The American Bar Association and Legal Education in the United States
Issues of Democracy, Vol. 7, No. 2, August 2002, pp. 13-18
9 Pages Posted: 21 Jun 2012
Date Written: August 1, 2002
Since its inception in 1878, the American Bar Association (ABA) has been concerned with improving the quality of U.S. legal education. Following numerous studies of educational law programs available at the end of the 19th century, it was determined that a national process must be developed to ensure the quality of the education of a prospective lawyer. By 1921, the ABA had adopted a statement for minimum standards of legal education and published a list of law schools that complied with those standards. John A. Sebert, consultant on Legal Education to the American Bar Association, administers the ABA accreditation process, supervising a full-time staff of 13. In this overview, Sebert looks at how the ABA has shaped legal education in the U.S. over time and how law schools are accredited by the Council of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar.
Keywords: legal education, American Bar Association, ABA, minimum standards, accreditation process, higher education, ethical guidelines, Model Rules of Professional Conduct, clinical education, MacCrate Report
JEL Classification: I21, I29, K19, K39
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation