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Sunday, June 8, 2008

Maine's Proposed Husson's Law School Denied State Accredition

The June 5, 2008 Bangor Daily News has reported that Maine's proposed Husson Law School has been denied state accredition by the Maine Supreme Court. That story is available here. The law school reportedly has not applied for ABA accredition. Without ABA accredition or state accredition, graduates are not eligible to sit for the Maine bar. A copy of the Maine Supreme Court decision is available here. The court largely denied the request because the law school has not opened up yet and it therefore, the court could not fully evaluate it. As the court stated:

For the past several years, Husson College, an institution of higher education in Bangor, has been working on plans to open a law school. Husson has taken the unusual step of asking us to exercise our original jurisdiction to grant its future graduates eligibility to take the Maine State Bar Examination, although the law school has not yet begun operations, the first students will not graduate for more than three years, and the law school will not be accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) as currently required by the Maine Bar Admission Rules. After a careful review of all materials in the record and statements made at the public hearing, we conclude that we cannot grant Husson’s request.

In fairness, however, school evaluators also raised several concerns about the proposed school, including its reliance on Lexis and Westlaw as opposed to a traditional library. The court left the door open for the school to apply again. Presumably, the school can again apply even before it enrolls its first student. 

Husson College's web site is available here. The law school does not have a web site.

You can't blame Husson for trying to be accredited so its graduates could at least take Maine's bar exam. Without accredition, it is likely to be difficult to attract students and a quality faculty. I am a bit surprised that the school was not in a position to correct the issues raised by the evaluators before the school even applied for state accredition.

Hat Tip: Lawschool.com

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

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