Treating Professionals Professionally: Requiring Security of Position for All Skills-Focused Faculty Under ABA Accreditation Standard 405(C) and Eliminating 405(D)
37 Pages Posted:
Date Written: January 23, 2020
In 2014, the American Bar Association (ABA) decided to retain Accreditation Standard 405 in its current form to preserve tenure for law faculty as well as the status, security of position, governance rights, and academic freedom that tenure provides. In doing so, the ABA also preserved the long-standing hierarchy that elevates doctrine-focused faculty over skills-focused faculty. That hierarchy discriminates against skills-focused faculty, particularly those who specialize in legal writing--most of whom are women. This paper calls on the ABA to address this discrimination against skills-focused faculty and the negative effects it has on schools, faculty, and students. As explained in this article, many schools recognize the inherent limitations and unfairness of the status hierarchy that Standard 405 condones and, accordingly, provide skills-focused faculty security of position over and above what the ABA requires. We urge the ABA to follow their lead by eliminating Standard 405(d) and requiring that all law schools afford their clinical and legal writing faculty, at minimum and without exception, security of position under Standard 405(c).
Keywords: ABA, accreditation, discrimination, hierarchy, skills, doctrine, legal writing, tenure, contract, faculty, status
JEL Classification: K10, K12, K31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation