Friday, December 16, 2005

ABA's legal writing requirement

The American Bar Association (ABA) is the organization to which the federal Department of Education delegates the work of accrediting law schools in the United States.  The ABA uses detailed standards in the accreditation process.

Here's the requirement for legal writing instruction:

Standard 302(a)(3):
"A law school shall require that each student receive substantial instruction in  ... writing in a legal context, including at least one rigorous writing experience in the first year and at least one additional rigorous writing experience after the first year."

And here's how that requirement is to be interpreted:

Interpretation 302-1:
"Factors to be considered in evaluating the rigor of writing instruction include: the number and nature of writing projects assigned to students; the opportunities a student has to meet with a writing instructor for purposes of individualized assessment of the student's written products; the number of drafts that a student must produce of any writing project; and the form of assessment used by the writing instructor."

The full text of the ABA accreditation standards can be found at (spl)

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