Thursday, April 20, 2017
Trustees of Whittier Law School in Costa Mesa, California announced plans this week to stop admitting new students. A report in today's New York Times said the school had said that it was committed to ensuring that current students would be able to graduate, but it would not admit any new students for the Fall. Elizabeth Olson, Whittier Law School Announces Plan to Close, N.Y. Times, Apr. 20, 2017, at B4.
The New York Times reports that Whittier Law School, an ABA-accredited law school, currently has approximately 400 students. Its bar pass rate for the California Bar Exam last July was only 22 percent, and the employment rate for graduates was only 29.7 percent. The law school had opened in 1966 and was accredited in 1978.
Whittier will be the first ABA-accredited law school to close. Indiana Tech Law School in Fort Wayne, which will close in June, had only provisional ABA-accreditation. Two other schools in Minnesota merged (Hamline and William Mitchell). And the for=profit Charlotte Law School in North Carolina was put on probation and its students denied federal loan money.