SALT Positions on Faculty Governance and ABA Accreditation Policy During Pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic has led to rapid decision-making by law schools and universities over the last several months, often without adequate participation of faculty. SALT calls on each law school to recognize the primary role of the faculty in overseeing the school’s academic program and the shared role of the faculty in pursuing the welfare of the institution.

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In light of the Covid-19 pandemic and resulting disruptions of bar-exam administration, SALT has called upon the Council of the Section on Legal Education and Admission to the Bar to suspend ABA Standard 316. The standard, as part of the law-school accreditation process, requires that at least 75% of a law school’s graduates have passed the bar exam within two years of graduation. As SALT’s statement (below) makes clear, the pandemic renders uncertain the ability of law-school graduates to take and pass the bar in the near future. Applying Standard 316 in this environment would render uncertain the status of law schools with high percentages of graduates disproportionately affected by the pandemic. Suspending Standard 316 is a reasonable accommodation to the current crisis.