Sunday, August 12, 2012

ABA Won’t Accredit Law Schools Overseas

From the Chronicle of Higher Education:

The accrediting body of the American Bar Association voted on Friday against opening its process to law schools overseas, striking a blow to the four-year-old Peking University School of Transnational Law.

The school, which graduated its first class of 53 students this year, is the first law school in mainland China to offer an educational program modeled on the U.S.-style J.D. degree. Its founding dean, Jeffrey S. Lehman, said the school is a place where Chinese students who can't afford to study in the United States "live and breathe American law." The school, located at the university's branch campus in Shenzhen, near Hong Kong, is the first foreign law school to seek ABA accreditation, a step that would make it easier for its graduates to practice law in the United States.

The school's request to be considered for ABA accreditation created bitter divisions in legal-education circles. Supporters said it made sense in light of the globalization of the legal profession, while critics said it would create headaches for the ABA and unwanted competition for American law students who are already facing dismal job prospects.


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