The American Bar Association has made new drafts to its law school accreditation standards. These proposed changes would change the way that law schools report employment information for their graduates, as well as making the requirements for passing the bar stricter, and allowing distance education students to take more credit hours. Several other major changes have also been proposed.
According to a letter from the consumer information subcommittee of the Standards Review Committee of the ABA, the requirement that exists for law schools to publish “placement rates” and “basic consumer information” leaves a lot open to interpretation.
The subcommittee also wrote the following: “Not surprisingly, with such a vague standard, schools’ practices vary widely. Some schools provide detailed information; others provide a bare minimum.”
According to the new proposal, the employment status of students after nine months would be disclosed by law schools, in addition to the percentage of the students in law school-funded jobs. They would also be required to give information about the percentage of graduates with employment that requires bar passage and those who hold non-legal jobs. Schools will also be required to specify how many students they have in part-time and full-time jobs.
These proposals will be discussed in Chicago by the Standards Review Committee on April 2 and 3. It will have an open forum as part of the meeting so that other parties can give their own comments about the proposals.