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1977 Newsl. 1 (1977)

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ASSOCIA TION OF AMERICAN LAW SCHOOLS/Suite 370, One Dupont Circle, Washington, D.C. 20036 [            FJcjFiFr                 h

              March 4, 1977               Number 77-1 L

                           Message From The President

               The activities of the Association during the two months since my election as President attest to the wide
           r nge of challenges and opportunities which face legal educators in our changing world. In particular, the com-
           exity of our relationship with the federal government continues to require the time of the Executive Committee,
           which in earlier days was privileged to concern itself largely with the quality of scholarship and research.

               Our Special Committee on Admissions Policy, chaired by Dean Ernest A. E. Gellhorn of Arizona State University
           College of Law, has met on several occasions and advised the Executive Committee on the position that the Asso-
           ciation should advance as an amicus in the Bakke case. In brief, the Association will in Bakke assert the wisdom
           of the minority admissions programs now in operation at member schools and point up the drastic consequences that
           would occur if these programs were terminated. It will argue that attempts to fashion racially neutral programs
           designed to benefit disadvantaged groups would not be successful in increasing or even maintaining minority
           representation in law schools or in the profession. Dean Robert B. McKay has agreed to write the Association's
           brief. The Association is exploring the wisdom of filing a brief in other litigation which is now in process,
           and examining the directions it should pursue when Bakke is decided. Our Committee is working closely with the
           Law School Admission Council's Committee, chaired by Dean Frederick M. Hart of the University of New Mexico.

               The Executive Committee continues to be concerned about the need to ensure the inclusion of law schools and
           law students in educational programs authorized by the Congress and to obtain appropriations for these programs.
           I have appointed a Congressional Liaison Committee, under the chairmanship of Associate Dean John R. Kramer of
           Georgetown University Law Center, to monitor legislation in the Congress. The Committee, working with Wayne
           McCormack, will seek again to obtain funding for clinical education under Title XI and to assure that the in-
           terests of law schools and law students are considered in other legislation affecting higher education. This
           Committee will work in close cooperation with our excellent Committee on Government Relations.

                On behalf of the Association, Wayne and Millard are attempting to persuade HEW to include law schools and
           law students in the regulations implementing the new program of Graduate Fellowships authorized by the Education
           Amendment of 1976. As much as $50 million may be available for fellowships to graduate (and, hopefully, profes-
           sional) students under this legislation.

                Federal concern over the accreditation process continues. The Bureau of Competition of the Federal Trade
           Commission has objected to the continued recognition of the Liaison Conittee on Medical Education as the
           nationally accredited agency for medicine, alleging a conflict of interest because of the involvement of AMA.
           In view of the obvious implications to the relationship between AALS and the ABA and to the ABA's role in the
           approval of law schools, I have written HEW defending the role of the professions in the accreditation of pro-
           fessional schools.

                While some member schools are faced with court decisions casting doubt on their affirmative action programs,
           others are confronting assertions by governmental agencies that their affirmative action programs are inadequate.
           Pursuant to a request from a member school, the Executive Committee has authorized me to appoint a committee to
           examine the feasibility of assembling national data on the availability pool of minority and women law teachers,
           and to evaluate the criteria actually used by faculties in member schools in faculty appointments.

                Fortunately, all of the efforts of the Executive Committee have not been confined to such matters. It has
           appropriated funds to cooperate with the Association of American Law Libraries in a project which has as its
           objective the development of a computerized data base and bibliographic service for law libraries. A high
           percentage of judges have indicated their intention to follow the schedule in our proposed timetable for the
           appointment of judicial clerks, and that project will soon be in operation.

                The Executive Committee has also begun to explore some matters with broader implications. It continues to
           work to improve our processes of ensuring academic freedom. It is again examining the issue of what membership
           in the Association connotes: to what degree should the Association be an elitist organization? In addition, the
           Executive Committee continues to explore ways to facilitate the work of our sections and to involve the House of
           Representatives to a greater degree in the important decisions facing us.

                Your suggestions are solicited. Ours is an Association of Schools but it can function only through the
           professoriat. I assure you that your ideas will be welcomed as we work together toward the solution of the
           challenges facing us.

                                                                     A. Kenneth Pye

Editor: Nancy R. Jones, Assistant Director

Executive Director: Millard H. Ruud

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