ABA Legal Education Section Delays Decision on Accrediting Foreign Law Schools
SAN DIEGO, Dec. 4, 2010 — The Council of the American Bar Association Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar met today to consider whether to accredit law schools outside United States borders that meet the Section’s Accreditation Standards and Rules of Procedure. Currently the Section is the accrediting agency for U.S.-based law school programs. The Section’s Council adopted unanimously the following motion:
“Consistent with the first recommendation of the Kane Committee report and in view of the comments received by the Council with respect to that report, I move that the Council continue with its consideration of the approval of foreign law schools and engage in our consideration appropriate public and private stakeholders, for example, the CCJ [Conference of Chief Justices], state bar examiners, legal educators, representatives of the legal profession, and public officials. Until the Council has fully vetted the issue as to whether to expand the accreditation role of the Section to encompass law schools located outside of the U.S. and its territories, the section will not proceed with consideration of any application for provisional approval from a foreign law school.”
Today’s Council discussion addressed issues raised in a report submitted by the Special Committee on Foreign Law Schools Seeking Approval under ABA Standards. The report and recommendations were posted on the Section’s webpage in August of this year, and were open for comment from groups and individuals interested in these issues. Over sixty comments were received and considered by the Council.
With nearly 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is the largest voluntary professional membership organization in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.
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