I'm almost positive the non ABA school to ABA school transfer credit limit is between 12 and 18 credits per ABA standards. Haven't read that part in years, but it is addressed by the ABA.
Will an ABA accredited program accept credits towards a JD that were NOT earned in an ABA accredited law school? The answer to that is clearly, "yes". Law schools accept credit from all sorts of sources. Most commonly, you can apply credits from a college of business sometimes, and joint JD/MBA students do exactly that: they take college classes in the college of business and apply them to their JD. Whether they'll accept credit from a non-ABA school? Honestly don't know. Can't see any ABA policy on this and due to the issues discussed below, it seems unlikely, but I can't say for sure that it's impossible. AND it would be up to the ABA school to decide what credits they were going to allow you to apply to your ABA accredited JD degree.
However, transferring credits isn't what I read when you said:
"You can transfer from a non ABA school with 12 credits max, I think."
There, you seemed to be saying, "You can transfer..." Not "transfer credits". "Transfer". Meaning you could start at a non-ABA accredited school and then transfer into an ABA accredited school and take 12 or so credits with you.
The reason I doubt that you can do this is directly from the policies of ABA schools that accept transfer applicants because they tend to have statements such as:
"CUNY School of Law invites and welcomes applications from qualified transfer students. Individuals who have attended an ABA-approved law school and who are..."
"Applications for transfer are considered from students who have attended another law school approved by the American Bar Association (hereinafter ABA) and are in good academic standing at that law school. " (St. Thomas University.)
"To be considered for transfer admission, an applicant must be in good standing at a law school accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA), including provisionally-approved schools, at the time of transfer."
I find it a little amusing that law students and those in the legal community are potetially more arrogant about the ABA accreditation thing than the ABA itself. Something else to beware of going to a non ABA school, it may not be right, fair, or even reasonable but they are the ones doing most of the hiring.
It's funny, and I honestly don't mean you, personally, when I say this, but as bad as things are for ABA grads right now, they're abysmally worse for non-ABA grads. I figure if a person understands the risks, then so be it. Good for them. I just find it hard to believe that SO MANY people understand what they're up against if they don't go to an ABA accredited school.
I also think it's not helpful to the issue to frame the problems with non-ABA schools as matters of arrogance. Really.
This is about like saying that if you're a good college baseball player and don't make the majors, that it's because MLB is arrogant.
There's a lot more to this. By and large, the ABA schools may have issues, but they meet far more stringent standards, their professors are more accomplished, they have far higher standards for admission, they produce a far higher bar passage rate.
The reason ABA schools are what they are isn't just based on perception. They are absolutely better along nearly every measurable dimension. Yes, I'm sure there is a brilliant person once in a while who graduates from a non-ABA school. However, that's the person, not the school.
The more folks at non-ABA accredited schools try to ascribe the problems with those schools to some sort of ABA conspiracy the more I'm certain that they're full-blown detached from reality.
The marketplace is savagely competitive. The winners are the folks who understand the competition and excel at those areas where competition exists.
It's not just students competing against other students. It's schools competing against other schools.
The folks (and schools) who complain about the competition as being unfair? I find it hard to believe that they're going to compete well.