Thursday, May 12, 2011

Bar pass-rate problem may be reason why California law school loses accreditation

LaVerne Law School in Ontario, California is provisionally accredited by the ABA but that may change due to some bar pass-rate problems.  From the National Law Journal:

The University of La Verne College of Law could lose its provisional accreditation from the American Bar Association.

The ABA's accreditation committee told La Verne administrators last week that it will recommend against full accreditation when the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar meets next month in Salt Lake City.

Law school administrators have not yet been told the reason, but it likely has to do with the school's bar passage rate, said Dean Allen Easley.

The school's bar passage rate was a sticking point for the council last year. The accreditation committee recommended that La Verne receive full accreditation in 2010, but the council — which has the final say — extended the school's provisional accreditation for one year in order to gather more information about bar passage rates, admission decisions and related academic support.

In 2009, 34% of La Verne students passed the California bar examination on the first try, although 73% of those students have since passed the test, Easley said. In 2010, the school's first-time bar passage rate bumped up to 53%.

The ABA requires a school's first-time bar passage rate be no more than 15% below that of other accredited law schools in the same jurisdiction each year.

"Given that the accreditation committee gave us a positive recommendation in 2010, and given that our bar passage rates improved significantly, it was a surprise that they are recommending against accreditation this year," Easley said. "We thought everything was moving in the right direction."

You can read the rest here.


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