ABA Mulls Ditching LSAT Requirement

Law School In Tennessee Out Of ABA Compliance

Another month, another law school found out of compliance with the American Bar Association.
The ABA Journal reports that Duncan School of Law at Lincoln Memorial University in Knoxville, Tennessee, has been found out of compliance with an ABA accreditation standard, which requires schools to admit students who appear capable of completing law school and passing the bar exam.
Duncan Law Found Out of Compliance for Lax Admission Standards
According to a letter to the school released by the ABA, Duncan School of Law was found to be out of compliance with standards 501(a) and (b), which state that a law school “shall maintain sound admission policies and practices consistent with the Standards, its mission, and the objectives of its program of legal education” and “shall not admit an applicant who does not appear capable of satisfactorily completing its program of legal education and being admitted to the bar.”
The ABA Journal reports that Duncan’s non-transfer attrition percentage was 22.2% for its first-year class, according to its Standard 509 Information Report for 2017. The law school’s median LSAT score is 148, and its median undergraduate GPA is 3.08.
Duncan Law Responds
Only 20 students graduated from Duncan Law in 2017, according to ABA-released information. In addition, Duncan Law’s first-time bar passage rate for 2017 was 72.22%.
Gary Wade is the dean and vice president at Duncan Law. In an interview with the ABA Journal, Wade says that Duncan Law actually had 17 graduates in 2017. He tells the ABA Journal that the school’s site study took place in March 2017 and was found compliant with all ABA rules, except for Standard 501.
“Although our bar pass rates in prior years have met and exceeded the ABA standard, it is true that our attrition, which by the recent interpretation also includes students on a leave of absence, has been a source of concern,” Wade tells the ABA Journal. “After the first semester this year, however, attrition, at 8 percent, would meet the standard. I do not anticipate there to be any substantial increase in that number in May,”
10 Law Schools Recently Out of Compliance
Last November, 10 schools were sanctioned by ABA for lax admissions, according to Law.com.
Appalachian School of Law, Arizona Summit Law School, Ave Maria School of Law, Charlotte Law School (now defunct), Cooley Law School, Florida Coastal School of Law, John Marshall Law School, Thomas Jefferson School of Law, Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University, and Valparaiso University Law School were all sanctioned for being out of compliance with ABA standards. According to Law.com, some schools have since been found to be in compliance have no longer been sanctioned.
Duncan School of Law has until August 1 to submit a report and must appear before the ABA in November to demonstrate compliance.
Sources:  ABA Journal, ABA Journal, American Bar Association, Law.com