CLEA comment regarding ABA’s proposed revision for Standard 316

09 Aug 2016 8:25 PM | Anonymous

CLEA submitted a comment regarding ABA’s proposed revision for Standard 316.  For those who are not familiar with the change, the proposed revision to Standard 316 eliminates a number of provisions from the existing standard.  It aims to streamline the reporting of bar passage by requiring law schools to show that “at least 75 percent of a law school’s graduates in a calendar year who sat for a bar examination must have passed a bar examination administered within two years of their date of graduation.”  Here is a link to the proposed Standard, which includes a redlined version of the original standard: 

http://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/administrative/legal_education_and_admissions_to_the_bar/council_reports_and_resolutions/20160325_notice_and_comment_memo.authcheckdam.pdf

We are concerned about the lack of evidence-based research considered by the ABA to fully understand the impact of proposed Standard 316 on schools in states with low bar passage rates, and more importantly, the impact of the new standard on students of color and the diversity of the profession.  In addition to asking the Council to gather more data on the issue before voting on the proposed changes, we also urge the Council to consider ways to move states away from the bar exam as the sole criterion for licensing new attorneys.  We are thankful to the CLEA Advocacy Committee members for their hard work in preparing this comment. 

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