Friday, June 10, 2011

Even Uncle Sam thinks the ABA sucks

I cribbed the following from TaxProf.

The ABA drew intense scrutiny on Thursday from a federal panel that reviews accrediting agencies. The National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity, which advises the U.S. education secretary on accreditation issues, used a meeting here to review the applications of 10 accrediting agencies to be recognized by the federal government. ...

Of the 10 agencies being reviewed on Wednesday and Thursday, all were recommended for continued recognition. ... But several members of the committee expressed reservations about approving that status for the ABA, which was found to be out of compliance with 17 regulations, including the need to consider student-loan default rates in assessing programs; to solicit and consider public comments; and to set a standard for job placement by its member institutions.

Arthur E. Keiser, chancellor of the Keiser Collegiate System, said that an accrediting agency would not accredit an institution with 17 outstanding issues. "There is a real concern that this agency doesn't get it," he said. Anne D. Neal, president of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, was one of three committee members who opposed the motion to continue the bar association's recognition, saying that she had no confidence it would be in compliance within a year.

Representatives of the association assured the committee that the changes recommended by the department were already in the process of being carried out and would be completed in time.

The bar association also got a negative review from a group of legal faculty members, the Clinical Legal Education Association, which accused the ABA of considering changes in its standards that would "strip important protections of academic freedom and faculty-governance rights ... by eliminating tenure and security of position for deans and faculty members," according to written comments submitted by the faculty group.

Faculty members at 65 law schools as well as a half-dozen faculty associations have voiced opposition to the proposed changes, said Jennifer M. Roberts, an associate professor of law at American University and a board member of the legal-education association. ...

In the end, a majority on the federal advisory committee voted to continue the bar association's recognition, but expressed frustration that they could not take stronger actions or at least state their concerns with stronger language.


  1. Too many cooks spoil the soup.

  2. Gov at work... lots of talking, very little doing.

  3. We'll see. Regardless of how the panel votes, I believe the ABA is eventually going to get hauled before Congress and also become a co-defendant in litigation against law schools. The panel's findings will no doubt be taken into account in both forums.

  4. The problem with the ABA is not a lack of regulations or rules. It is a problem of will. The ABA simply refuse to act. I am not so sure if there is a cure for that. The best we can hope for is that the ABA will lose its regulatory authority someday, but, considering that decision is up to the Fed Gov, I am not very hopeful.

    To me, the solution lies in stopping the Fed Gov from providing student loans, or at least restrict them to individuals that have demonstrated potential as future lawyers (high GPA/LSAT).

  5. I dont trust the ABA,take away its accreditation authority - it has ignored the problems of small firms and solos for far too long! Unfortunately, we the small firms and solos have not organized ourselves, if we had, we would have prevented the ABA from all the damage it has done to our profession

  6. But the ABA is awesome! By continually accrediting new schools, it is giving literally EVERYONE the chance to be a lawyer. Think how much better the profession will be once EVERYONE joins? Surely there is no reason why AMERICA can't have 10 million or even 20 million lawyers? Think of the progress!

  7. The ABA is a useless organization that has overseen the complete decay of the legal profession. Too many bottom bucket law deans are on ABA committees.