University-wide Re-accreditation as a Catalyst for Best Practices

Law schools that are units within a larger university structure will be a part of the university-wide re-accreditation process. It is not unlike the ABA re-accreditation process. It involves a self-study, standards, a site visit and a report. The academic enterprise of a university is so complex that the process may involve multiple years to prepare and draft the self-study report. In an interesting synchronicity, a major criterion that the re-accreditation process focuses on is assessment. The idea is that the units should have some independent method for assessing the success of the education program. Of course, like all good bureaucracies, the university bureaucracy requested that each unit report on progress toward meeting this criterion as part of our re-accreditation process.

Because of the law school’s engagement with Carnegie and Best Practices, we were actually able to present a fairly sophisticated response to the request for evidence of meeting this criterion.

Since most law schools do not currently have an assessment plan, here is a suggestion for using the accreditation process as a catalyst to consider Best Practices for your law school. Continue reading

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