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April 29, 2013

ABA Task Force on Legal Education Reform

by Dan Rodriguez

The handwriting on the wall is revealed nicely in the first sentence of this article:  30 different law profs, 30 different answers about how best to reform legal education.  The ideas range from narrow and specific to broad and radical.

What is interesting from a pure process perspective is that this task force is created under the aegis of the “big” ABA, not the Section on Legal Education.  In other words, this group has a broad mandate from the larger association of American lawyers to delve into the current situation and to come forward with ideas and initiatives for consideration by the ABA.  My prediction, and it is only that:  If significant proposals emerge, they will gain traction at least in the public eye.  And if the organization that has traditionally dealt with law school regulation — The Section, not the larger group — does not pursue these proposals in earnest, there will be serious tensions within the ABA.

All that said, the core matter is how best to gather input and evaluate ideas about our flawed system.  There should be candid, strategic thinking from a variety of quarters.  I welcome the good work and thinking of the Task Force (although I confess to a bit of anxiety about exactly what they will come up with!).

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