The American Bar Association’s (ABA) annual meeting kicks off today in the Windy City. One hot-button topic that’s up for discussion is whether to begin accrediting foreign law schools.

The Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog reports that the subject has incited debate for two years. In 2010, a panel of law school professors, deans, judges and lawyers recommended that the ABA begin accrediting overseas law schools that followed a U.S. model. The group cited the pressure that some bar associations and judges face to admit foreign lawyers.

But in 2011, a second committee recommended against expanding the ABA’s accreditation power outside the U.S. They pointed to feedback from stateside law students who worried that accrediting foreign law schools would increase career competition. Additionally, the committee said monitoring foreign law schools’ compliance with ABA standards would be difficult.

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