Struggling California Law School Will Stay Open—For Now
A struggling California law school lives to see another day.
Golden Gate University, located in Downtown San Francisco, will stay open and fully accredited at least for another year after an existential vote in June. School administrators say the long-term viability is still in question, but informed students that it would not close within the next school year. Faculty has also been advices that layoffs may take place in the future, The San Francisco Standard reports.
“GGU Law will continue to operate during the academic year 2023-24 and beyond as necessary to ensure at a minimum that all currently enrolled and entering students will continue to receive their scholarships and be able to receive an ABA-accredited degree,” spokesperson Jenny McKeel says.
“A PERFECT STORM”
Founded in 1901, Golden Gate University has struggled to stay afloat in recent years. Downtown San Francisco’s deteriorating economic conditions have only made matters worse as commercial real estate in the area has significantly dropped in value.
“In sum, a perfect storm has impacted GGU Law,” the university says in a letter to the law school community last month. “The University cannot continue to sustain an operating deficit from the Law School. And we must maintain sufficiently high admissions standards in order to comply with [American Bar Association] bar passage requirements. No decisions have been made.”
In 2021, the American Bar Association found Golden Gate University School of Law to be out of compliance due to its low bar passage rates. Since then, the law school has significantly lowered its admission rate starting in 2022. The law school said this week that it will retain accreditation with the ABA.
Student Bar Association President Mohammed Jamal expressed sorrow over the recent challenges faced by the law school, which is renowned for its reputation of educating aspiring lawyers from working-class backgrounds and for its focus on public-interest and environmental law.
“Being a lawyer is a very privileged profession,” Jamal says. “It will be sad if Golden Gate University will have to close after more than 100 years.”
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