Friday, June 24, 2016
The American Bar Association Council on Legal Education is the accrediting agency for US law schools. Yesterday, the federal higher education accreditor watchdog, the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI) , voted to suspend the ABA’s authority to accredit new law schools for one year due to the ABA’s lack of attention to student achievement/bar outcomes/employment and failure to assess student-loan default rates in assessing programs. At the same meeting NACIQI voted to remove the recognition of the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) for one year (pending correction of several shortcomings) primarily because of its failure to halt Corinthian’s and other for-profit colleges’ student admissions/financial aid practices. This is an embarrassment to the ABA and to the legal academy. The ABA has one year to comply with NACIQI's expectations regarding its accreditation practices.