Tuesday, March 15, 2016
From the New York Times (March 14):
The American Bar Association’s accrediting body put law schools on notice Monday that it intended to tighten a rule that sets a deadline for graduates to pass state bar exams — a near-universal requirement for becoming a practicing lawyer.
The new measure would clarify the existing deadline that 75 percent of students pass within two years. Bar passage rates have been falling noticeably across the country.
At issue for the schools is their accreditation by the association. The theory behind the rule, which is one factor in accreditation, is that schools should be accepting students who are likely to have the qualifications to become practicing lawyers. Proponents of the change say that schools exploit students when they accept those who — based on admissions tests and other measurements — have a small chance of succeeding. . . .
The revision, proposed by the association’s Section of Legal Education and Admission to the Bar, is subject to a hearing and a comment period. Approval by the full A.B.A. would most likely come in February 2017. Some schools are expected to push back against the effort to place a firm lid on student outcomes, especially if they have elected to admit students with less traditional qualifications.
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