Several Law Schools Out of Compliance with ABA Standard
The ABA has found 10 law schools to be out of compliance with a bar passage standard.
Last Wednesday, the council of the ABA’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar posted that the following schools were found to be in “significant noncompliance” with Standard 316, which requires a bar passage rate of at least 75% within two years, the ABA Journal reports.
10 Schools Out of Compliance
- Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School
- Charleston School of Law
- University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law
- Florida A&M University College of Law
- Florida Coastal School of Law
- Inter American University of Puerto Rico School of Law
- Mississippi College School of Law
- Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico School of Law
- South Dakota School of Law
- Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School
Back in May 2019, the ABA tightened standards around bar passage requiring that at least 75% of an ABA-accredited law school’s grad who sit for the bar exam pass within two years of graduating.
“These revisions provide more straightforward and clear expectations for law schools and establish measures and process that are more appropriate for today’s environment,” Barry Currier, managing director of ABA law school accreditation, said at the time.
LOW PASSAGE RATES
A number of these law schools have argued that their low bar passage rates can be attributed to several factors.
At Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico School of Law, Dean Fernando Moreno Orama has stated that the school’s class of 2017 first took the bar exam after Hurricane Irma and Maria struck, citing difficult circumstances as a reason why grads performed poorly.
“Standard 316 has a disproportionate impact in Puerto Rico and its repercussions were not taken into account when approving the new accreditation standard,” he tells the ABA Journal.
At Faulkner Law, the dean has stated that poor performance for the class of 2017 was likely due to leadership changes and transfers out by top students.
The 10 law schools found out of compliance have until February 1, 2021 to submit a report to the council that demonstrates compliance with the standard.