Public Inquiry: Law School Curricula– What Type of Educational Background Should We Emphasize When Recruiting Employees to Work With Federal Regulators?

                The Birth of A Legal Doctrine in the Administrative State
The third year of law school is whatever a student wants it to be; why not award a Diploma in Administrative Law to those who wish  take a Contemporary Course in Administrative Law based upon a three component curriculum consisting (1) of an in-depth study of the APA, (2) the ACUS policy directives and the (3) the economic papers published by the Society for Benefit-Cost Analysis? (The CRE Archives would augment the ACUS policy directives when addressing centralized regulatory review). We believe the strategy delineated herein is well substantiated by the multiyear research effort described in the post titled  CRE Background Study(2017) but shunned in large part by the legal community. The monopoly powers  granted by state licensing bodies to select professional professions are immense.
We believe the path to “regulatory reform” is not through endless legislative proposals that go nowhere. Instead efforts should be taken to ensure an unbiased mindset of the very influential individuals who educate future judges, members of Congress, their staff and regulatory officials in the Executive Branch by pursing a contemporary curriculum similar to the one identified above.  
Supporting  Arguments

If you are interested in employees who are going to participate in the judicial review of federal rules, then it best you contact the law school of your choice.  However, recognizing that only a minuscule number of attorneys ever enter the aforementioned practice area, as witnessed by the fact that Administrative Law is not on the bar exam, we recommend that you broaden your search. More specifically the super majority of attorneys working on regulatory issues never visit a courtroom; instead they advise on compliance and related reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

We believe the preferred scenario is to identify institutions [legal or others; public policy schools often have joint faculty appointments with law schools] which teach the intricacies  of the Administrative Procedure Act complemented by those topics which are of most interest to your firm, many of which are  addressed in the archive developed by Administrative Conference of the US (ACUS) and so displayed this publication.  One will note that the breadth of the content of articles in the ACUS Archives greatly exceeds that of LegReg programs which focus on the interpretation of statutes, one of the few initiatives in the past half-century to modernize law school curricula, however limited in both scope and depth, but nevertheless not really endorsed to any serious extent by the legal profession. On the other hand having the ACUS Archive, which contains the thinking of the most credentialed of scholars over the past sixty years, coupled with a detailed understanding of the APA is a course curriculum which is in keeping with the emerging demands of the market.

Please note that ACUS, the Administrative Council of the United States, is the only federal agency which has the statutory mandate to oversee the federal regulatory process and make recommendations for improving it. In discharging this responsibility ACUS policy announcements are disseminated only after the most rigorous internal and external peer reviews.

If you search long enough you might find a law school on the same wave length as noted herein. In theory political science  curricula are ideally suited for this task but they are primarily focused on the study of theory — not getting exposed to the perils associated with the management of the administrative state.

Past efforts aimed at reforming law school curricula yielded minimal results because their sponsors approached the Deans of Law Schools, not the money–the corporate counsels who hire their graduates (See pg. 5 and this post). The bottom line is that law schools have not changed, to any substantial degree, their curricula in the last century, why now? In that the Deans of law schools benefit from a lack of competition inherent in a licensed profession, competition by other academic disciplines might work. Or in the alternative, law schools could make the suggested improvements as set forth in the above opening paragraph.

 (1)  This post has received hundreds of  hits from individuals in a number of  countries. Yes, reply comments may be submitted anonymously.  Yes, “eyes-only” comments may continue to be submitted to CRE through this mechanism.


[Subsequent to this post CRE received additional questions which are addressed in the reply below.]


2 comments. Leave a Reply

  1. CRE

    >Prior to responding to questions, we must remind our readers that the Deans of law schools in charge of the current regulatory law curricula are implementing programs which are highly valued by the corporate counsels of major corporations and others; starting salaries for each of the 1st year associates in the major law firms exceed the salaries for each of the career attorneys in charge of the regulatory programs in all federal agencies, some who have thirty years of service. Over time this striking imbalance in the salaries of the minders of the administrative state could have a far greater societal impact than its creation and it is the responsibility of law schools to be cognizant of this observation when designing law school curricula. An illustrative example of this imbalance manifests itself in the observation that a number of billionaires pay only a token level of taxes.

    >Several readers have asked for our recommended structural changes in college curricula. Notwithstanding opposition to the change in program content for administrative law programs from the overwhelming number of law schools we will provide our recommendations.
    > In doing so it should be noted that CRE discussed program content with law schools not the structural changes discussed below. That said CRE is of the view that the structural changes discussed below are of minimal merit without the change in program content so noted.
    >We believe that 3L students should be given the ability to obtain a Diploma in Administrative Law based not upon existing course material but instead upon the
    study of the APA and the following archives: (1) the ACUS archive noted above (2) the CRE archive noted below and (3) the economic pacesetters published by the Society for Benefit-Cost Analysis.

    > CRE has developed a substantial archive for course material which complements the ACUS archive.

    > CRE also has a search engine capable of identifying key topics in its vast archive.

    > CRE has been asked if we have identified any particular law schools which maybe open to the above recommendations based upon the aforementioned study that we conducted which included discussions with representatives of a number of law schools and professional legal organizations. CRE may be contacted here.

    We recognize that we may have opened the door to want-to-be archivists but this charade will fade with the passage of time.

  2. Laura Pern

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