ABA Consultant on Legal Education
Hulett H. (Bucky) Askew
The role of the Consultant on Legal Education to the American Bar Association, and that of the staff of the Consultant's Office, is to effectively administer the accreditation of law schools project of the American Bar Association and to provide service, information and consultation to the American Bar Association, to bar admitting authorities, and to law schools regarding legal education in the United States. The Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar is the national law school accrediting agency as recognized by the United States Department of Education. The Consultant's responsibilities with regard to the accreditation of law schools relates directly to every Section committee and activity. The Consultant and staff look for opportunities to serve the interests of approved schools, their faculties and students, and legal education generally. They also develop programs and materials which assist law schools in the accreditation process and help recruit and train persons to serve in the site evaluation process. The Consultant also reports to the Executive Director of the American Bar Association.
At its June 1997 meeting, the Council of the Section adopted a revised description to the Consultant's Office as follows:
The Consultant on Legal Education of the American Bar Association directs the Association's program of accrediting law schools. Reporting directly to the Executive Director of the Association and to the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, the Consultant, together with the General Counsel of the Association, is responsible for assuring that legal requirements relating to the accreditation process are fulfilled. The Consultant represents the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar to the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation which recognize the Council as the nationally recognized accrediting agency for law schools granting the professional law degree.
The Consultant supports the Officers and Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar in the formulation of policy, adoption of a budget, and the administration of the accreditation program. The Consultant also supports the committees and projects of the Section, especially those that relate directly to accreditation matters such as the Accreditation Committee and the Standards Review Committee. The Consultant is responsible for overseeing the training of site evaluation teams that conduct law school inspections, and for assuring the production of inspection reports in accordance with established standards. The Consultant is responsible for ensuring that schools desiring ABA approval have the information necessary to facilitate their compliance with the Standards for Approval of Law Schools. The Consultant's office conducts a deans' workshop at the Midyear Meeting and a fall workshop for law school site evaluators. The Consultant is responsible for the official collection and distribution of statistics relating to American legal education, and the preparation of publications, including the new consumer publication, the Official American Bar Association Guide to Approved Law Schools. The Consultant works constructively and collaboratively with the Executive Director for the Association of American Law Schools and the President of the Law School Admission Council to facilitate liaison and cooperative effort among the three principal organizations dealing with American legal education.
The Consultant represents the ABA and the Section at significant legal education functions and meetings of various legal and higher education organizations, and provides information and counsel to law schools, their deans and faculties regarding accreditation. The Consultant interacts with the Conference of Chief Justices and the National Conference of Bar Examiners on behalf of the ABA and the Section, and is responsible for legal education outreach, both nationally and internationally.
The Consultant on Legal Education works with the Section Officers and Council and the Section Staff Director in directing activities related to accreditation, as well as general Section activities. The Consultant works with the Section Chair to prepare agendas for Council meetings, and plan section-wide activities such as the Annual Meeting, national conferences, and publications.