This should come as no surprise, as the ABA also does not provide accreditation to most U.S. Law Schools, which refuse to crush students under huge fees, and refuse to make a business out of selling the hope of a career. However, while those schools in U.S. that do not have ABA accreditation are presumed as no good for a resume, some of the world’s most prestigious law schools like the one at Oxford University, U.K. cost international students almost half of what ABA accredited stables charge at home.
Consequently, of late there had been rising instances of students opting for top class universities in other countries, working as adjunct law professors for some time abroad, then returning and completing LL.M from ABA accredited schools back home, and going for the bar.
This trend is totally against the wishes and ambitions of those who run the nationwide oligarchy of law school business. The mere thought that students might be able to complete studies at prestigious institutions abroad, return home, complete LL.M, sit for the bar and become an attorney, still at close to half the cost of what they would have shelled out to earn J.D.s from useless law stables providing ABA accredited degrees, is sacrilege. So, this week, on Friday, the ABA overwhelmingly voted against providing accreditation to foreign law schools citing similarly vague rationale as it usually applies for denying accreditation to law schools at home.
However, this time, the ABA had another rationale that appealed to most – increase of foreign competition – ha, ha, ha. The school that applied for ABA accreditation, the Peking School of Transnational Law, produces 50 graduates each year. On the other hand, on an average 4000 foreign-trained lawyers appear at the NY Bar exams each year. And those lawyers do not need studying at schools with ABA accreditation. They have additional requirements which they need to fulfill, but their law school status cannot be challenged, as ABA does not provide accreditation to schools from their countries.
Professor John Flood of the University of Westminster in London told Legal Week, “The move doesn’t come as a surprise … But it is nonetheless an appalling decision. My understanding is that this decision was driven by quite a lot of sole practitioners in the U.S. who are intimidated by foreigners taking American jobs against a backdrop of a shrinking legal market.” But the man truly doesn’t know what he is speaking of – it’s not the “shrinking legal market” but the “shrinking law school business” with a law school applications having dropped already to 3/4th of what it was previously, even during the recession.
The only way the ABA could have truly decreased competition to law graduates back home was to extend ABA accreditation to other countries and controlling the inflow – where now there is no control. And as the patriotic sentiments flourished by those opposing accreditation of foreign law schools declare – the situation would continue as it is.
Right now, more than 27 states permit foreign lawyers and foreign-trained lawyers to take the bar as their countries do not have ABA extending accreditation to law schools of choice.