Update on the ABA's New "Diversity" Standard:

The Michigan Daily has an informative (albeit, as you might expect, rather Michigan-centric) story on the standard, noting criticism by me that the standard is intended to and will have the effect of requiring some law schools [the author says "small"; I tried to get across "resource poor" and "non-elite"] to break the law. The article also contains interesting quotes from Michigan Law School Dean Evan Caminker, who is critical of the ABA's growing tendency to micromanage law schools.

I've heard that many law school deans have become fed up with questionable and expensive policies imposed on them by the ABA, including pressure to tenure law librarians, clinicians, and legal writing professors; pressure to keep even non-"productive" faculty members' teaching loads low; pressure to limit the use of adjuncts; pressure on law schools that have tried their darnedness to attract minority students to spend more and more of their scarce resources on that goal; and so on. If the ABA leadership thinks that the law school establishment is going to rally to its defense on the "diversity" issue, I think it is sadly mistaken. Having abused its accreditation powers for so long in so many ways, there isn't much of a reservoir of support for the ABA to call on.

Relatedly, the ABA's authority to accredit law schools for federal law purposes for is up for renewal at the Department of Education. I learn from John Rosenberg, via the Chronicle of Higher Education, that the Center for Individual Rights, Center for Equal Opportunity (text here), and the National Association of Scholars (text here) have all written to the DOE arguing that unless the ABA is willing to give up its new, illegal diversity rules, reaccreditation should be denied. The Rosenberg link contains some choice quotes.

The Center for Equal Opportunity has also asked the DOE to procure the help of the Justice Department in investigating the ABA for violating federal law.

I'm beginning to think that the ABA has seriously overplayed its hand, and the result may be a weakening of its stranglehold over legal education that goes well-beyond its authority on the "diversity" issue.