I have just begun Unit 3 of 10 units for the Capstone course required to obtain my Bachelor of Science degree in Legal Studies. For this course I am required to research and write a 30-35 page paper on a legal topic of my choice.

Last semester I took a leave of absence from school, expecting to have surgery to repair damage done to my left hip in an auto accident and expecting to have plenty of time to recover from that surgery. Ideally, the surgery would have been performed in mid-August and beginning the semester that began November 7th would have been no problem. Unfortunately, the surgery was not done until October 29th, and now I’m struggling not only with recovery, but with writing anything substantial about law.

While the doctor has approved certain “training” that I am able to do now, it is nowhere near at all what I would normally consider “off-ice training” and the only thing that motivates me to do the approved training is that I simply cannot sit and do nothing at all about getting back to the rink. Today is Thanksgiving, and besides the usual things all of us say we’re thankful for, I am thankful that my coach is coming to visit me and work out a plan for what is obviously going to be a long recovery and eventual return to competitive skating.

I am also thankful that about a year ago I took a class which required me to develop a Big Idea: “What is a problem in the nation or in your community that needs changing and why? Do you have any “big ideas” for addressing this problem? This problem could be tied to your field of study or it could be something with more personal implications.”

My Big Idea last year was “to make legal representation affordable for more American citizens than it is now. My
working thesis statement [was]: While it would be ideal to dismantle the ABA approval system for law schools, a more direct approach to making legal representation affordable would be to eliminate any state’s requirement that law school students must graduate from an ABA-approved law school in order to sit for a state bar exam.”

For the paper I am working on now, this is what has played out thus far:


All lawyers are not created equal. Outside of the legal profession, it is not well-known that there are two types of law schools, and that graduation from one or the other type leads to dramatically different outcomes not only for lawyers, but for society as well. Most states in the U.S. require that law students graduate from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) to take the state bar exam and become a licensed attorney. Graduates of law schools which are not accredited by the ABA are not allowed by most states to sit for the bar exam and become licensed attorneys. The ABA accreditation system has led to an increasingly costly track to becoming a lawyer, with the end result being a legal system which is unaffordable for a majority of the U.S. population

This is my thesis statement:

If states were to set aside the requirement that law students must graduate from an ABA-approved law school, the cost of a legal education would be driven down, leading to a legal system that is more affordable for a greater number of people than the same system is now.

To support this thesis, I am going to have to present reasons why ABA accreditation is not relevant to legal education or legal practice. I will also discuss how changing the legal education system will impact society, and the particular change I have in mind is the ABA accreditation system as it stands now.

This is a touchy subject for lawyers and law students, past and present. The research I’ve done so far suggests my idea has substantial support as well as vigorous disagreement. The common ground is that the present system is not sustainable, and some change is in order. I believe abolishing the ABA accreditation system would be a good start.


This statement from your writing above is much closer to your real TS:

” ABA accreditation is not relevant to a [credible] legal education or legal practice.”

It isn’t about saving money. It is about a self-serving system that is over priced.


Thank You, Professor,
I actually had that same thought once I wrote that post. The thesis statement I proposed is actually only a part of research for the thesis statement you have pointed out. And I agree that the current system is self-serving and overpriced.
So, my thesis statement is: ABA accreditation is not relevant to a credible legal education or legal practice..
Thank you again, Lyann
So there you have it…the thesis statement for the paper I am currently working on is ABA accreditation is not relevant to a credible legal education or legal practice.
Thankfully, I kept a blog last year of the development of my Big Idea, so I have a springboard for the work I’m currently doing. Ideally, my surgery would have been done at a time that would not have caused me to be struggling to simultaneously manage recovery and research; I did, after all, plan to have plenty of time to rest and recover from surgery. But, things happen, and things quite often do not go as planned. I should be used to that by now 🙂
So, in addition to being thankful for the standard things we are all grateful for on Thanksgiving, and being thankful for the upcoming visit from my skating coach, I am grateful that I thought to keep the blog Ideally (you can check it out here) last year…it is going to be a great deal of help to me this year!

If I’ve got to just sit, better to be studying than watching TV 🙂

I’m a lot more thankful for the blessings in my life than I appear to be here!


I AM grateful for this day 🙂


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