IU Maurer grad to lead ABA legal education group

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William Adams, a 1978 graduate of Indiana University Maurer School of Law, has been selected as managing director of Accreditation and Legal Education at the American Bar Association, the group whose duties include training law school site evaluation teams, collecting law school data and providing guidance on compliance.

Currently deputy managing director of the ABA’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, Adams will step into his new role, which is section’s top job, April 6, according to an announcement from the ABA. He will succeed Barry Currier, who has been the managing director since 2013.

Currier is credited with leading the section’s governing body, the Council, through a series of changes in standards that enhanced accountability of the nation’s accredited law schools. Primarily, the council strengthened standards and provided more information to prospective law students and the public about such things as bar passage and employment outcomes for each accredited law school.

The section’s council, which acts as an independent arm of the ABA, is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as the sole national accreditor of U.S. law schools.

“I look forward to following the long tradition of managing directors who have ably assisted the Council in regulating legal education to assure that graduates of ABA-approved law schools are prepared to enter the practice of law,” Adams said. “I am honored to follow Barry Currier who has performed this responsibility in a challenging time for legal education with integrity and foresight.”

Adams worked as an attorney with the Legal Services Corp., representing the elderly and people living with HIV, before becoming a law professor at Nova Southeastern University in Florida, the ABA Journal reported.

At Nova Southeastern for nearly 20 years, he taught criminal law and torts. He also served as acting dean and director of clinical programs. In addition, he worked on various cases focused on LGBTQ rights.

In 2009, Adams moved to California to become the dean of Western State University College of Law, according to the ABA Journal. He joined the ABA in 2014.

He is past chair of the Association of American Law Schools Section on Aging and the Law, the AALS Section on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identify and the Florida Bar’s Public Interest Law Section. He is the 1994 recipient of the Dan Bradley Award, the National LGBT Bar Association’s highest award for contributions to LGBTQ equality.

Currier praised the appointment, saying Adams’ experience and expertise in legal education accreditation will serve as key advantages for the job.

“Bill and I have had a close and constructive working relationship for many years,” Currier said. “The office, the council and legal education are in good hands going forward.”

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