AALS Handbook: Bylaws
Bylaws of the Association of American Law Schools, Inc.
Adopted December 29, 1971; amended through January 2016
ARTICLE 1. NAME AND PURPOSE
Section 1-1. Name. The name of the Association is the Association of American Law Schools, Inc.
Section 1-2. Purpose.The purpose of the corporation is the improvement of the legal profession through legal education – to uphold and advance excellence in legal education by promoting the core values of excellence in teaching and scholarship, academic freedom, and diversity, including diversity of backgrounds and viewpoints, while seeking to foster justice, and to serve our many communities–local, national, and international.
Section 1-3. Indemnification. Any person who was or is a director or officer of the Association or who, while serving in one of those capacities, is or was serving at the Association’s request as a director, officer, partner, trustee, employee, or agent of another entity, shall be indemnified by the Association, to the extent allowed under D.C. Code Title 29, Chapter 4, Subchapter VI, Part E, against all liabilities and expenses reasonably incurred by him or her arising out of or in connection with any threatened, pending, or completed civil action, arbitration, mediation, administrative proceeding, criminal prosecution, and investigatory action. Any person who is or was an employee of the Association or a member of the Membership Review Committee shall, and other representatives and agents may, also be indemnified by the Association according to similar standards and following similar procedures.
ARTICLE 2. MEMBERSHIP
Section 2-1. Membership.The members of the Association shall be the law schools elected to membership pursuant to these bylaws.
Section 2-2. Qualification for Membership.
a. Applications for membership shall be addressed to the Executive Director accompanied by evidence that the applicant has fulfilled and is capable in the future of fulfilling the obligations of membership as reflected in these bylaws and the regulations promulgated thereunder. The Executive Committee shall examine the application and report at the Annual Meeting of the Association those applicants that have qualified. The application for membership shall be filed at the time and in the form specified by the Executive Committee.
b. In determining whether a school fulfills and can continue to fulfill the obligations of membership, the controlling issue is the overall quality of the school measured against the standards of quality articulated in the Requirements of Article 6. The Executive Committee Regulations are designed to provide guidance in making this assessment. They are not meant to be taken as implying that formal compliance with their specific terms is necessarily equivalent to satisfaction of the qualitative requirements, or that departure from any of their specific terms is automatically demonstrative of qualitative failure.
c. A law school making application for membership shall pay to the Association an application fee to defray the indirect expenses of the Association in an amount established by the Executive Committee and such direct expenses incurred in connection with the application as are specified by the Executive Committee.
d. An applicant school may appeal to the House of Representatives the decision of the Executive Committee not to recommend it for membership. The grounds and procedures for the appeal shall be those specified by regulation adopted by the Executive Committee. Representatives of the applicant school are entitled to the privileges of the floor during the consideration of its appeal by the House.
Section 2-3. Annual Membership Dues.
a. Each year each member school shall pay membership dues to the Association in an amount fixed annually by the Executive Committee by Executive Committee Regulation; however, the Executive Committee may not fix dues for any year that are greater by more than 10% of the dues imposed in the immediately preceding dues year, unless a larger increase is approved by a two-thirds majority of the member schools voting at an Annual Meeting. The dues shall be graduated in steps based on student enrollment of the school.
b. Membership dues are due and payable on January 1 of each year. Dues for the calendar year that are not paid on or before April 15 of that year are delinquent. A school that is delinquent in the payment of its dues is not eligible to vote at the Annual or any special meeting. Unless the Executive Committee finds that there are extraordinary circumstances explaining the nonpayment, a school that is 18 months or more delinquent in the payment of its dues shall be suspended from the Association at the next Annual Meeting.
c. The Executive Committee shall define what constitutes a “student” for these purposes, determine the date at which enrollment should be counted for these purposes, and issue other interpretative and implementing regulations.
ARTICLE 3. MEETINGS
Section 3-1. Meetings. The Association shall meet annually at a time and place fixed by the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee may call a special meeting at such time and place as it shall select. The Executive Director shall give thirty-day notice of a special meeting to the members of the Association and shall state the purpose of the meeting.
Section 3-2. House of Representatives. The authority to conduct Association business at the Annual Meeting or special meetings is vested in a House of Representatives composed of one representative from each member school. The faculty of each member school shall select the individual who is to represent the school in the House of Representatives and an alternate representative to serve in the absence of the regular Representative. Faculty members of the member schools may attend the meetings of the House of Representatives and have the privileges of the floor, but voting will be restricted to the selected Representatives.
Section 3-3. Attendance at Meetings. Meetings of the House of Representatives are open to members of the faculties of member schools and to the Executive Director and staff and, unless excluded by a ruling of the presiding officer, to the bar, the bench, and others.
Section 3-4. Quorum, Voting, and Rules of Procedure. A quorum of the House of Representatives consists of Representatives from a majority of the member schools. Each school has one vote, to be cast by the Representative duly selected under the provisions of Section 3-2 or, in the absence of the Representative, by the duly selected alternative Representative. Members shall not be entitled to vote by proxy, and no person may serve as a Representative for more than one member school at any given time. The House of Representatives is authorized to determine its rules of procedure, so long as they are consistent with these bylaws, the articles of incorporation, and the law.
ARTICLE 4. OFFICERS
Section 4-1. Officers: Designation: Election. The officers of this Association shall be a President, a President-Elect, an Immediate Past President, and an Executive Director who shall be the Chief Executive Officer and shall also serve as the Association’s Secretary-Treasurer. Each year a President-Elect shall be elected by the House of Representatives at the Annual Meeting from among the faculty members of the member schools. The President-Elect shall automatically assume the presidency after one year and shall serve as President during the second year following his or her election, and as immediate Past President during the third year following his or her election. The Executive Director shall be appointed and may be removed by the Executive Committee.
Section 4-2. Officers: Powers and Functions. The Executive Director shall perform the functions and exercise the powers customarily those of a chief executive officer of an association. The President shall serve as the Chair of the Executive Committee created and empowered by Article 5 and of the House of Representatives created by Section 3-2 and of the Officers’ Council created by Section 4-4. The President-Elect shall appoint members to committees to serve terms to begin during his or her term as President.
Section 4-3. Officers: Filling Vacancies in Cases of Resignation, Ineligibility to Serve, or Death. Vacancies in an office may occur if an officer resigns, becomes ineligible to serve, or dies. In case of a vacancy in the office of President, the President-Elect shall immediately become President for the remainder of the unexpired term as well as serving his or her own full term as President. In case of a vacancy in the office of President-Elect, a President as well as a President-Elect shall be elected at the next Annual Meeting. If a vacancy in the office of President-Elect occurs three or more months before the Annual Meeting, the President, in consultation with the other Executive Committee members, shall appoint a person to serve as Interim Vice President until the next Annual Meeting. The Interim Vice President shall be an officer of the Association and a member of the Executive Committee, shall assume the presidency if the President resigns, becomes ineligible to serve or dies, and is eligible to be elected President or President-Elect.
Section 4-4. Officers: Officers’ Council. The officers as a group shall compose the Officers’ Council, as confirmed annually by the Executive Committee. The Officers’ Council shall have and may exercise the full authority of the Executive Committee between meetings of the Executive Committee when prompt action is necessary to avoid loss or harm to the organization and action by the full Executive Committee is impracticable, except that the Officers’ Council shall not have the power to approve a dissolution or merger, or the sale of all or substantially all of the Corporation’s assets; to appoint or remove Executive Committee members; to remove members of committees; to admit or sanction member schools; to authorize corporate distributions; to amend the Articles of Incorporation or these bylaws; to approve or propose to the House of Representatives action that by law must be approved by it; to approve and amend the mission statement; to approve the budget; or to hire and fire the Executive Director. The Officers’ Council (other than the Executive Director) shall conduct an annual performance review of the Executive Director, and shall approve his or her salary and negotiate his or her contract, if any.
ARTICLE 5. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Section 5-1. Executive Committee: Composition: Election.
a. The Executive Committee of the Association shall consist of the officers and six members elected as committee members.
b. At each Annual Meeting there shall be elected from among the faculty members of member schools two members of the Executive Committee, each to serve a three-year term. If a committee member resigns, becomes ineligible to serve, or dies, the President shall, with the advice of the President-Elect, Immediate Past-President and other committee members, appoint a person to serve as Executive Committee member until the successor is elected at the next Annual Meeting.
c. The President-Elect shall appoint a nominating committee. Ten or more months before the day on which the next Annual Meeting begins, the Executive Director shall inform the member schools of the membership of the nominating committee and invite suggestions of persons to be considered by it for nomination. Two or more months before the day on which the next Annual Meeting begins the nominating committee shall inform member schools of the individuals it plans to place in nomination.
d. By a petition signed by the members of the House of Representatives of at least 10% of the member schools and received by the Executive Director one month or more before the day on which the next Annual Meeting begins, an eligible person may be nominated for President-Elect, President (if under Section 4-3 a President must be elected) or Executive Committee member. If the nomination is as candidate for a member of the Executive Committee other than an officer, the petition must state for which place and against which nominee of the nominating committee the nominee is nominated. Twenty or more days before the day on which the next Annual Meeting begins the Executive Director shall notify the member schools of the nominations made by petition and provide biographical information concerning the nominees.
e. The House of Representatives shall elect the officer and Executive Committee members during the Annual Meeting. Election is by majority of the votes cast. If there are more than two candidates for an office or other place on the Executive Committee and no one receives a majority of the votes cast on the first ballot, there shall be a second ballot between the two candidates receiving the greater number of votes on the first ballot. The candidate receiving the greater number of votes in the run-off is elected.
Section 5-2. Executive Committee: Eligibility.
a. No two people from the same member school shall serve on the Executive Committee at the same time, although a member of the Executive Committee who moves from one member school to another shall not thereby be disqualified from completing a term of service. A retiring officer and other Executive Committee member are ineligible for immediate election to the Executive Committee. However, a retiring or continuing member of the Executive Committee, not an officer, may be elected president or president-elect. An officer or other member of the Executive Committee becomes ineligible to serve upon ceasing to be a full-time member of the faculty of a member school.
b. If the President-Elect or other member of the Executive Committee is absent from a regular or special meeting of the Executive Committee, the President shall determine whether the absence was without adequate excuse. If the President-Elect or other member of the Executive Committee is absent without adequate excuse from two regular or special meetings of the Executive Committee within a twelve-month period, the Executive Committee may declare that the individual is deemed to have resigned the position and the President shall appoint a successor under Bylaw Section 5-1(b).
Section 5-3. Powers and Duties. The Executive Committee shall:
a. Oversee the affairs of the Association in the interim between Annual Meetings.
b. Receive and act upon all correspondence and complaints addressed to the Association.
c. Impose or recommend sanctions upon member schools in accordance with Article 7.
d. Make an annual report to the Association and circulate to the member schools such other reports and publications as seem desirable.
e. Interpret and implement the Association’s requirements.
f. Appoint an Executive Director who shall be experienced as a law school teacher or administrator. The Executive Director shall serve full-time for a period of not more than five years, subject to renewal. The Executive Director shall be paid a salary and shall receive retirement and other benefits as determined by the Executive Committee. The Executive Director shall assist the Committee to discharge its powers and duties, and shall be the recording secretary and treasurer to the Committee. The Executive Director shall also assist the Association’s other committees and member schools to attain the purposes of the Association.
g. Establish a headquarters office of the Association in a suitable location under the management of the Executive Director and provide adequate facilities and personnel to carry on the Association’s business and to maintain its records and the records of the committees.
h. Establish such Standing and Special Committees as it considers desirable to carry on the work and promote the purposes of the Association. Standing Committees shall be those expected to be of unlimited duration; Special Committees shall be those formed for a specific period of time or to complete a specific task or set of tasks. In establishing Committees, the Executive Committee shall establish the number of their members, the term for which they serve, the duration of the Committee’s existence (for Special Committees), and the subject matter of its jurisdiction. If a vacancy exists because a Committee is created to begin work before the next annual meeting of the House of Representatives or for any other reason, the President shall appoint the members. The President shall fill any vacancy in the position of Chairperson that occurs during her or his Presidency, and the President-Elect shall designate the Chairpersons to serve terms to begin during his or her Presidency. To be eligible to serve as a member of a Committee, a person must be a member of the faculty or staff of a member school.
i. Establish Sections, Conferences and Commissions.
(i) A Section is composed of members of the faculty and professional staff of member schools and others who may join as associate members of the Section; only members of the faculty and professional staff of member schools of the Association may vote and serve as officers of a Section. The Executive Committee shall issue regulations concerning the creation, dissolution, governance and funding of Sections and the payment of dues by members and associate members thereof.
(ii) A Conference is an interest group established by action of the Association and one or more other associations of lawyers or college and university educators and administrators.
(iii) A Commission is a body appointed by the President to investigate and study a matter and whose members include persons who are not members of the faculty and professional staff of member schools; the Chairperson of a commission and a majority of its members shall be members of the faculty and professional staff of member schools.
Section 5-4. Regulations and Rulings. In interpreting and implementing the Association’s requirements as set forth in Article 6, the Executive Committee may promulgate, repeal, or amend general regulations and, in individual instances, make rulings. A copy of a regulation promulgated by authority of this section shall be sent promptly to each member school. If within sixty days of mailing, ten member schools express objection to the regulation, it shall not become effective, but shall be laid before the next Annual Meeting for approval or disapproval. If objection is not so expressed, the regulation shall be a continuingly authoritative indication of Association policy unless modified by action at an Annual Meeting or by subsequent Executive Committee resolution. The Association at an Annual Meeting may by majority vote, upon motion of a member school, adopt, amend, or repeal a Regulation, provided the notice requirements for amending the bylaws have been followed.
Section 5-5. Power to Grant Variances. Upon application by a member school, the Executive Committee may grant to the member school such variance from the terms of these articles and regulations thereunder as will not be contrary to the core values of this Association. The Executive Committee shall grant the variance upon the conditions that the member school report the results of the variance to the Executive Committee and that the variance be effective for a stated time not to exceed eight years.
Section 5-6. Regular Meetings. The Executive Committee shall hold at least four regular meetings annually, except in exigent circumstances. Notice of regular meetings shall be provided at least fourteen days in advance, but the Committee may set a schedule for meetings at the beginning of each one-year (or shorter) period, and notice of that schedule shall be sufficient notice of all regularly scheduled meetings for that period.
Section 5-7. Special Meetings. Special meetings may be called by the President or by any two Executive Committee members. The notice of a special meeting must precede the meeting by at least twenty-four hours.
Section 5-8. Notice of Meetings. Notice of any Executive Committee meeting shall be communicated in person or in writing (including electronic communication). Notice shall be deemed given at the earliest of (1) when received; (2) when left at the recipient’s residence or usual place of business; (3) 5 p.m. on the fifth day after deposit in the US mail or with a commercial delivery service; (4) 5 p.m. on the date shown on a return receipt; or (5) if sent electronically to an address provided by the Executive Committee member for the purpose, when it enters the information processing system designated for receipt of electronic communications.
Section 5-9. Waiver of Notice. Whenever notice is required to be given to any Executive Committee member under any provision of law, the Articles of Incorporation, or these Bylaws, a waiver in writing signed by the Executive Committee member entitled to such notice, whether before or after the time stated therein, shall be the equivalent to the giving of such notice. The waiver must specify the meeting for which notice is waived and must be filed with the minutes or the corporate records. An Executive Committee member’s presence at a meeting, in person or by teleconference, waives any required notice to the Executive Committee member of the meeting unless the Executive Committee member, at the beginning of the meeting, or promptly upon her or his arrival, objects to holding the meeting or transacting business at the meeting and does not thereafter vote for or assent to any action taken at the meeting.
Section 5-10. Quorum. Unless a greater proportion is required by law, a quorum shall consist of a majority of the total number of Executive Committee members in office. Unless otherwise stated in these Bylaws or required by law, all actions shall be by majority vote of those present at a meeting at which a quorum is present.
Section 5-11. Action Without a Meeting. Any action required or permitted to be taken at a meeting of the Executive Committee may be taken without a meeting if all of the members of the Committee consent in writing (including electronic communication) to the specific action and the written consents are included in the minutes or filed with the corporate records reflecting the actions taken. Action taken under this section is effective when the last Executive Committee member signs (including by electronic means) the consent, unless the consent specifies an earlier or later effective date. A consent signed under this section has the effect of a meeting vote and may be described as such in any document.
Section 5-12. Virtual Attendance at Executive Committee Meetings. While expected to attend regular meetings in person absent highly unusual circumstances, a member of the Executive Committee may virtually participate in a meeting (i.e., by remote communications technology) with advance permission of the Executive Director, so long as all the members of the Executive Committee participating in the meeting can hear one another simultaneously. Such virtual participation shall constitute presence in person at the meeting.
Section 5-13. Mail Vote. The Executive Committee may submit proposals to the member schools for mail votes when it determines that there is an urgent need for timely action, except that a vote on the exclusion of a school shall be taken only at an Annual Meeting. A vote by mail ballot shall be conducted as provided in D.C. Code § 29-405.09 or the corresponding provision of any future D.C. Code.
Section 5-14. Visitation. The Executive Committee may request an advisor to visit a school whenever a school requests it or whenever in the opinion of the Committee legal education would be promoted by a visitation. During a visitation, all records of the school shall be made available to the advisor. The reasonable cost of visitation shall be paid by the member school unless the Executive Committee directs otherwise.
ARTICLE 6. REQUIREMENTS OF MEMBERSHIP
Section 6-1. Core Values.
a. The obligations of membership imposed by this Article and the Executive Committee Regulations are intended to reflect the Association’s core values and distinctive role as a membership association, while according appropriate respect for the autonomy of its member schools.
b. The Association values and expects its member schools to value:
(i) a faculty composed primarily of full-time teacher-scholars who constitute a self-governing intellectual community engaged in the creation and dissemination of knowledge about law, legal processes, and legal systems, and who are devoted to fostering justice and public service;
(ii) academic freedom;
(iii) diversity of viewpoints;
(iv) excellent scholarship;
(v) excellent teaching;
(vi) a rigorous academic program in the context of a dynamic curriculum that is both broad and deep;
(vii) a diverse faculty hired, promoted, and retained based on meeting and supporting high standards of teaching and scholarship and in accordance with principles of nondiscrimination;
(viii) competent and professional staff to support the mission of the law school;
(ix) selection of students based upon intellectual ability and personal potential for success in the study and practice of law, through a fair and nondiscriminatory process designed to produce a diverse student body and a broadly representative legal profession; and
(x) honesty, integrity, and professionalism in dealing with students, faculty, staff, the public, and the Association.
Section 6-2. Admissions.
a. A member school shall admit only those applicants whose applications have been evaluated pursuant to a process consistent with Bylaw Section 6-3 and who appear to have the capacity to meet its academic standards.
b. In order that appropriate intellectual rigor may be maintained, a member school shall admit to its first professional degree program only those applicants who have the level of intellectual maturity and accomplishment normally demonstrated by the award of an undergraduate degree.
c. A member school shall deal fairly with applicants for admission.
Section 6-3. Diversity: Nondiscrimination and Affirmative Action.
a. A member school shall provide equality of opportunity in legal education for all persons, including faculty and employees with respect to hiring, continuation, promotion and tenure, applicants for admission, enrolled students, and graduates, without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender (including identity and expression), sexual orientation, age, or disability.
b. A member school shall pursue a policy of providing its students and graduates with equal opportunity to obtain employment, without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender (including identity and expression), sexual orientation, age, or disability. A member school shall communicate to each employer to whom it furnishes assistance and facilities for interviewing and other placement functions the school’s firm expectation that the employer will observe the principle of equal opportunity.
c. A member school shall seek to have a faculty, staff, and student body which are diverse with respect to race, color, and sex. A member school may pursue additional affirmative action objectives.
Section 6-4. Faculty.
a. A member school shall attract and maintain a faculty of high competence and suitable size, with a sufficient number of full-time faculty members to provide ready professional relationships among the faculty and between the faculty and the students and to offer a reasonably broad curriculum. “Full-time faculty member” means a faculty member who devotes substantially all of his or her working time to the responsibilities of teacher, scholar, and educator. Professional activities outside the law school are not precluded if limited so as not to divert the faculty member from the primary interest and duty as a legal educator.
b. A member school shall have a full-time dean who devotes substantially all of his or her working time to the responsibilities of being a dean, including the dean’s responsibilities as a member of the faculty.
c. A faculty’s competence shall by judged primarily with reference to the full-time members. Competence shall be determined in the aggregate, with emphasis upon the following criteria:
(i) Quality of teaching and attention given to law students both as individuals and as a group;
(ii) Faculty training and experience;
(iii) Scholarly interests and performance; and
(iv) Responsible participation in the self-governing and deliberative processes of the law faculty.
d. In each division of a member school’s program, each student shall have the opportunity to obtain most of his or her instruction leading to the Juris Doctor degree from the school’s full-time faculty.
Section 6-5. Law School Governance.
a. In keeping with the principles of shared governance of the American Association of University Professors, a member school shall vest in the faculty primary responsibility for determining academic policy.
b. To determine academic policy, the law faculty shall be properly constituted and organized, meet regularly according to orderly procedures, and maintain a record of its deliberations.
c. The faculty shall exercise substantial control over faculty appointments or changes in faculty status, such as promotions and tenure designations. The faculty (acting as a whole or by a representative portion determined by reasonable criteria), assembled in a meeting of which suitable notice has been given, should make the initial choice with respect to faculty appointments or changes in faculty status for submission through any intermediate approving authorities to the final appointing authority.
d. The faculty shall have meaningful involvement in the selection of the dean or interim dean. The faculty, individually or collectively, should be consulted with respect to appointment of the dean or interim dean before submission of any official recommendation to the final appointing authority, or, when no official recommendation is contemplated, before action by the final authority.
e. Except in rare cases and for compelling reasons, no decanal or faculty appointment or change in faculty status is made over the expressed opposition of the faculty (acting as a whole or by a representative portion determined by reasonable criteria).
Section 6-6. Faculty Development.
a. A member school shall maintain conditions conducive to the faculty’s effective discharge of its teaching and scholarly responsibilities and service obligations.
b. A member school shall assign faculty teaching and scholarship responsibilities so as to permit the continuous and energetic study of new developments in the faculty members’ areas of interest and so as to be compatible with a climate of research in which faculty members may find opportunity to undertake investigations of their own choosing that will allow them to develop and continue as effective teachers and scholars.
c. A member school shall assist its faculty to discharge their responsibility to advance as well as to transmit ordered knowledge. To determine whether a school is fulfilling this obligation, the following factors shall be considered:
(i) Recognition accorded creative scholarship in the appointment and advancement of members of the faculty;
(ii) Number of teaching hours and subject matter areas for which each faculty member is responsible;
(iii) Policies and practices concerning reduced teaching loads, relief from committees or administrative assignments, and compensated or uncompensated leaves of absence in order to permit the faculty member to engage in creative scholarship;
(iv) Policies and practices concerning financial support for research assistants, field studies, travel, and related research activities;
(v) Adequacy of administrative, library, and technology support; and
(vi) Percentage or amount of school’s budget allocated to research.
d. A faculty member shall have academic freedom and tenure in accordance with the principles of the American Association of University Professors.
e. A member school shall not limit the number of full-time faculty members who may be granted tenure.
Section 6-7. Juris Doctor Degree Program; Curriculum and Pedagogy.
a. A member school shall maintain as its central academic feature a program of resident study and instruction leading to a Juris Doctor degree, the first professional degree in law. The school shall have a program of appropriate duration and rigor to assure its graduates have a comprehensive understanding of legal institutions and an appreciation for the role of law and lawyers in society, and that they are academically qualified to participate effectively and responsibly in the legal profession.
b. The curriculum of a member school shall be the result of a curriculum planning process by the faculty, which shall include a periodic review of the curriculum for its content and pedagogical effectiveness.
c. A member school shall provide varying methods of instruction related to its curricular objectives. These methods shall include significant opportunities for instruction on an individual or small-group basis and for instruction regarding professional skills.
d. A member school shall offer courses in a wide variety of fields and shall assure that every student receives significant instruction in legal writing and research.
Section 6-8. Library.
a. A member school shall maintain access to a library that supports the curricular needs and research of its faculty and students. A law library of a member school shall possess or have ready and reliable access to a physical collection, electronic resources or other information resources that substantially:
(i) meet the research needs of its students, satisfy the demands of its curricular offerings, and facilitates the training of its students in various research methodologies;
(ii) support the individual research interests of its faculty members;
(iii) serve any special research and educational objectives expressed by the school or implicit in the missions and role of the law school.
b. Whether physical or virtual, the library is central to the law school and shall be organized and administered to perform its educational function and to assure a high standard of service.
c. A member school shall have a full-time director of the law library and a staff of sufficient number and with sufficient training to develop and maintain a high level of service.
Section 6-9. Physical Facilities and Technology. A member school shall have an adequate physical plant and adequate technology to support a broad range of curricular offerings and the development of an intellectual community outside the classroom, and to support the research needs of its faculty and students.
Section 6-10. Financial Resources.
a. A member school shall maintain a financial structure sufficiently strong to enable it to pursue excellence and to fulfill the obligations of membership.
b. The faculty’s judgment concerning the school’s opportunities and needs shall be given appropriate weight by the law school administration and by the university of which it is a part in the decisions regarding the allocation of resources so as to support the school’s ability to comply with the obligations of membership.
c. A member school, acting in consultation with faculty, shall have wide discretion, compatible with the university’s overall interests, to raise funds to supplement the financial support it receives from the university.
ARTICLE 7. SANCTIONS
Section 7-1. Applicable Sanctions.
a. In response to a material failure to comply with the requirements of membership, a member school may be censured, placed on probation, suspended, or excluded from membership. Except in extraordinary circumstances, no school shall be suspended or excluded from membership unless it has been previously placed on probation. Prior to imposing or recommending a sanction, the Executive Committee shall, to the extent feasible, provide a member school with reasonable opportunity to correct noncompliance with the requirements of membership and shall give due consideration to any corrective measures in imposing or recommending a sanction.
b. Censure shall not result in the loss of the privileges of membership. Probation shall result in the loss of particular privileges of membership only if imposed by the Executive Committee and, if appealed, approved by the House of Representatives. Suspension shall result in a loss of the privileges of membership unless the Executive Committee recommends and the House of Representatives approves continuation of particular privileges. Exclusion shall result in the loss of all privileges of membership.
c. The imposition of any sanction shall be published in relevant publications of the Association.
Section 7-2. Action by the Executive Committee.
a. If the Executive Committee finds that a member school has materially failed to comply with the requirements of membership and concludes that a sanction should be imposed, it shall inform the dean and the chief executive officer of the institution of the deficiency and censure the member school or its parent institution or both, place the school on probation, or recommend to the House of Representatives that it take action to censure, place on probation, suspend, or exclude.
b. A member school may appeal to the House of Representatives for review of a sanction imposed by the Executive Committee by filing a written notice of appeal with the Executive Director within twenty days after notice is given of the initial decision by the Executive Committee to censure the member school or its parent institution or both or to place the school on probation. If the school appeals, the effect of the Executive Committee’s action shall be stayed until the House of Representative acts on the appeal. The procedures for the appeal shall be those specified by regulations adopted by the Executive Committee. The President shall take the steps necessary to assure the orderly and fair consideration of the appeal by the House. Representatives of the school are entitled to the privileges of the floor during the consideration of its appeal by the House.
Section 7-3. Action by the House of Representatives. If the Executive Committee recommends that the House of Representatives take action with respect to a member school, the Executive Committee shall give the member school written notice of its recommendation at least one month before the House of Representatives meets to consider the recommendation. The House may not act with respect to a school’s membership without first obtaining a recommendation from the Executive Committee. Representatives of the school are entitled to the privileges of the floor during the House’s consideration of a recommendation for action.
Section 7-4. Duration of Sanctions; Reinstatement.
a. At the conclusion of a period of probation or suspension, if the Executive Committee or the House of Representatives finds that a member school is in compliance with the requirements of membership, it shall remove the school from probation or suspension and restore the school to full membership.
b. A school may remain on probation for no more than two years, unless the Executive Committee, for good cause shown, extends the probation. If the Executive Committee finds that a member school that is on probation is not taking steps sufficient to bring it into compliance with the requirements of membership in a reasonable time, it shall recommend that the House suspend or exclude the school, whichever is appropriate. After two years, probation shall expire if the Executive Committee has not removed or extended probation or recommended to the House that it suspend or exclude the school.
c. The same procedures specified in Bylaw Section 7-2(b) shall apply to an appeal by a school from a decision by the Executive Committee not to remove the school from probation. If the House finds upon hearing such an appeal that the school is currently in compliance with the requirements of membership, then it shall remove the school from probation.
d. If a school whose membership is suspended is not restored to full membership at or before the second Annual Meeting after having been suspended, it is excluded from membership in the Association at the end of that Annual Meeting without further action by the House. For good cause shown, the Executive Committee may extend suspension for one year.
e. A school that has been excluded from membership may regain its membership by making an application for membership as any other nonmember school and by meeting the requirements therefore.
ARTICLE 8. AMENDMENTS
Section 8-1. Amendments: Proposal. Amendments to these Bylaws may be proposed by any officer, by the Executive Committee, or by any member school. Proposed amendments must be submitted to the Executive Director at least three months before the Annual Meeting. No less than 60 days before the Annual Meeting, the Executive Director shall forward to each member school a copy of each proposed amendment. The Association shall gather comments from the member schools and shall create a mechanism (such as posting to a web site) for comments that are received at least three weeks in advance of the Annual Meeting to be shared with all other member schools.
Section 8-2. Amendments: Substitution. A proposed amendment to these Bylaws shall be subject to amendment and substitution at the Annual Meeting of the Association to which it is presented, so long as the amendment or substitution is germane to the proposed amendment of the Bylaws.
Section 8-3. Amendments: Voting. A proposed amendment to these Bylaws shall not be adopted unless it is approved by two-thirds of the member schools voting on the proposed amendment at the Annual Meeting and by at least one-third of the member schools of the Association. A member school shall not be counted as voting unless it votes for or against the amendment.
ARTICLE 9. INCORPORATION
The Executive Committee is authorized to form one or more additional corporations under the law of any state or the District of Columbia in order better to serve the interests of the Association or of its members.