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Friday, April 01, 2011

New ABA Accreditation Rule 304(g) and the Outsourcing of Legal Education


One thing that I always thought was great about being a law professor was that ours was a job that was basically guaranteed not to be outsourced. So I was shocked by today's news that the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar voted to approve Standard 304(g):

"A program of instruction may be completed through exclusively online instruction."

I called up a Section member who is an acquaintance of mine, Avril Sutela, and I asked her if this meant that a law school could be located outside the United States, and she said that as long as the school meets the other accreditation standards, there was nothing to prevent that. She actually told me that Accenture Education - a division of the global outsourcing company Accenture – has already initiated conversations about beginning the approval process for an ABA-accredited school located overseas with an online instructional program.

I understand the strong economic arguments for trade liberalization, and I couldn't blame law students for considering alternative educational opportunities that could radically lower their tuition bills, but, nonetheless, I have misgivings.

I feel like this happened without the kind of considered, deep thinking that the topic deserved. It also makes me think that if the AALS were in charge of law school accreditation, this never would have happened.

It's great to be back on PrawfsBlawg! Thanks to Dan and the gang for having me. And Happy April 1st.

Posted by Eric E. Johnson on April 1, 2011 at 04:53 PM in Information and Technology, Teaching Law | Permalink


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Posted by: rani | Aug 12, 2011 3:08:19 AM

If the AALS were in charge of law school accreditation, all professors would have a guaranteed salary, and tenure would be hereditary.

Posted by: Anonymous | Apr 1, 2011 11:42:16 PM

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