U.S. Organizations

"The Section's Council and Accreditation Committee are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) as the national accrediting agency for programs leading to the J.D. In this function, the Council and the Section are independent of the ABA, as required by DOE regulations. All state supreme courts recognize ABA-approved law schools as meeting the legal education requirements to qualify for the bar examination; forty-six states limit eligibility for bar admission to graduates of ABA-approved schools.


Members of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar become part of a 14,000 member group that strives to improve legal education and lawyer licensing by fostering cooperation among legal educators, practitioners and judges through workshops, conferences and publications. The Section also studies and makes recommendations for the improvement of the bar admission process." - ABA Website

The Section on Clinical Legal Education promotes the communication of ideas, interests and activities among members of the Section and makes recommendations on matters concerning clinical legal education. The AALS Clinical Section developed the  Clinicians' Desk Reference Handbook for new clinicians . AALS also jointly sponsors the Clinical Law Reviewa semi-annual, peer-edited journal devoted to issues of lawyering theory and clinical legal education, with the Clinical Legal Education Association (CLEA) and New York University School of Law. 

​The AALS Externship Committee is a subcommittee of the this section.

CLEA exists to advocate for clinical legal education as fundamental to the education of lawyers. CLEA and its members seek to:

  • foster excellent teaching and scholarship by clinical educators;

  • integrate clinical teaching and extend its methods into the legal education program of every law school;

  • reform legal education so as to prepare law students for excellent and reflective law practice;

  • advance regulation of legal education that insures the continued vitality of clinical education in law schools; and

  • pursue and promote justice and diversity as core values of the legal profession.

CLEA New Clinicians Handbook

CLEA's Externship Committee is charged with working on these efforts as they relate to externships.

Gonzaga University School of Law founded the Institute for Law School Teaching in 1991. The Institute’s programs and resources have continued to grow since its inception, and currently include:

  • Two annual teaching and learning conferences.

  • Twice-annual issues of The Law Teacher, which publishes short articles and book reviews on teaching and learning authored by a wide variety of law teachers representing dozens of law schools around the country.

  • An elaborate set of web resources, including books, articles, and videos on teaching methods, assessment, and team-based learning.

  • An Alert Service offering an article of the month, an idea of the month, and other announcements about law teaching.

  • Law teacher training workshops to United States and foreign law teachers (Institute faculty have conducted more than 200 such workshops at more than 75 United States law schools and for law teachers from Canada, Chile, Germany, Iran, Japan, the Republic of Georgia, and Turkey).

The Society of American Law Teachers (SALT) is committed to advancing teaching excellence, social justice and diversity. SALT is a community of progressive law teachers, law school administrators, librarians, academic support experts, students and affiliates. SALT has been working for more than 40 years to improve the legal profession, the law academy and expand the power of law to underserved communities.  SALT engages in work within and beyond the law school to advance social justice.


Among its recent projects, SALT has examined critical issues facing the legal academy and profession; SALT’s standing working groups include efforts to promote academic freedom, equal opportunity, issues in legal education (who is admitted to law school, what is taught, and who is teaching), LGBT, and human rights.


SALT also organizes several BA to JD Pipeline programs throughout the country, hosts Breaking In programs for legal educators, coordinates a mentor program for faculty, co-sponsors a diversity in law school leadership conference and hosts its biennial Teaching Conference. Further, SALT actively promotes human rights through position statements and amicus briefs.

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