ABA Standards

The American Bar Association (“ABA”), the main accrediting body for law schools, expressly refers to AAUP principles concerning academic freedom.  Appendix One of the 2013-2014 Standards and Rules for Procedure for Approval of Law Schools, entitled “Statement on Academic Freedom and Tenure,” provides that the ABA’s understanding of academic freedom “follows the ‘1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure’ of the American Association of University Professionals.” See http://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/publications/misc/legal_education/Standards/2013_2014_appendix1_academic_freedom_tenure.authcheckdam.pdf .

Other relevant ABA Standards include Standards 205(b), 405, 202 and 203.  Standard 205(b) provides that “the dean and faculty shall formulate and administer the educational program of the law school.”  ABA Interpretation 205-1 further states that “an action of a university committee may violate the Standards if it deprives the dean and faculty of a law school of their appropriate roles for recommending faculty promotion and tenure or security of position.”  ABA Standard 405 provides that law schools should maintain a policy of academic freedom.  ABA Standards 202 and 203 also require that faculty be provided a central role in overseeing both the self-study and strategic planning processes.  See generally http://www.americanbar.org/groups/legal_education/resources/standards.html.

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