ABA To Mandate More Practical Skills Training?

The National Law Journal is reporting that the ABA is reconsidering its plan to require six credits of real-world training in law school. "Now the council is agreeing to seek public comment on an alternative proposal to bump the requirement to 15 credits of clinics, simulation courses or externships."

"The ABA has been updating its accreditation standards since 2008. The existing standards mandate that students take just one credit of experiential learning. The standards committee initially proposed increasing that to three credits, which CLEA called a 'shockingly insignificant amount of skills training.'"

"The Clinical Legal Education Association (CLEA) has been pushing the 15-credit plan since July. The organization argues that the law lags behind medicine, dentistry and other professions when it come to real-world training.Under CLEA’s proposed 15-hour mandate, students would take at least one class involving a live client. The council’s tentative proposal would not require students to take a clinic or live-client course."

“Fifteen credits is the equivalent of a semester of classes. Spending one semester out of three years is completely consistent with what other professions do.”

The more practical training, the better. I am still surprised that the ABA is just now getting around to upping the number of practical-training hours in light of the MacCrate Report from the early 1990's. I am proud of my school for being a very early adopter of practical legal education. And it appears that, now, all of the other schools are trying to catch up.

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