November 9, 2010
CLEA Criticizes ABA Accreditations Standards Review Committee for "Shallow Engagement" With Stakeholders Other Than Law School Deans
In a letter to the chair of the ABA's Standards Review Committee carrying the subject line "Standards Review Committee’s Handling of the Comprehensive Review Process," (Nov. 4, 2010), the Clinical Legal Education Association criticizes the Committee's on-going work as being driven by the American Law Deans Association's proposals at the expense of other stakeholders. Two snips:
CLEA now feels obligated to express its concern about the Committee’s shallow engagement with the wide range of stakeholders in this process and its apparent disregard of their many thoughtful, important written comments and other contributions on the pending issues.
[W]e note with some dismay that the only commentary that seems to inform the Committee is the deregulatory agenda of the self-perpetuating Board (not the membership) of the American Law Deans Association (ALDA). That group’s vision of radical deregulation appears to drive the Committee’s proposals to eliminate rules that the Council previously endorsed after much deliberation and that have defined legal education for many years. In contrast, the comments and viewpoints of many other stakeholders in legal education, including the AALS, SALT, CLEA, ALWD, and many dozens of judges, non-ALDA law deans, and leaders in legal education, are rarely, if ever, mentioned. We are particularly troubled by this in light of the fact that the largest constituency among members of the Standards Review Committee itself is current or former law deans.
See also LLB's On Student Learning Outcomes: Legal Writing Profs Give ABA Standards Review Committee Lesson in Drafting about ALWD and LWI letters in response to the Committee's revised (watered down) student learning outcome standards draft. On what it will take to produce a socially responsible professional education for law, one not limited to the myopic views of one special interest group, see Why Can't Johnny Practice Law? The legal education system has broken the Social Contract.
Hat tip to Nova Southeastern Law prof Jim Levy's Legal Skills Prof Blog post for reporting about the CLEA letter. [JH]