ABA Law School Accreditation Process

The United States Department of Education has recognized the American Bar Association, Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar as the accrediting agency “in the United States of programs in legal education that lead to the first professional degree in law . . . .”  See also 34 C.F.R. § 602 (explaining the DOE’s recognition of accrediting agencies). George Mason School of Law was approved by the ABA in 1980.

Under the ABA Rules of Procedure for Accreditation of Law schools, fully accredited law schools are subject to a site evaluation every 7 years. A team of evaluators reviews materials provided by the law school and then conducts a 3-day site visit. These evaluators typically includes a law librarian (see ABA Standards for Library and Information Sources).

George Mason will host an ABA team of evaluators, led by Dean Brad Toben (Baylor Law School) on Sunday, March 30 through Wednesday, April 3, 2014. They will hold an open meeting for students on April 1, 5:00-6:00, in Room 215. Students are welcome to contact Dean Toben directly if they cannot attend the open meeting. The Site Team will be using Hazel Hall Room 314 as its base of operations. You may also contact Dean Toben through his office number: 254.710.1911, fax 254.710.1799, or email at Brad_Toben@baylor.edu.

More information is available in a brochure titled,The Law School Accreditation Process and the current ABA Standards and Rules of Procedure for Approval of Law Schools Both these resources are on the ABA website.

Vote for Catherine Wauters’ Public Interest Application Video

Barbri has partnered with Save the Children to fund a legal fellowship position for a graduating law student. Our own 3L, Catherine Wauters, is in the final 10 finalists in this important and competitive fellowship bid. The top 3 finalists are largely decided by peer vote. Please take a few minutes to visit this page and vote for Catherine’s video. As you will see from her video, the fellowship will enable Catherine to work on an issue near and dear to her, building on her Peace Corp experience in West Africa. We are proud of Catherine and wish her the best, and we need your help to get her this fellowship.

Ready, Set, Write: Preparing for Your First Law School Exams

No doubt, preparing for law school exams, especially your first set of these assessments, is a challenging experience.  But many law students have survived this process not much worse for wear, so don’t panic!

As noted here, the law library has a variety of study aids available.  Here is a sample of some of the other potentially useful resources providing suggestions for exam preparation and writing:

Best of Luck!

Important ExamSoft Information for Upperclass Students

Message from Pat Hupalo:

It has come to our attention that many of our upperclass students have had difficulty registering to use ExamSoft for this semester’s exams.

When attempting to register, students are getting error messages and are prevented from establishing their accounts and downloading their exam templates. This problem appears to only affect students who have used ExamSoft in a previous semester. ExamSoft administrators have determined that the remedy for this semester is for students to use a different username and password than those used in previous semesters. For example, if your previous username was “jdoe”, then changing your username to “jdoe2″ and changing your password should allow you to register and use ExamSoft for your Fall semester exams.

Please contact my office (703-993-8015) or Computing Services (703-993-4855) if you need assistance with your ExamSoft registration. Keep in mind that the Law School will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday beginning tomorrow afternoon. Since the exam period begins on Monday, December 2, you may want to give your ExamSoft registration your immediate attention.

 

Ready, Set, Write: Preparing for Your First Law School Exams

No doubt, preparing for law school exams, especially your first set of these assessments, is a challenging experience.  But many law students have survived this process not much worse for wear, so don’t panic!

As noted here previously, the law library has a variety of study aids available.  Here is a sample of some of the other potentially useful resources providing suggestions for exam preparation and writing:

Best of Luck!

Attack Legal Education Above the Fold and Watch the Blawgosphere Light Up!

While the blawgosphere provides its own critiques of legal education, attack this institution on the front page of a major newspaper, and suddenly swords are drawn! 

In case you missed it, the front page of last Sunday’s New York Times featured an article titled:  What They Don’t Teach Law Students:  LawyeringThe article critcizes the dearth of practical skills training in law schools and argues that this has become increasingly intolerable for employers, clients, as well a new graduates in the tight economy.  It also focuses on costs associated with rewarding production of legal scholarship rather than teaching excellence.

Some responses:

  • Brian Leiter’s Law School Reports calls the article a “hatchet job” full of cliches, inaccuracies, anti-intellectualism etc. 
  • The Volokh Conspiracy notes “there’s a lot worth criticizing” in the article but finds merits in the piece as well.
  • Prawfs Blawg calls the article “A Recipe for Trashing Legal Scholarship” describing the “ingredients” as “half-baked.”

The issues here are nothing new.  Law school curriculum, especially the relatively limited focus on teaching practical lawyering skills, has long been the subject of debate.  But this debate isn’t generally highlighted on the front page of the New York Times.  Perhaps for law students, this discussion will help inform course selections or even make the time devoted to LRWA assignments seem a tiny bit less onerous?

What Are the Most Useful Law School Electives?

While ultimately which law school classes prove most useful will depend on each individual’s career interests and the quality of the course, a recent survey of George Washington Law alumni about recommended elective curriculum may be of interest to blog readers.    

The top 3 courses recommended by the 576 survey respondents were not surprizing:

  1. Evidence (27%)
  2. Administrative Law (21%)
  3. Corporations (18%)

The complete survey results may be found here.  Hat tip The Volokh Conspiracy Blog.