Law Students > Distance Education Law Schools

Non-ABA approved Test Takers

(1/3) > >>

cobes1996:
Gang,
I am not an expert at this topic, but I just looked up the bar exam pass rate statistics on www.NCBEX.org

http://www.ncbex.org/publications/statistics/

There are several states who allowed/offered those from Non-ABA approved schools to sit for the bar.  Of course, CA had the most, but Massachusetts had over 500 and Tennessee had over 200 take the exam in 2012.  Does this mean that states are starting to become more lenient? 

Feedback would be great. Thanks.

Citylaw:
There were several state supreme court cases that allowed non-aba grads to take state bar exams, but it many states still do not allow non-aba grads. Here is an article of one such case in Massachusetts http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/grad_of_non-aba-accredited_law_school_can_take_massachusetts_bar .

I believe Tennessee has also allowed non-aba grads to take the exam. I imagine if you petitioned any state after you graduated your argument under the Privileges & Immunities clause would be strong, but having to go through a Supreme Court case to get your law license would be a hassle.

Maintain FL 350:

--- Quote from: cobes1996 on November 11, 2013, 02:08:12 PM ---Of course, CA had the most, but Massachusetts had over 500 and Tennessee had over 200 take the exam in 2012.  Does this mean that states are starting to become more lenient? 
--- End quote ---

No, I don't think so, and here is why:

California is not the only state that allows state-accredited law schools to operate within it's borders. Massachusetts, Tennessee, and Alabama also have non-ABA state accredited schools, and have been allowing their graduates to sit for the bar for decades. Therefore, this does not represent a new openness on the part of these states, but rather reflects what has been going for a long time.

Massachusetts did recently admit a Concord grad after he passed the bar and filed suit to gain admission, and perhaps that will open the door for others in that state. Most state bars remain openly hostile to non-ABA graduates, especially those graduating from unaccredited correspondence/online programs.   

As far as the P&I argument, it will be played out over the next few years as online grads challenge state bars for admission. I don't think it will work in most cases, however, since state bars are likely to be viewed as acting within their permissible scope to set educational standards for admission. Historically, state bars have a lot of latitude in controlling admission, and the argument may fall on unsympathetic ears.

Lastly, the discussion surrounding ABA/non-ABA often focuses on the exclusivity and snobbiness of the ABA and the various state bars. While I think there are legitimate criticisms to be made in that arena, at some point the non-ABA schools are going to have to meet the bar associations halfway if they want to be taken seriously. It's not enough to just demand respect, they've got to earn it, and that means turning out students who can pass the bar. It's not just elitism that makes people suspicious of schools that have 10% bar pass rates.

Online schools are going to have to start requiring college degrees, the LSAT, and other basic admissions criteria along with serious academic support and attrition of underperformers. Until then, I don't think much will change. 

cobes1996:
What schools in Tennessee are you referring to?   I thought they all were in CA?

Maintain FL 350:

--- Quote from: cobes1996 on November 12, 2013, 01:20:51 PM ---What schools in Tennessee are you referring to?   I thought they all were in CA?

--- End quote ---

Nashville School of Law and Lincoln Memorial University School of Law are both non-ABA, but are accredited by the state bar of TN. Their graduates can sit for the TN bar, and maybe a few other states (although I don't know for sure).

Boston has the non-ABA Massachusetts School of Law, and used to have Southern New England School of Law, too, but they were absorbed by UMASS-Dartmouth and are an ABA school now. Finally, Alabama has Birmingham School of Law. I think that all of these schools qualify the graduate to sit for their state's bar, and maybe a few others. Check to be sure.

Most non-ABA schools are in CA, as you stated. CA is unique in that we allow ABA, CBE (state accredited), unaccredited fixed facility, and unaccredited distance learning schools. However, the vast majority of CA bar takers still follow the traditional ABA route. 

Navigation

[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version