Wilson, Adrien Wing, David Yellen, Diane Yu, and Fred Yu.
This list, incomplete though it is, demonstrates the breadth and depth of the membership of these committees. Thanks also to the staff of the Consultant’s/Managing Director’s Office that supported their work over the years: my predecessors – Jim White, John Sebert, and Bucky Askew; the deputy consultants/managing directors – Tom Read, Art Gaudio, Richard Hurt, Stephen Yandle, Dan Freehling, Scott Norberg, and Bill Adams; and many colleagues in the office who have supported our work over the years, particularly Cathy Schrage, Camille deJorna, Becky Stretch, and Carl Brambrink.
The list no doubt slants toward the more recent, when I have been part of the project. It is a privilege to have worked with them, many of whom have become friends as well as professional colleagues. Apologies to others that I failed to include. Our work, truly, could not have been done without the investment of time and talent of every person who served on either the Accreditation Committee or the Standards Review Committee over the years.