Letter to the American Bar Association on Law School Curricula

Publisher’s Note: Kudo’s to the ABA for placing the CRE recommendation on its meeting agenda. “An OIRA that is understood is an OIRA that is respected.”


To:          Standards and Accreditation Committee, American Bar Association

From:     Jim Tozzi[1], Center for Regulatory Effectiveness

Subject: Increasing Attorney Expertise in the Regulatory State

The purpose of this memorandum is to request that the Committee on Standards and Accreditation address the increasingly greater subject matter deficit in law school curricula which makes it difficult for graduates to cope with the broad reach of the regulatory state.

The size of the regulatory state expands with each new statute, regulation, guidance document, permit, license or payment to a beneficiary of a government program administered by a governmental body be it at the federal, state or local level. It appears that irrespective of an attorney’s practice area that the quality of  the work product delivered by an attorney is increased with a knowledge of the inner workings of the regulatory state.

Notwithstanding the attention accorded to the regulatory state by all branches of government, law schools seldom approach or even come close to matching the expectations of the aforementioned governmental bodies. Not only is administrative law not a required course but even when it is taught its curriculum dwells on teaching students how to practice before a court  not before a federal agency. We at the Center for Regulatory Effectiveness are requesting that this committee address this issue.

In particular we believe the Committee should be instrumental in establishing a group to study and report on the aforementioned issue. The group should be multidisciplinary, including representatives from the legal, economics, public policy, and public administration professions. We understand that the task is a difficult one because of the opaqueness of the regulatory process. It is for this reason that our center has developed the OIRA Teaching Module[2].

The views presented herein have been vetted[3] not only within the CRE but within leading educational institutions over a considerable period of time.

We look forward to any action the committee might take to implement the recommendations set forth herein.

Washington, DC

October 2, 2016

[1] http://thecre.com/pdf/20160228_tozzi.pdf

[2] http://www.thecre.com/oira_forum/?p=5363

[3] http://www.thecre.com/forum8/?p=271

1 comment. Leave a Reply

  1. CRE

    CRE is working to develop a record of the views of interested individuals on the topic of having law school curricula address the inner workings of the regulatory state. To this end CRE not only encourages interested individuals to express their views on this matter by posting hereon but will also post descriptions of relevant proceedings on this page.

    See the Federalist Society Teleforum on October 12 at:

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