Get ready law schools: A Senate hearing on the ABA regulation of law schools might be coming. That is the subtext of Senator Boxer’s most recent letter to the ABA. It’s overdue.
Law schools have demonstrated time and again that we are incapable of regulating ourselves. It started a century ago, when AALS and ABA wrote accreditation standards to keep out competition from lower cost urban law schools that educated immigrants and working class people. It was on display in 1995, when the Department of Justice filed a civil antitrust suit against the ABA, charging that legal educators had captured the accreditation process and were using it to ratchet up their wages and reduce their teaching loads. And it is happening again now–as highlighted by two recent examples.