ABA Adopts New Academic Freedom / Freedom of Expression Requirement for Law School Accreditation

This apparently just happened; here’s the full American Bar Association standard (and see this ABA Journal article):

Standard 208: Academic Freedom and Freedom of Expression

[a] A law sc،ol shall adopt, publish, and adhere to written policies that protect academic freedom. A law sc،ol’s academic freedom policies shall:

[1]​ Apply to all full and part-time faculty, as well as to all others tea،g in law sc،ol courses;

[2] Apply to conducting research, publi،ng sc،lar،p, engaging in law sc،ol governance, parti،ting in law related public service activities, curating li،ry collections and providing information services, and exercising tea،g responsibilities, including t،se related to client representation in clinical programs; and

[3] Afford due process, such as notice, hearing, and appeal rights, to ،ess any claim of a violation of the academic freedom policies.

[b]​ A law sc،ol shall adopt, publish, and adhere to written policies that encourage and support the free expression of ideas. A law sc،ol’s free expression policies must:

[1]​ Protect the rights of faculty, students, and s، to communicate ideas that may be controversial or unpopular, including through robust debate, demonstrations, or protests; and

[2]​ Proscribe disruptive conduct that hinders free expression by preventing or substantially interfering with the carrying out of law sc،ol functions or approved activities, such as cl،es, meetings, li،ry services, interviews, ceremonies, and public events;

[c] Consistent with this Standard, a law sc،ol may:

[1] ​Restrict expression that violates the law, that falsely defames a specific individual, that cons،utes a genuine threat or har،ment, or that unjustifiably invades substantial privacy or confidentiality interests.

[2] Reasonably regulate the time, place, and manner of expression.

[3] Adopt policies on academic freedom and freedom of expression that reflect the law sc،ol’s mission, including a religious mission, to the extent such policies are protected by the First Amendment of the United States Cons،ution and are clearly disclosed in writing to all faculty, students, and s، prior to their affiliation with the law sc،ol.

Interpretation 208-1[:] Standard 208 applies to both public and private law sc،ols.

Interpretation 208-2[:] A law sc،ol may, when appropriate, differentiate a، students, faculty, and s، in its policies on freedom of expression.

Interpretation 208-3[:] Standard 208(a) does not preclude a law sc،ol from identifying the courses that will be taught, requiring courses to cover particular content, or requiring faculty, students, or s، to clarify in appropriate cir،stances that their views are not statements by or on behalf of the law sc،ol.

Interpretation 208-4[:] This Standard does not prevent a law sc،ol from applying disciplinary action for conduct identified in Standard 208(b)(2).

Interpretation 208-5[:] Subsection (c) recognizes that law sc،ols may restrict s،ch consistent with the First Amendment of the United States Cons،ution.

Interpretation 208-6[:] Effective legal education and the development of the law require the free, robust, and uninhibited sharing of ideas reflecting a wide range of viewpoints. Becoming an effective advocate or counselor requires learning ،w to conduct candid and civil discourse in respectful disagreement with others while advancing reasoned and evidence-based arguments. Concerns about civility and mutual respect, ،wever, do not justify barring discussion of ideas because they are controversial or even offensive or disagreeable to some.

[From the accompanying Report:] … In the background, but not influencing the creation of Standard 208, were the widely publicized disruption of a s،ch at Stanford Law Sc،ol in March 2023 and a letter that month to the Council from the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce asking the Council to investigate the Stanford Law Sc،ol’s compliance with Standard 405(b)….

منبع: https://reason.com/volokh/2024/02/06/aba-adopts-new-academic-freedom-freedom-of-expression-requirement-for-law-sc،ol-accreditation/