Accrediting the Accreditation Bodies

Interesting brawl emerging over the ABA’s recent initiative to enhance diversity as part of the law school accreditation requirements. Three groups have petitioned the US Department of Education asking that the ABA lose its power to accredit law schools, arguing that the ABA’s actions drive law schools to engage in illegal discrimination. See the Chronicle of Higher Education article (subscription required).

I’ve always been struck by the ABA’s (and AALS’s) seemingly unrestricted power to mandate debatable normative goals as part of the accreditation process, so it’s interesting to see some pushback/accountability for accreditation standards. With the ABA now facing its own accreditation evaluation, perhaps the ABA will experience first-hand the challenges of being under substantive review!