Law School Discussion

Non-ABA and the Bar

Non-ABA and the Bar
« on: March 24, 2004, 10:16:00 AM »
I just finished a short article on where non-ABA grads can sit for the bar. You can read it on

The bullet on it is this, some states say never, some say after 3 to 10 years of practice, some states say only if you went to certain schools. All of them have various ifs, ands, and buts, as to who and when.

Also, here is a chart from the ABA on the subject.



Re: Non-ABA and the Bar
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2004, 11:42:16 AM »
what happens if you are at an ABA school when you entered, but then it dropped out of ABA status, and then you graduated and passed the bar when it was NOT ABA accredited.

Re: Non-ABA and the Bar
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2004, 12:03:29 PM »
That is a complicated question.  If the school is not accredited when you graduate it is the same as graduating from a non-ABA school.  The same is true if the school becomes ABA after you graduate.  The ABA status is not retoactive to past grads.  Assuming that you are in a state that will allow you to graduate from an non-ABA school and sit for the bar, then you would be in the same boat as any other non-ABA grad. You will have to practice in that state and do your time until you can sit somewhere else.

If you graduate from a non-ABA school and the state bar doesn't let non-ABA grads sit for the bar then you have a very expensive piece of framed parchment.

Hypothetically, you could enroll at school X in a state like Mississippi, where only ABA grads can sit for the bar. Matriculate in fall 2004, they lose ABA approval in Fall 2006, you graduate Spring 2007. You would be out of luck.

Let's say the same thing happened to Samford/Cumberland in Alabama. That is not going to happen.  But for the sake of example let's say it did.  Alabama, currently allows three non-ABA schools to sit for the bar.  They probably would do the same thing for Cumberland.  Those grads would do the same as my classmates at BSOL. Sit for the Alabama bar exam and likely spend their entire career in Alabama.

Long answer. I hope it helped.


Re: Non-ABA and the Bar
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2004, 12:13:10 PM »
yes it did.  so i'm in california, so it should not be a factor.

Re: Non-ABA and the Bar
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2004, 12:36:27 PM »
California has a very liberal approach to approval of schools.  There are 17 non-aba schools in California and 10 correspondence schools.   They can all sit for the bar.  A few of them do relatively well on the CA bar.  Luverne does better on the bar exam than some of the ABA schools.   They are up for ABA review soon.

California takes the approach of let the bar sort out who should be a lawyer.

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