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ABA Considers Rule Change That Would Open Door to More Adjunct-Taught Classes in Law Schools

by Karen Sloan | Law.com

The American Bar Association is considering deep-sixing a rule requiring full-time faculty to teach at least half of every law school’s upper-level courses—a proposal likely to ruffle the feathers of professors who fear it would allow schools to essentially outsource the second and third year to adjuncts.

Eliminating the requirement would provide law schools more room to experiment with how they deliver classroom instruction and would also allow them to cut costs, according to the ABA committee that proposed the change. “This is another way in which the standards are moving toward looking at outcomes rather than inputs,” said Barry Currier, who oversees the ABA’s section of legal education. “What if a school graduates 100 percent of its students and 100 percent of them pass the bar? Should the accreditation standards say, ‘Sorry, still no good because you don’t have a majority of your upper years taught by full-time faculty?’”

But at least one organization of law professors has already said it will oppose reducing the amount of course offerings that must be taught by full-time faculty in order to preserve the quality of students’ educational experiences.

“Students need to have access to faculty members

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  • AdjunctNation Editorial Team: @Jeffr thanks for pointing out the distinction.
  • Jeffr: Note that adjunct faculty are considered to be on a “term” basis and receives no protection except...
  • Scott: I believe Sami is correct in that this no reasonable assurance language will allow adjuncts continuing access...
  • Nancy West-Diangelo: It’s as if we’ve lost the ability to listen critically. If the point of the work we...
  • Freddi-Jo Bruschke: An excellent description of this editorial.