Unaccredited Law School Sues ABA

The following article, Unaccredited Law School Sparks Debate With Lawsuit Against Bar Association by Katherine Mangan, comes to us from the Chronicle of Higher Education.

The argument is that the ABA and accredited schools are using their market dominance to prevent new schools from gaining accreditation. Here is an excerpt:

A Tennessee law school’s lawsuit against the American Bar Association has sparked considerable discussion in legal-education circles about the ABA’s gatekeeper role in approving new schools.

Lincoln Memorial University’s Duncan School of Law filed its complaint against the ABA in federal court on December 22, just days after learning that the association’s accrediting arm had denied its bid for provisional accreditation.

Duncan, which opened in 2009 with the goal of helping students and potential clients in Appalachia, contends that the ABA is unfairly limiting competition by excluding new schools that want to offer a relatively affordable option for underrepresented students.

But others, including some Congressional critics, say the ABA hasn’t been tough enough in enforcing its standards, allowing too many new schools to open at a time when students’ job prospects are shrinking.

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