ABA Announces New Reporting Plan
The ABA is planning to review fewer law schools amid COVID-19 concerns.
The association’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar announced last week that it would cut down on the number of schools it reviews with individual student information for purposes of employment outcomes reporting, the ABA Journal reports.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of schools have postponed admissions causing the section to establish a committee to address reporting bar exam pass rates.
“In the past, we’ve reviewed 10 or 20 files, depending on a graduating class’ size. We are going to reduce that number, because the schools would like quicker feedback, and because we are not finding serious problems in the auditing process. We are not seeing schools misreporting. Sometimes we will see some confusion or documentation they would need to do a better job on,” Bill Adams, managing director of ABA accreditation and legal education, tells the ABA Journal.
PANDEMIC WREAKS HAVOC
Law schools across the country have had to adjust amidst the pandemic.
In light of the transition, a number of law schools also asked the ABA to move its recent-graduate employment reporting deadline to 12 months after graduation instead of 10.
The ABA rejected the notion citing that consistent data dates are crucial to show employment trends.
“We think that we shouldn’t try to mask the harm the pandemic is causing to employment. Also, we’re not sure changing the deadline from 10 to 12 months out that we would get a much better or more accurate picture of what’s going on,” Adams tells the ABA Journal.
While the J.D. class of 2019 had strong employment performance—nearly 81% had found full-time employment requiring bar passage within 10 months of graduation—COVID-19 has flipped the economy upside down with some large firms already having announced furloughs and layoffs, according to Law.com.