SUBJECT

Proposed amendments to Division 8, Library Requirements contained in the Guidelines for Accredited Law School Rules (Guidelines).

BACKGROUND/PROPOSAL

During the course of updating and finalizing the new Guidelines for Accredited Law School Rules (Guidelines), the Committee of Bar Examiners (Committee) directed that consideration of any changes to the library standards and requirements be deferred until the new Guidelines were adopted. The new Guidelines became effective Jan. 1, 2010. The Committee further determined that the task of updating the library requirements should be referred to its Advisory Committee on California Accredited Law School Rules (RAC) for consideration and recommendation.

Since its formation last year, the RAC has met several times to discuss the proposed revisions to the library requirements for California accredited law schools (CALS). A public meeting was held on April 8, which was attended by a number of deans, administrators and librarians of several CALS, a librarian from one ABA school (Golden Gate University School of Law), members of the RAC and staff. In addition to the public meeting, the RAC circulated a written survey to all CALS seeking information as to the size and cost of maintaining their respective libraries, as well as to obtain input and suggestions as to how Guideline 8.4, Library Content, should be revised. Representatives from six CALS responded: Cal Northern School of Law, Santa Barbara and Ventura Colleges of Law, Humphreys College Laurence Drivon School of Law, John F. Kennedy University School of Law, Lincoln Law School of San Jose and Southern California Institute of Law.

After consideration of the input received, and following a lengthy discussion among RAC members and Admissions staff, proposed revisions were approved by the RAC for submission to the Committee for consideration.
There are two documents attached to this notice of public comment. In the first, which is Guideline 8.4 Library Content, there was a consensus among RAC members for recommended changes for most items. There were two areas, however, where a consensus could not be reached. The two points that the RAC did not agree upon relate to the issue of requiring the following legal authorities to be maintained in hard bound versions, or allow schools to offer them online: West’s California Digest, California Jurisprudence, 3rd and an entire set of West’s or Deering’s Annotated California Codes.

The second document contains the proposed amendments to Division 8, Library Requirements. For most of the provisions, there are three categories: ORIGINAL, CALS and RAC, and in some cases it is “TWO RAC MEMBERS” because a consensus could not be reached.

The Committee’s Subcommittee on Educational Standards considered the recommendations from the RAC during its July 9, 2010 meeting, including that consensus had not been reached in several areas. The Subcommittee recommended, and the Committee approved, circulating the proposed new requirements in the form in which it was submitted by the RAC, which contains comments and suggestions from RAC, and in some cases from the CALS through its representatives on RAC.

All comments received by the deadline will be referred to the RAC for its review and final recommendations concerning amendments to the CALS library requirements. The RAC’s recommendations will be considered by the Committee and it will determine whether to accept the recommendations after review of all comments received.

KNOWN FISCAL/PERSONNEL IMPACT

None

ATTACHMENT:

(1) Proposed Amendments to 8.4 Library Content
(2) Division 8. Library Requirements

SOURCE:

Committee of Bar Examiners

COMMENT DEADLINE:

September 13, 2010 

DIRECT COMMENTS TO:

Ray Lavelle
The State Bar of California
180 Howard Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
(415) 538-2310
(415) 538-2304 (Fax)
ray.lavelle@calbar.ca.gov