“I think this whole initiative, no matter how it’s gussied up, emits political indoctrination and sets a precedent for more of the same.”
We’ve been covering this issue with the American Bar Association (ABA) here at LI:
- 150 Law School Deans Ask American Bar Assoc. to Require Training for Bias and Anti-Racism
- American Bar Association Considers Mandatory Anti-Bias Training for Law Schools
- Send A Letter: American Bar Assoc. Proposed Mandated Law School Race Curriculum Will Restrict Academic Freedom and Debate
Many legal scholars pushed back on the American Bar Association (ABA) this spring after the organization proposed requiring law schools to mandate diversity training for students.
Though professors’ written input during the ABA’s comment period were critical of the idea, the ABA moved ahead with the proposals last month.
Several Yale Law School professors, among others, submitted a letter encouraging the ABA to not adopt the proposed policies. Despite being sympathetic of the ABA’s goals, the professors claim that the proposed policies, if enacted, would do more harm than good.
The letter argued that the proposed standards are too “ambiguous” on which to base “good legal drafting.”
Specifically, the professors took issue with Proposed Standard 303 (c), which states, “a law school shall provide training and education to law students on bias, cross-cultural competency, and racism at the start of the program of legal education, and at least once again before graduation.” They claimed that there’s no actual explanation on what “cross-cultural competency” entails.
Additionally, the professors also took issue with Proposed Standard of 303 (b), which mandates law schools to “provide substantial opportunities to students for the development of a professional identity,” claiming the requirement is outside the scope of the institution’s traditional mission.
Retired appellate lawyer and professor Stanley Neustadter wrote in a letter to the ABA, “I think this whole initiative, no matter how it’s gussied up, emits political indoctrination and sets a precedent for more of the same.”
Michael J. Hutter, Albany Law Professor, claimed that the new guidelines were evocative of Critical Race Theory, stating that it is the mandate’s “apparent driving force.”
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