ABA Accreditation Standards for Law Schools

May 3, 2007

Douglas W. Kmiec, John A. Sebert, Thomas D. Morgan, Saul Levmore, John S. Baker, Jr.

Introduction: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. My name is Doug Kmiec from the Pepperdine Law  School in Malibu, California. You may be asking yourself what is this topic, the accreditation of law schools, doing in a symposium on limited government. After all, the ABA is not a government, and it is not limited. Indeed, some opponents of ABA accreditation would say look up “regulatory monopoly” in the dictionary, and that’s
where you’ll fi nd it. And, of course, therein lies the rub. The ABA may not be a government or state actor, but in practical reality it exercises extensive authority over the nature of legal education and derivatively the provision of legal services. The debate this afternoon is a debate over whether ABA accreditation standards serve or disserve the primary purposes of legal education....

2006 NLC Prof Resp Panel