Law Schools » Law School Accreditation
Law school accreditation
What is accreditation?According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary the meaning of accreditation is "to recognize (an educational institution) as maintaining standards that qualify the graduates for admission to higher or more specialized institutions or for professional practice."
In the United States, as of February 2003, 188 institutions had merited of American Bar Association desired seal of approval through the strict process known as accreditation. Through this process, which spans a minimum of three years (including a trial period known as "provisional accreditation"), the ABA decide whether or not a given law school adheres to its Standards for Legal Education—evaluating the level to which high values like honesty, responsibility, equality, and competence are promoted at the institution. The process of accreditation is meant to secure a level of national uniformity in legal education and practice.
Possible recognition decision outcomes
ABA’s Standards for Approval of Law SchoolsABA considers the extent to which law schools comply with standards in the following areas:
Law schools generally fall into three categories of accreditation, American Bar Association (ABA) accredited, state accredited or unaccredited.
Every jurisdiction in the United States has resolute that graduates of ABA-approved law schools are able to sit for the bar in their respective jurisdictions.
State accreditation: There are many law schools that for one reason or another do not meet all of the ABA accreditation requirements. Some of these schools, however, do meet the states requirements (State requirements can vary by state).
Unaccredited: According to the California Bar Association "An unaccredited law school is one working as a law school in the State of California that is neither accredited nor approved by the Commission”.