ABA committee to consider gender identity protections, additional school locations

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The Standards Review Committee of the American Bar Association’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar will consider adding protections based on gender identity and ethnicity to existing rules at its Saturday meeting in Chicago. The committee will also tackle issues of studying outside the U.S., additional locations, and major changes in programs or structures at law schools.

Proposed revisions to Standard 205, Non-Discrimination and Equality of Opportunity, and Standard 206, Diversity and Inclusion, that will be considered would add “ethnicity” and “gender identity” to the protected classes in the section’s guidelines on law school admissions and hiring policies. However, the proposed revisions include language that says a religiously affiliated school would not be required to “act inconsistently with the essential elements of its religious values and beliefs,” and further holds that ABA-accredited law schools “may provide a preference” for students and employees following the school’s religious affiliation.

The proposed language also would not allow law schools to deny admission or retention of a student on the basis of the various protected classes, including religion.

Another proposed revision adds the phrase “student body” to Other proposed revisions include the removal of the term “inclusion” from the heading of Standard 206 and the addition of the phrase “student body” to diversity language in Standard 206(a)(2) that currently only addresses faculty and staff. That diversity language is also proposed to change from addressing “gender, race, and ethnicity” to addressing “race, color, ethnicity, religion, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, and disability.”

In addition to proposed revisions to Standards 205 and 206, the Standards Review Committee will also consider proposed changes to Standard 105 as it relates to acquiescence for major program changes, particularly establishing an additional location. Specifically, the proposed revisions would define an “additional location” as a location “where a student may earn more than one-third but less than half of the credit hours that the law school requires for the award of a J.D.”

The proposed revisions would further require acquiescence of the ABA council for a change in the location of a law school “that could result in substantial changes in the faculty, administration, student body, or management of the school.” Additionally, the revisions would remove an interpretation of Standard 105 which holds that an additional location where a student can earn at least two-thirds of their credit hours is “rebuttably presumed to require provisional approval as a new law school.”

How many credits a student may earn at foreign institution and at an U.S. law school with additional locations outside of the country are also on the agenda.

If any of the proposed revisions are approved, they will be forwarded to the section’s governing council.

The agenda is available here.


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  1. He TIL team,please zap this comment too since it was merely marking a scammer and not reflecting on the story. Thanks, happy Monday, keep up the fine work.

  2. You just need my social security number sent to your Gmail account to process then loan, right? Beware scammers indeed.

  3. The appellate court just said doctors can be sued for reporting child abuse. The most dangerous form of child abuse with the highest mortality rate of any form of child abuse (between 6% and 9% according to the below listed studies). Now doctors will be far less likely to report this form of dangerous child abuse in Indiana. If you want to know what this is, google the names Lacey Spears, Julie Conley (and look at what happened when uninformed judges returned that child against medical advice), Hope Ybarra, and Dixie Blanchard. Here is some really good reporting on what this allegation was: Here are the two research papers: 25% of sibling are dead in that second study. 25%!!! Unbelievable ruling. Chilling. Wrong.

  4. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  5. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.