Adjunct Law Prof Blog

Editor: Mitchell H. Rubinstein
New York Law School

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Tough Times at Whittier Law School

Whittier Law School reportedly just lost a court decision attempting to revoke its probationary status by the ABA. Whittier issued a statement on its web site indicating that it was going to aggressively fight for ABA accredition as if felt the ABA's decision was unjust. Whitter has not commented on its site about the litigation.  is reporting that Whittier, which was once fully accredited, was placed on probationary status because of low bar examination pass rates in California. This article reports that Whittier could also loose its accredition as soon as this August and the School has reduced its admission from 220 to 160 studdents. According to this article, Whittier's July 2006 bar rate was 59% compared with the state average of 74% in California.

I have not seen the court decision. If someone sends it to me, I will post it. 

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

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A little due diligence before posting, please. ...

Posted by: anon | May 22, 2007 9:57:00 AM

"On August 9, 2005 the American Bar Association placed Whittier Law School's accreditation on a probationary status for a period of up to 2 years. The ABA cited the school's first-time bar passage rates as the reason for its decision. While on probation, the law school remains an ABA accredited law school. Under the ABA's rules, all students who enter and/or graduate during this period are considered to have graduated from an ABA accredited law school. During the probationary period, the ABA will be overseeing our efforts to come into compliance with its standards regarding bar passage. It is prudent for students to check with their states' bar authorities regarding admission requirements.

Whittier Law School feels that this decision is unwarranted and unnecessary and has so responded to the ABA. First-time bar passage rates at WLS have gone up 10.5 points between July 2003 and 2004, 9 points between February 2004 and 2005, and 19 points between July 2005 and 2006. Over the years, the ABA has lauded our academic program and current course initiatives and we believe that we are in compliance with the ABA's rules. We intend to continue our aggressive effort to demonstrate our compliance with ABA regulations."

Hmm, that is interesting. Anyone have any more information?

Posted by: Stephen M (Ethesis) | May 24, 2007 7:08:41 PM

The only effect of the ridiculous ABA pressure on law schools to increase their bar passage rates is to take class time away from learning about the law and replace it with learning how to take bar exams. For example, Whittier now stresses skills courses such as
Time management and resource allocation
Exam taking
Exam writing
Multiple choice strategies.
Ah, yes, the public is clamoring for lawyers with skills such as these.

Posted by: Anthony D'Amato | May 28, 2007 1:39:11 AM

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