The Corner

Law & the Courts

The ABA Should Not Have Official Status

Mark Pulliam writes,

[L]aw schools and consumers are free to disregard the U.S. News rankings because they are merely advisory, and do not entail any legal or regulatory significance. The same cannot be said for the [American Bar Association], which has been granted monopoly status over the accreditation of law schools by the U.S. Department of Education (for purposes of determining eligibility for federal student loans) and nearly all state supreme courts (for purposes of determining eligibility to take the bar exam). . . .

The Department of Education should re-evaluate the ABA’s monopoly status as the accrediting organization for law schools, or at least insist that the ABA confine itself to legitimate quality control objectives—not social engineering. State supreme courts should likewise re-introduce competition into the process of determining eligibility to take the bar exam, or establish their own standards, or both.

I hope Betsy DeVos takes up this idea.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.


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