June 30 , 2005


TO: Deans of Member Schools and
Members of the House of Representatives

FROM: Joyce Saltalamachia

SUBJECT: Executive Committee Regulations 6-7.9 (c) and 6-7.10 (a)


At its May 2005 meeting, the AALS Executive Committee promulgated revisions to two Executive Committee Regulations (ECRs). These Regulations relate to courses primarily designated as bar preparation courses, and to unit limitations for externships. The Executive Committee believes that these changes better conform to the AALS' move to a “core values” approach in its Bylaws and Regulations.

ECR 6-7.9 (c) Course content, states that “ a member school shall not offer as a course given for credit toward graduation instruction designed primarily as a bar review course.” With our move to emphasize core values, the specificity of this regulation, when read with the more general language of Bylaw 6-7 (c) and ECR 6-7.9 (a) and (b), seems out of place and over-regulatory. Therefore ECR 6-7.9 (c) has been eliminated.

ECR 6-7.10 (a) Externship Programs, reads “If a member school offers opportunities for students to obtain credit for educationally worthwhile experiences obtained in a legal office, including, but not limited to, clerkships with the judiciary, public policy institutes, legislative bodies, international organizations, or legal practice settings, the academic credit allowed must be commensurate with the time and effort expended and the educational benefits derived by the student. In no case may a student obtain more than one-sixth of the total credit for graduation by participating in an externship program.

The reasons for this revision are basically the same as those stated above: the regulatory and specific nature of this sentence is out of place with both our emphasis on core values and the general language of the surrounding section. In addition, the varied and complicated types of practice programs that schools are currently conducting are less likely to fall into defined categories of “Externship Programs” that this section envisions, so the credit limitation is at once too narrow and too general. It is hoped that the elimination of this requirement will enable member schools to concentrate on the quality of their programs rather than their credit totals.

In accordance with Bylaw 5-4, unless objection is received from at least ten member schools within 60 days of mailing a copy of these regulations, Executive Committee Regulations 3.1 and 7.1(c), as amended, will continue in effect.


cc:  Executive Committee
      Membership Review Committee
      Service Fee Paid Schools
      John Sebert, American Bar Association


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