Higher Education: Issues Related to Law School Accreditation

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A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "In order to participate in certain federal programs, such as federal student financial aid, postsecondary institutions must be accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the Department of Education (Education). Accreditation ensures that schools provide basic levels of quality in their educational programs, and Education recognizes those agencies it concludes can reliably determine the quality of education provided by the schools and programs they accredit. Since 1952, Education has recognized the American Bar Association (ABA) as an accrediting agency for law schools. ABA accreditation is important ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. March 8, 2007.

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Description

A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "In order to participate in certain federal programs, such as federal student financial aid, postsecondary institutions must be accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the Department of Education (Education). Accreditation ensures that schools provide basic levels of quality in their educational programs, and Education recognizes those agencies it concludes can reliably determine the quality of education provided by the schools and programs they accredit. Since 1952, Education has recognized the American Bar Association (ABA) as an accrediting agency for law schools. ABA accreditation is important to the 195 law schools it accredits because it allows their graduates the flexibility to take the Bar exam in any jurisdiction in the United States. The Department of Education requires that all recognized accrediting agencies periodically reapply for continued recognition. The Secretary of Education's accreditation advisory group, the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI), considered the ABA's most recent application for continued recognition in December 2006. The ABA was originally scheduled for review in December 2005, but Education postponed it twice based on the large volume of public comments that had to be reviewed, as well as concerns about the ABA's diversity standard. To address Congressional interest in these issues, we answered the following questions: (1) What is Education's process for recognizing accrediting agencies? (2) What is ABA's process for accrediting law schools? (3) What concerns have been raised about the ABA's accreditation process?"

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • March 8, 2007

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Higher Education: Issues Related to Law School Accreditation, report, March 8, 2007; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc302001/: accessed October 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.