[Source: American Bar Association]At its meeting on August 4-5, 2005, the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar determined to place Whittier Law School, located in Costa Mesa, California, on probation for a period of two years, effective August 9, 2005.[Source: Whittier Law School]American Bar Association Accreditation Status
On August 9, the American Bar Association placed Whittier Law School's accreditation on a probationary status for a period of up to 2 years. The ABA cited the school's first-time bar passage rates as the reason for its decision. While on probation, the law school remains an ABA accredited law school. Under the ABA's rules, all students who enter and/or graduate during this period are considered to have graduated from an ABA accredited law school. During the probationary period, the ABA will be overseeing our efforts to come into compliance with its standards regarding bar passage.
Whittier Law School feels that this decision is unwarranted and unnecessary and has so responded to the ABA. First-time bar passage rates at WLS have gone up 10.5 points between July 2003 and 2004, and 9 points between February 2004 and 2005. Over the years, the ABA has lauded our academic program and current course initiatives and we believe that we are in compliance with the ABA's rules. We intend to continue our aggressive effort to demonstrate our compliance with ABA regulations.
I'm not sure about the past history of ABA Probation, but currently, this is the only law school that is currently on probation by the ABA. It's a huge embarrassment to the school as well as its students, but especially for those ILs who have already committed and are beginning their orientation this week. Announced less than 2 weeks before the official start of classes, I can only imagine what a tremendous 11-th hour blow to their spirits this must be. Should Whittier Law School, a 4th tier law school, now be avoided by prospective law students in the midst of this embarrassment?