Adjunct Law Prof Blog

Editor: Mitchell H. Rubinstein
New York Law School

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Whittier Law School Appears Headed Towards Full ABA Accredition

We have previously followed Whittier Law School's ABA accreditation problems. They have been on probation for a number of years and at one point, they were in jeopardy of loosing their provisional accreditation. However, a March 14, 2008 letter from Dean Cogan states that the school's bar passage rate has improved and is in-line with recently amended ABA standards. As Dean Cogan states: 

Because our bar passage rates in 2003-07, the pertinent five-year period under the new rule, are well in compliance, we have requested to be removed from probation. The ABA Accreditation Committee will consider that request on April 17-19, and the ABA Council will review the Accreditation Committee’s recommendation on June 6-8. I expect that after those meetings, the ABA will remove the Law School’s probationary status.

While this is certainly good news for Whittier, I am a bit troubled by the Dean's response. Specifically, he did not include the school's bar passage rate. Additionally, he did not discuss why the school now complies with ABA standards. Were the ABA standards lowered??

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

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"The ABA Accreditation Committee (has) recommended to the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar that Whittier Law School be removed from its probationary status. All of us are pleased with this recognition that the Law School’s educational program is in compliance with the Standards for Approval of Law Schools.

The Law School requested this action on February 14, 2008, because the bar passage rates of our graduates for the five-year period, 2003-07, show compliance with the ABA bar passage rule, Interpretation 301-6. We fully expect that the Council will accept the Committee’s recommendation at its meeting on June 6 and remove the Law School from its probationary status.

Interpretation 301-6 is the first published ABA bar passage rule describing the measures that a law school must meet to be in compliance with the ABA Standards. The bar passage rule went into effect on February 11, 2008, when the ABA House of Delegates concurred in the new rule; the House of Delegates’ action came at the behest of a directive by Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings to the ABA requiring a properly-adopted, consistently-applied, and transparent bar passage rule."

Posted by: Anonymous | May 20, 2008 12:22:06 PM

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