By Steven D. Cometa
As law students, we are cognizant that many issues face our profession. Some of those issues include a grim employment outlook, student loan debt, and efforts to improve transparency in the administration of legal education.
Because we are most likely the busiest that we have ever been, complaining about our grievances is often the only step that we take toward change. Too few students speak out and attempt to effectuate a shift in the issues that affect us the most.
Henry Ford once said, “Don’t find a fault, find a remedy. Anybody can complain.” As law students, and as future lawyers, we will have the privilege and honor to advocate on behalf of others who need legal representation and assistance. We can also advocate on behalf of our fellow and future law student. Our collective voice speaks volumes and it can make a difference.
In 2010, the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar surveyed key stakeholders, including law students, on the issue of considering the accreditation of law schools outside the U.S. Of the 807 survey respondents, 645 (90 percent) were law students. The collective response opposing the accreditation of foreign law schools was primarily based on concerns about diverting resources supporting U.S. law schools; the difficulty for foreign law schools to educate their law students in the culture, ethics, and values of the American legal system; and the impact that such an accreditation expansion would have on employment opportunities for U.S. law graduates, to name a few.
After extensively reviewing and discussing all available comments, the Council of the Section of Legal Education decided not to proceed to accredidate law schools outside of the U.S.
This illustrates the value and power of the students’ collective voice on legal education issues. We must continue to work together and advocate for important issues within our Division. As the voting delegates to the Law Student Division from each ABA-approved law school, the ABA representatives and SBA presidents are your first line of support. Please seek them out on issues of concern and begin the dialogue with your fellow ABA law student members. If we do not do something to influence our legal education and profession today, we should not complain about it tomorrow.
The Law Student Division leadership is ready and excited to advance the interests of law students throughout the nation. We will stop at nothing to ensure that your voices are heard. n
Vol. 42 No. 3