Back in the 1990s, the ABA got slapped across the mouth by the Justice Department for engaging in all sorts of anti-competitive practices, like mandating that every professor work no more than 3 hours a day, get summers and alternating semesters off, and have access to no fewer than three adorable puppies twice a week. The DoJ filed suit, and the ABA folded and entered into a consent decree that would govern their actions for the next ten years.
Among the new regulations were rules that the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, the Accreditation Committee, and the Standards Review Committee would be composed of no more than 50% deans and professors. It's a pretty good rule. You do need deans and profs on these committees, because they bring important insight and expertise to the whole legal education thing, but the consent decree wanted to make sure that there wasn't regulatory capture.
So, years after the consent decree stopped being in force, what happened to the composition of these three bodies?
Section of Legal Education
Kent Syverud - Dean, Washington University School of Law
Solomon Oliver, Jr. - Chief Judge, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio [Also professor from 1982-1994 at Cleveland Marshall College of Law, and associate dean there from 1991-1994]
Joan Howland - Associate Dean and Professor, University of Minnesota Law School
Raymond C. Pierce - Partner, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP [Also dean of NCCU from 2005-2012]
John F. O'Brien - Dean, New England Law|Boston
Jane H. Aiken - Professor and Director of the Community Justice Project, Georgetown University Law Center
Rebecca White Berch - Chief Justice, Arizona Supreme Court [Also Director of the Legal Writing Program at Arizona State from 1986-1991 and 1994-1995]
Leo A. Brooks - Retired Army General, and formerly assistant professor of military science at Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio
Paulette Brown - Partner and Chief Diversity Officer, Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP
Edwin J. Butterfoss - Associate Dean and Professor, Hamline University Law School
Michael J. Davis - Professor, University of Kansas School of Law
Antonio García-Padilla - Dean Emeritus and Professor, University of Puerto Rico School of Law
Tracy Allen Giles, Esq. - Partner, Giles & Lambert, P.C.
James M. Klein - Distinguished Visiting Professor, Charleston School of Law
Cynthia Nance - Dean Emeritus & Nathan G. Gordon Professor of Law, University of Arkansas School of Law (Fayetteville),
Jequita H. Napoli - Special Judge, Cleveland County District Court, Norman, Oklahoma
Gregory G. Murphy - Attorney, Billings, Montana
Maureen A. O’Rourke - Dean, Boston University School of Law
Erika Robinson - Law Student Division Member, University of South Carolina School of Law, J.D. Candidate, 2013
Morgan T. Sammons - Dean, California School of Professional Psychology, Alliant International University
Edward N. Tucker - CPA/ABV, Ellin & Tucker
Current law profs/deans: 11
Former law profs/deans: 3
Non-law profs: 2
Being generous to the ABA, the Section is 50% law profs and deans. But, counting current and former law profs we get 64%.
The Accreditation Committee is 9 current law profs and deans, 2 former, 3 non-law professors, and 5 others. So, 47% current, and 58% current and former.
For the Standards Review Committee, things are even worse. 8 current law profs and deans, 1 former, 1 non-law professor, and 4 others. 57% current profs, and 64% current and former. And two of those non-professors hold executive offices at universities that have a law school. So if you want to count current profs, former profs, and others with a direct interest in law schools, we're up to 79%.
Anyone who's ever studied corporate governance will know that it doesn't even take 50% of the votes to have control. 50% means that the rest of the people in the room need to be a united front against you, which is rare, and you can effectively exercise control with a pretty small voting block. Not that professors are necessarily a united front, but when proposals are on the table that will slash their pay and result in massive layoffs (such as reducing law school to a 2 year program) you can bet that the Department of Justice was right not trust professors to govern themselves.