American Bar Association Accreditation Research

Mathew D. Staver, Anita L. Staver, Lifting the Veil: An Expose' on the American Bar Association's Arbitrary and Capricious Accreditation Process, 49 Wayne L. Rev 1 (2003).*

[Article posted per agreement with Wayne Law Review - links welcome, do not re-post on other websites]

* PDF format adobe

Since the publication of this article, the ABA has implemented some changes in its accreditation process, proving that public scrutiny and comment are forces of positive change.


Related Documents and Materials:

ABA Accreditation: A Case Study on Barry University School of Law

ABA Evaluation Reports on Barry University School of Law

ABA Evaluation Reports on Public Law Schools

Antitrust Cases

Antitrust Economic Research, Policy and Cases

Antitrust Statutes

Bibliography of Articles about the ABA

Florida Attorney General Letter to ABA re Barry

Florida Governor Letter to ABA re Barry

Florida Legislature Can Repeal Court Rule Requiring Graduation from ABA Accredited Law School

Florida Supreme Court Petition to Allow Barry Graduates to Practice Law

Illinois Not For Profit Corporation Act

*Petition of Orange County Bar Association to Change Florida Supreme Court Rules

U.S. v. ABA: DOJ Antitrust Lawsuit Documents

U.S. v. ABA: DOJ Memo to Modify Consent Decree

U.S. Department of Education Recognizes Accrediting Agencies

 


Pleadings from Federal Lawsuit Against the ABA:

  Related Links  

Related Links

ABA

ABA Council

Barry Univ. School of Law


News Articles:

02-09-04: ABA Withdraws Western State Accreditation Denial After Losing Preliminary Injunction

06-24-03: DC Law School Misses Full Accreditation -- ABA Grants Extension

01-15-02: Budding Legal Careers Put on Hold: Budding Barry Graduates Await Their Fate - The Florida Bar

08-10-01: Law Schools Deserve Clarity from ABA - Tallahassee Democrat Online

08-08-01: A Bum Rap From the Bar - Miami Herald (no longer available online)

8-06-01: Florida Law Students Taking ABA to Court - Miami Herald (no longer available online)

07-26-01: Barry Gets Another Shot at Accreditation - The Florida Catholic / Orlando Edition

07-26-01: Law Students Have Faith that Barry Will Get Accredited - The Florida Catholic / Orlando Edition (no longer available online)

07-26-01: Class Action Lawsuit Filed to Win Accreditation for Barry - The Florida Catholic / Orlando Edition (no longer available online)

07-24-01: Lawsuit Filed Against the American Bar Association Claims the ABA's Process of Accrediting Law Schools Violates Antitrust Laws and is Racist


Orlando Sentinel Articles: (used with permission from the Orlando Sentinel)

05-17-02: Court rebuffs Barry grads

02-03-02: Law school gets bar's OK

01-30-02: Barry may get boost from lawmakers

01-25-02: EDITORIAL: Be fair with Barry

01-19-02: Gifts lift Barry's spirits, confidence

01-18-02: Bush is in law school's corner

12-17-01: Barry would rather fight than switch law deans

12-17-01: ABA fears revenue loss can hurt quality

12-16-01: In Barry-FAMU flap, ABA plays divide and conquer

12-08-01: Accrediting Barry

08-08-01: ABA is Micromanaging

08-07-01: Barry Isn't Alone in ABA Clash

07-25-01: Barry Students, Graduates Challenge Bar

07-18-01: End Guessing Game

07-09-01: Lots of objections to law accreditation

07-08-01: ABA panel was overruled when Barry lost bid for accreditation


Florida Supreme Court Rule Change Petition

Mathew Staver filed a Petition to the Florida Supreme Court on behalf of the Orange County Bar Association and some Florida attorneys, asking for a rule change regarding Florida bar admission that would benefit graduates from Florida law schools that fail to achieve ABA accreditation until more than twelve months after graduation. The Florida Board of Bar Examiners filed a Motion to have the Petition dismissed. The OCBA filed a Response. The Florida Supreme Court took public comment until July 15, 2003 on the proposals in the rule. Hundreds of public comments have been submitted regarding this case (SC02-2354) from individual attorneys and others, as well as a resolution from the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers. All of the comments are in favor of a rule change as requested in the OCBA's Petition. The Court finally made a ruling on the request in March 2004. The Court declined to change the Rule, stating

While we recognize that the twelve-month rule has created and may continue to create some difficulties for some graduates, a circumstance for which we have great compassion, we conclude that it is in the best interest of Florida's legal profession to maintain this standard for accreditation.

The Florida Supreme Court's 2003 Notice for Comment and Text of Proposal:

The Orange County Bar Association and Thomas B. Drage, Jr., Esq., et al (petitioners) have submitted to the Florida Supreme Court a petition proposing amendments to rules 2-11.1 and 4-13.2 of the Rules of the Supreme Court Relating to Admissions to the Bar. The Court recently amended the Rules of the Supreme Court Relating to Admissions to the Bar. See Amendments to Rules of Supreme Court Relating to Admissions to the Bar, 28 Fla. L. Weekly S278 (Fla. Mar. 20, 2003). The substance of rule 2-11now located in rule 4-13.1, "Educational Qualifications." However, for purposes of this publication notice, the Court refers to former rule 2-11.1. Petitioners have submitted alternate proposals for amending the aforementioned rules which would have a significant impact upon current Florida Bar admission requirements.

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF FLORIDA

AMENDMENTS TO THE RULES OF THE SUPREME COURT RELATING TO ADMISSIONS TO THE BAR, CASE NO. SC02-2354

First Proposal

2-11.1 Educational Qualification. To be admitted into the General Bar Examination and ultimately recommended for admission to The Florida Bar, an applicant must have received the degree of Bachelor of Laws or Doctor of Jurisprudence from an accredited law school (as defined in
4-13.2) at a time when the law school was accredited or within 12 months of accreditation or be found educationally qualified by the Board under the alternative method of educational qualification. Except as provided in Rule 2-11.2, none of the following shall be substituted for the required degree from an accredited law school:

(a) private study, correspondence school or law office training;
(b) age or experience;
(c) waived or lowered standards of legal training for particular persons or groups.

4-13.2 Definition of Accredited.

(A) An "accredited" law school is any out-of-state law school approved or provisionally approved by the American Bar Association at the time of the applicant's graduation or if graduation is within 12 months of accreditation., or

(B) An "accredited" law school is any in-state law school approved or provisionally approved by the American Bar Association at the time of the applicants graduation or if graduation is within 36 months of accreditation.

Second Proposal

2-11.1 Educational Qualification. To be admitted into the General Bar Examination and ultimately recommended for admission to The Florida Bar, an applicant must have received the degree of Bachelor of Laws or Doctor of Jurisprudence from an accredited law school (as defined in
4-13.2) at a time when the law school was accredited or within 12 months of accreditation or be found educationally qualified by the Board under the alternative method of educational qualification. Except as provided in Rule 2-11.2, none of the following shall be substituted for the required degree from an accredited law school:

(a) private study, correspondence school or law office training;
(b) age or experience;
(c) waived or lowered standards of legal training for particular persons or groups.

4-13.2 Definition of Accredited.

(A) An "accredited" law school is any out-of-state law school approved or provisionally approved by the American Bar Association at the time of the applicant's graduation or if graduation is within 12 months of accreditation., or
(B) An "accredited" law school is any in-state law school approved or provisionally approved by the American Bar Association, irrespective of when the final decision is rendered, provided that the application for approval was submitted to and the initial site visit conducted by the American Bar Association prior to or within 12 months of the applicant's graduation.