Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Notice and Comment on ABA Proposed Racism Training Requirement.

The ABA Council has asked for comments on its proposed racism requirement, which I earlier discussed here.  You can find the Notice here.  You can send comments to [email protected].

Here is the proposal:

Standard 303:

c) A law school shall provide training and education to law students on bias, cross-cultural competency, and racism: (1) at the start of the program of legal education, and (2) at least once again before graduation. For students engaged in law clinics or field placements, the second occasion for training and education will take place before or concurrent with their enrollment in clinical or field placement courses.

Interpretation 303-6: With respect to 303(a)(1), the importance of cross-cultural competency to professionally responsible representation and the obligation of lawyers to promote a justice system that provides equal access and eliminates bias, discrimination, and racism in the law should be among the values and responsibilities of the legal profession to which students are introduced.

Interpretation 303-7: Standard 303(c) may be satisfied by: (1) Orientation sessions for incoming students on bias, cross-cultural competency, and racism; (2) Guest lectures or trainings by experts in the areas of bias, cross-cultural competency, and racism; (3) Courses on racism and bias in the law; or (4) Other educational experiences that train students in cross-cultural competency. While law schools need not add a required upper-division course to satisfy this requirement, law schools must demonstrate that all law students are required to participate in a substantial activity designed to reinforce the skill of cultural competency and their obligation as future lawyers to work to eliminate racism in the legal profession.

(Scott Fruehwald)


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