Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Legal Writing Institute Opposes Abolishing Interpretations 402-1 and 402-2 of the ABA Standards for Accrediting Law Schools
There is a proposal to abolish Interpretations 402-1 and 402-2 of the ABA Standards for the Accreditation of Law Schools. What are those? In part, they say that if you teach legal writing and are not on the tenure-track or its equivalent, your law school has to use a special formula when calculating its student-faculty ratio. The interpretation is thought to encourage law schools to put their writing (and clinical) faculty on the tenure-track (because this gives law schools a more favorable student-faculty ratio).
When there is a proposal to eliminate something that helps legal writing professors (and their students), it is natural for professional associations and groups to step forward and voice their concern.
The Legal Writing Institute has sent such a letter of protest to the ABA Council of the Section on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, stating four objections to the proposal:
the recommendation to eliminate the Interpretations may have unintended consequences, none of which appear to have been fully examined;
the recommendation will deprive students of information on the student-faculty ratio;
the recommendation does not consider how eliminating the interpretations would affect the transparency and consistency of ABA site evaluations; and
the recommendation fails to appreciate the reliance that law schools have placed on the interpretations.
Click on this link to read the LWI letter, which explains each of these points more fully. Download LWI_letter_to_ABA_Nov_20_2008.pdf
Hat tips to Ruth Anne Robbins, Melissa Weresh, and Susan Duncan.
Mark E. Wojcik (a member of the LWI Board)