During his 2011-12 Massachusetts Bar Association presidency Richard P. Campbell formed an MBA task force to examine whether law schools could do a better job preparing students for a career in the legal profession. Campbell is also a member of the ABA’s Task Force on the Future of Legal Education, which released its final report this week.
The American Bar Association Task Force on the Future of Legal
Education presented its final report to the ABA House of Delegates
on Monday. The report calls on law schools, bar associations,
regulators and others to redesign the financial model now prevalent
in law schools. In addition, the report encourages revisions to the
system that accredits law schools and the expansion of
opportunities for delivery of legal services. Massachusetts Bar
Association Past President Richard P. Campbell is a member of the
ABA's task force.
"At present, the system faces considerable pressure because of
the price many students pay for their education, the large amount
of student debt, consecutive years of sharply falling applications,
and dramatic changes, possibly structural, in the market for jobs
available to law graduates," the report states. "These factors have
resulted in great financial stress on law schools, damage to career
and economic prospects of many recent graduates, and diminished
public confidence in the system of legal education."
"The predicament of so many students and so many recent
graduates who may never procure the employment they anticipated
when they enrolled in their law schools is a compelling reality
that should be heeded by all who are involved in our system of
legal education," the report continues.
The task force was commissioned in July 2012 by then-ABA
President Wm. T. (Bill) Robinson III and supported by all
subsequent ABA presidents. It was authorized to investigate
problems that plague the U.S. system of legal education and to
identify potential solutions.
To prepare the report and recommendations, the task force
reviewed relevant literature, solicited testimony and obtained more
than 100 sets of written comments from interested parties. The task
force also held three public hearings and conducted a webcasted
mini-conference in April 2013, to which various knowledgeable
parties were invited to share information and perspectives.