Study wants more skills training

Nicole Mayley

THE AMERICAN Bar Association must amend its standards of law school accreditation to recognise the importance of skills training, a new report claims.

But the study says the ABA's involvement in the accreditation system should continue, after a year-long commission of the section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar found there was "overwhelming support" for it.

Handing down its findings in Chicago, the commission, comprising lawyers, judges, legal educators and a member of the public, said the standards "promote quality and afford ample opportunity for innovation and diversity in legal education".

Drawing on comments from more than 2,500 people, the commission found that although a number of criticisms surfaced regarding the specifics of accreditation, the ABA's involvement in law school accreditation was a "positive force" for advancing quality.

Lawyers wanting to break out of the large firm culture to practice on a smaller scale must have a "good attitude" to succeed. Speaking at the conference, Washington DC lawyer Linda Ravdin told delegates to be optimistic and live by the motto "I can survive". "One of the most important weapons in your arsenal, that doesn't cost a dime to have, is good attitude," she said.