Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Summary of proposed changes to ABA regs governing law schools

NLJ has a useful account, but it seems an exaggeration to describe this as a "makeover."  Some (like the pointless increase in required clinical hours for law students) will raise the cost of legal education, but others (no minimum student-faculty ratio, no requirement of private faculty offices [!], greater latitude in granting variances from the other regs) may, at the margins, reduce costs, but only at the margins--the majority of law schools, who want to compete for students and faculty are not going to let their student-faculty ratios go sky-high or stop providing faculty their own offices.  My guess is that, in the end, this is all much ado about nothing, except for the windfall for experiential teachers.   The real changes afoot are being brought on by the declining applicant pool, which is affecting, in differing ways, 90% of the law schools in the country; most are contracting, some are increasing the teaching loads of their faculty, and a handful will probably close, barring a sudden turnaround.



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