Friday, November 22, 2019

The February 2020 Bar Exam: LaVerne Law School drops ABA bid; To be Only California Accredited

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The University of La Verne, in Los Angeles, will keep its law school open, but as a California-accredited campus instead of an ABA accredited school.

The university voted to convert the law school from ABA accreditation to accreditation by the State Bar of California—a move that will make it easier for the Ontario, California, campus to meet program standards. But it will also mean that graduates are only eligible to take the bar exam in California.

Under the new plan, La Verne would become the first law school to drop its ABA accreditation in the wake of that body adopting tougher bar exam standards. The ABA in 2018 changed that standard, giving law schools two years instead of five years to ensure that at least 75% of their graduates pass the licensing exam.

That heightened standard was one factor that prompted the board of trustees last month to order a full-scale review of the La Verne’s law school and its sustainability. The school’s long-term finances were another catalyst for the review, officials said. About 240 students are enrolled at the school.

Graduates of ABA-accredited law schools had a 71% first-time pass rate on the July 2019 exam. That figure was 26% for graduates of California-accredited schools.  The repeat bar exam taker rate was a dismal 14%. La Verne has a particularly horrible pass rate.

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