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Jacksonville Law School Gets ABA Provisional Approval

The American Bar Association has granted provisional accreditation to Jacksonville University College of Law, making it the first new US law school to gain the distinction since 2017.

Provisional accreditation ensures eligibility for graduates to sit for the bar exam in any state. Over the past decade, the number of ABA-approved law schools nationwide has declined, with at least seven law schools closing their doors. The last new law school to obtain provisional ABA accreditation was the University of North Texas Dallas College of Law, which opened in 2014 and gained provisional accreditation in 2017. Jacksonville Law opened in August 2022 and applied for provisional accreditation six months later.


Among one of the many law schools to close was for-profit Florida Coastal School of Law in Jacksonville, which shut its doors in 2021 amidst declining enrollment, financial shortfalls, and accreditation issues around its poor bar passage rate and job placement for grads.

When Florida Coastal closed, Jacksonville was left as the largest U.S. city without a law school. In 2022, officials at the private Jacksonville University announced plans of a new law school. Jacksonville Law’s first class of 14 students began courses in August 2022, with a second class of 26 first-years in 2023. Nicholas Allard, a former dean of Brooklyn Law School and a senior counsel at global law firm Dentons, was hired as dean of the law school.

“We felt a heavy responsibility to pursue and attain accreditation before our inaugural students graduated,” Allard says in a prepared statement.

Jacksonville Law will be eligible to apply for full ABA accreditation in 2026.

“This is the vision of Jacksonville University, its faculty, staff, and leadership – to build a great law school with great students, who become great lawyers who go on to serve their communities with ethical professionalism and the highest ideals of a noble profession,” Jacksonville University President Tim Cost says. “Our University has applied for, and received accreditation in numerous programs in disciplines across our institution, and we are proud to add law to our long list of accredited programs.”

Sources: Reuters, Jacksonville University

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