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Legal Education
Graduate of Non-ABA-Accredited Law School Can Take Mass. Bar Exam
Posted Nov 21, 2008, 02:26 pm CST
By Martha Neil

The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts has waived the usual requirement that all takers of the state bar examination must be graduates of an ABA-accredited law school for a licensed California attorney who got his law degree in 2004 from Concord Law School, a non-ABA-accredited online institution.

Describing Ross Mitchell as an individual who achieved an "exemplary degree of success" in law school, the court voted 6-1 in a decision released yesterday to allow Mitchell—and, at least potentially, other online law school graduates—to take the state bar. However, it "noted that the exception is limited to those with strong records in competitive programs," GateHouse News Service reported.

Another significant factor is that the American Bar Association is reviewing its law school accreditation standards, the court states in its written opinion (link provided by GateHouse).

"The ABA, through its Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, has recently announced that it is undertaking a comprehensive review of its approval standards. Information supplied by the ABA indicates that the comprehensive review will include consideration of schools and programs using online distance learning, an issue that has concerned this court," the opinion recounts.

"As the comprehensive review begins, we have no way of knowing or predicting what recommendations, if any, will be forthcoming in relation to online legal education programs or methodologies. However, in view of the fact that an online legal education program such as Concord's cannot qualify for ABA approval under the current ABA standards ... and that the situation with respect to online programs may change in the reasonably near future, equitable considerations weigh in favor of granting Mitchell a waiver of the ABA approval requirement in this case—given the evidence that he has satisfied the educational purposes of the rule."

A dissenting judge said that the court should await the results of the ABA's review of law school accreditation standards before acting.

Mitchell represented himself pro se in the litigation.

Online Law Schools / "T1" school teams up with Concord Law School
« on: April 07, 2008, 12:13:55 PM »
 8)Master of Jurisprudence in Health Law for Health Care Professionals Online Degree Program 8)

A leader in health law education since 1984, Loyola University Chicago School of Law has teamed up with Concord Law School, the premier online law school and leader in distance learning, to offer a law school based online master's degree exclusively for health care professionals.


LOS ANGELES, Mar 18, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Four Concord Law School graduates were admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday during a ceremony that served as a milestone for the nation's first wholly online law school and as recognition of the evolution of legal education.

"Many lawyers are admitted to the Supreme Court Bar each year and thus have the privilege of arguing before the U.S. Supreme Court. However, these are the first practicing attorneys who were fully educated online to be admitted before all of the Justices in open court," said Barry Currier, JD, President and Dean of Concord, which is based in Los Angeles. "Concord fills a significant need in legal education by providing students with an opportunity to get a rigorous education without having to put their careers on hold, and without many of the costs associated with campus-based programs." For admission to the Supreme Court of the United States, attorneys must be sponsored by two attorneys who have already been admitted there and must obtain a certificate of good standing as evidence that they have been a member of the Bar for three years and are in good standing.

The four Concord-educated attorneys admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court are: -- Larry David of Pasadena, CA, who holds an MBA from USC and had a successful international career in business management in China. Today, he is involved in the general practice of law and handles many pro-bono cases in domestic violence, volunteering at the Los Angeles County Bar Association Barristers Domestic Violence Project.

-- Dentist Michael Kaner of Newtown, PA, who now serves as a consultant on risk management and forensic dentistry.

-- Ross Mitchell of West Newton, MA, a computer systems consultant who is using his legal training to pursue greater acceptance of online legal education and to promote the expansion of the multi-jurisdictional practice of law.

-- Sandusky Shelton of Clio, CA, a retired telecommunications manager who now gives back to her community by taking court-appointed juvenile dependency cases.

Approximately 40 percent of Concord students are working professionals who hold at least one master's degree, including dozens of MDs, MBAs and PhDs. They use their legal education to enhance their current careers or to practice law as a second career. Graduates who successfully complete the Concord program are eligible to sit for the California Bar Exam.

About Concord Law School Concord Law School of Kaplan University was founded in 1998 and today has 1,500 students across the country and around the world. Since Concord's first graduating class in November 2002, more than 700 students have completed the JD and EJD programs. The formal merger of Concord into Kaplan University in the fall of 2007 made Concord the first online law school to be part of a regionally accredited institution of higher education. Kaplan University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Concord is also accredited by the Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council, a nationally recognized accrediting agency. Additionally, Concord is an institutional member of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the International Association of Law Schools. For more information, visit

About Kaplan Higher Education Concord Law School of Kaplan University is part of Kaplan Higher Education, which serves 80,000 students through 70 campus-based schools across the United States and in Europe. It also offers online high school programs through Kaplan Virtual Education, and undergraduate and graduate programs through Kaplan University. Kaplan Higher Education schools offer a spectrum of academic opportunities, from high school diplomas to graduate and professional degrees, including a Juris Doctor degree. Kaplan Higher Education is part of Kaplan, Inc., a subsidiary of The Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO). For more information, visit

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