In his First Monday Musings column on Above the Law, Dean Vikram Amar shares his thoughts about the ABA's decision to defer tightening of bar passage standards. He writes:
"As I explained when I discussed this proposed measure last year, 'as long as the bar exam exists as a barrier to entry into the profession, law schools need to make sure the vast majority of their graduates can pass (and schools should be addressing this matter whether or not they are worried about accreditation).' And because there are valid consumer-protection concerns present and also because federal loans and state subsidies are used to finance legal education, I think some kind of regulatory (rather than purely market-based-disclosure) response to the problem of low pass rates is inevitable. To the extent that enactment of a new standard will make it harder for schools to admit students who may not be great at standardized tests (like the LSAT and bar exams), and thus make it harder to enroll racially diverse student bodies, law schools will – whenever this measure or something like it becomes effective — have to find ways of coping with the challenge."
Full column on Above the Law