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Legal Education in the US. 1910 - 1930. Widespread Discrimination. Coincided with growth of part-time / night law schools Against Jews, Catholics, Blacks, Immigrants Claim: these students could not be “taught the ethics of the profession” b/c their background is so different

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widespread discrimination
Widespread Discrimination
  • Coincided with growth of part-time / night law schools
  • Against Jews, Catholics, Blacks, Immigrants
  • Claim: these students could not be “taught the ethics of the profession” b/c their background is so different
  • Apparent Goal: limit # of people admitted to the bar
educational shifts
Educational Shifts
  • General Movements
    • Away from law offices and into law schools
    • Growing support for a college requirement
    • Knowledge of
      • Int’l Law
      • Legal history
      • Economics
      • Political Science
  • Why?
    • “Rising threat of socialism”
    • Labor / industry disputes
    • Need for social reform
1915 aba committee s decisions on admission to the bar
1915: ABA Committee’s Decisions on Admission to the Bar
  • Admission to state bar is regulated by state’s supreme court
  • Disapproved of diploma entry
  • Candidates must be US citizens
  • Law schools w/ high stds tended to have 3-yr programs
ny state requirements
NY State Requirements
  • Candidate must speak English
  • Moral fitness must be proven by candidate
    • Inquiry conducted by committee appointed by court
    • Sworn statement by candidate
    • Affidavits on character – by atty personally known to a member of the committee or by teacher or minister
  • Similar req’ts in other states
growing concern over inferior schools
Growing Concern over “Inferior Schools”
  • 1917: ABA’s Council on Legal Education formed
    • Meant to inspect and classify schools, but not given funding
  • AALS increased membership requirements, effectively excluding part time schools
  • 1921: Root Committee
    • Goal: recommend actions the ABA could take that would “strengthen the character and improve the efficiency of persons admitted” to the bar
    • Recommendations were adopted by ABA in 1922
the root report
The Root Report
  • Paved the way for the ABA to be an accrediting agency
  • Minimum stds for law schools
    • At least 2 yrs college before law school
    • Law school = 3 yrs f/t or equivalent in p/t
    • Law school must have at least 7500 volumes
    • Sufficient faculty (min. 3 f/t faculty; 100:1 student: prof ratio)
  • Discouraged diploma privilege for bar admission
  • Called on ABA to fund the Council on Legal Education
states bar admission requirements
States’ Bar Admission Requirements
  • 1927: No states req’d law school for admission
  • 1928: Only 1 jxn did NOT require a bar exam
convergence of aals aba
Convergence of AALS & ABA
  • 1923: cooperation on ALI
  • 1926: accreditation lists were identical
    • 62 accredited schools
      • 56 full time schools
      • 6 offered full & part time programs
    • 108 non-accredited schools (73 of those were night schools)
      • These schools had 70% of law students
  • 1927: Sec of AALS appointed ABA’s 1st full-time legal education adviser
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