As I was writing a piece on the partnership of BigLaw firm White & Case and Indian Law School Jindal Global School a couple weeks ago, I thought that this is one of those posts that will get a lot of reaction from our readers. We all know that the world is flattening, but to see a firm step out there and build a tight relationship with an Indian law school seemed to really display just how flat the legal market is becoming. I was expecting a reaction that ran somewhere between “OMG!! How greedy can BigLaw Partners be that they are now actually planting the fields of cheap lawyer labor” to “get ready… India Law Schools first, China next, then on to any other cheap market that will pump out lawyers willing to do work for $10 a day.” Instead, what I got was the loud sound of crickets chirping in the background of the blog.
So, that didn’t get your attention?? Well, maybe a little article in the ABA Journal posted on Friday afternoon might pique your interest in what the Jindal Global School is aiming for. Seems that Cornell Law School is following White & Case’s lead and has signed an agreement to establish a collaboration between Cornell and Jindal Global. Just what exactly is the Jindal Global School’s objective?? Some would speculate that they are aiming at eventual ABA accreditation, and State Bar acceptance for their graduates to take the bar and practice law within the United States. The ABA’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar has kicked this issue down the road for the past few years, however, it seems that they will eventually have to issue a statement of allowing foreign law schools full ABA accreditation. With the world’s economy becoming so intertwined, it would seem inevitable that foreign schools will eventually receive accreditation.
Although the Cornell/Jindal Memorandum of Understanding is labeled as a way to “promote global legal education in India”, it seems that this is just one more step in the direction of breaking down barriers placed by the ABA and the individual state bar associations. BigLaw Firms and Ivy League law schools see the writing on the wall… how long will it take for the Bar Associations to join in on the collaboration movement?