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In 2001 the American Bar Association amended the Standards for Accreditation of Law Schools to require for the first time a rigorous writing experience after the first year During the summer of 2004 the author conducted a nationwide survey to determine how law schools responded to this change The author found that most schools did little more than to require students to take at least one course which was evaluated by means of an academic paper rather than an examination The author concludes that this is probably not the response the ABA had hoped for but suggests that a 2005 amendment to the Standards which now require writing in a legal context holds more promise for encouraging law schools to focus more on practical legal writing skills

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