American Bar Association report could change the face of legal education
- The American Bar Association issued a report Friday calling for far-reaching changes to legal education.
- Among the recommendations are limited legal service training to those without degrees, allowing students who with less than four years of college or three years of law school to take the bar exam, doing away with requirements for students to spend 45,000 minutes in class and allowing credit for paid field placements.
- The report cites issues such as mounting student loan debt and changes in jobs available to graduates as reasons for the change, though it doesn't refer to a recommendation by President Obama that law schools limit instruction to two years with the third dedicated to clerking or practicing in a firm.
Law is one of many once-safe fields where graduates now have trouble finding work post-graduation. That the American Bar Association is taking note and trying to remedy many of legal education's downsides is noteworthy, particularly following efforts by President Obama to reform higher education as a whole. Aside from the structural recommendations listed in the report, which is still a draft and subject to change, it calls into question law schools' giving of aid to top students in order to improve rankings, rather than students with financial need—a practice that has likely contributed its fair share to the growing student debt crisis.
- The New York Times Read More
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