Protest Lawyers: The ABA's Push for More Ideological Training in Law School

New ABA guidelines tell law schools to place tribal allegiance over legal education.

Teresa Manning

  • Article
  • August 24, 2021

Most American law professors have never tried a case, argued an appeal or even represented a client. No surprise, then, that most law school graduates are not “practice ready” and know nothing of how to draft court filings, conduct depositions or even write client correspondence.

The nation’s law firms have long complained about this appalling lack of knowledge among new hires, not just because they don’t understand how three years of law school could be so unproductive, but also because they bear the cost– in time, money and labor – to really educate and train associate attorneys in the ways of the legal profession.

This is, of course, the work that American legal education should do, but doesn’t.

In defense, law schools claim to teach students not practical skills but how to “think like lawyers.” But in reality, ideology has displaced much of this this practical knowledge, such that many law faculty now publish on topics such as Heterosexual Privilege, Lesbian Perspective, Lesbian Experience, Taxing Lesbians, Stories from the Transgender Garden: Transsexuals and the Law, Queer Theory and GayLaw: The Case for Same-Sex Marriageand In Support of Euthanasia; course catalogues include titles such as Heterosexism and the Law, Race as a Social Construct, and Critical Race Theory.

You get the idea.

Last time NAS checked, the vast majority of law school faculty were not only registered Democrats but “on the left edge” of the party, with many “further left than that,” according to Georgetown Law Professor Nicholas Rosenkranz.

Only years later do law school graduates realize how odd – and unjust – their so-called legal education was, and how unrelated to real courtroom or business practice. The realization is made worse as most struggle to pay off student loans, since law school tuition increases have not just exceeded the rate of inflation but have also become untethered from the stagnant salary level of most American lawyers, unlike the ever-increasing salary level of most American law professors.

And what does the American Bar Association (ABA) have to say about this absurd and unacceptable state of affairs?

It wants to make law schools more leftwing and more ideological, of course.

On August 16, the ABA Standards Committee approved new criteria to accredit law schools, requiring them to change their policies to include items on the current leftwing program such as “anti-racism” training, “bias” training and steps to build “inclusive and equitable” environments, code for race and sex preferences and more America bashing.

As NAS noted earlier this summer, ABA oversight of legal education is more like a partnership in crime than a check on quality, professionalism, or standards. Recall that the ABA itself has been sued for unlawful, anti-trust violations and even breached stipulation agreements overseen by the Justice Department, suggesting that it sees itself as above any law.

For decades, its policy positions have favored abortion, gun control, immigration, and affirmative action – just like the predator law schools it supposedly oversees.

In truth, the ABA and law schools work hand-in-glove to politicize and degrade the legal profession, to impoverish middle-class American students, and to advance leftwing causes at every opportunity.

This isn’t a legal profession. It’s a racket.

Iowa Senator Charles Grassley took the lead to scrutinize law schools a few years ago when they were cooking the books about their graduates’ employment prospects and also earlier this month when he co-chaired, with Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, a Committee hearing on whether student loan debt should be dischargeable in bankruptcy.

If Senator Grassley really cares about issues in higher and legal education – and it seems he does – the role of the ABA and the rot in American law schools are topics more than ready for his attention.

Teresa Manning is the Director of Policy at the National Association of Scholars and author of Dear Colleague: The Weaponization of Title IX.


Photo by Brandon Mowinkel on Unsplash

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