X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
After seven years of struggling, John Marshall Law School is poised to join the ranks of Georgia’s accredited law schools. The American Bar Association’s accrediting body voted Saturday to grant the school provisional accreditation. It was the school’s fifth such bid since 1997. The vote by the ABA’s Council of the Section on Legal Accreditation and Bar Admission follows an Oct. 29 vote in favor of accreditation by the section’s accreditation committee. All that remains is for the ABA’s House of Delegates to ratify the vote at its mid-winter meeting in February. “It has been a very long time coming,” said Dean John E. Ryan, who took on the challenge of getting the school accredited when he became its dean 3 1/2 years ago. Ryan said he felt “relief and thankfulness that the efforts by an awful lot of people over the last three years — and before that — have been recognized and have paid off.” He gave special credit to Robert J. D’Agostino, who preceded him as dean and remains a professor at the school. “If it were not for Bob D’Agostino holding this place together in the very darkest days and keeping the doors open, this never would have happened. Dag deserves a hell of a lot of credit for it.” John Marshall’s long accreditation struggle follows an order by the Georgia Supreme Court that the school must become nationally accredited by 2008 or lose its state accreditation, which allows graduates who pass the Georgia Bar Exam to practice law in Georgia. The Supreme Court had extended the deadline three times since issuing the order in 1988. Without state accreditation, the school would have to close, since its graduates would not be able to practice law. The city’s two other non-accredited law schools, Woodrow Wilson College of Law and Atlanta Law School have closed since the Supreme Court’s edict. For practical purposes, the ABA makes no distinction between provisional and full approval, said John A. Sebert, the ABA’s consultant on legal education. Provisional accreditation means that John Marshall’s future graduates will be eligible to practice law in any state, provided they pass the bar exam. It also gives them access to federally funded education loans, which are available only to students enrolled in ABA-accredited law schools. Schools with provisional approval receive more oversight from the ABA and can apply for full approval in the third year of provisional approval. “This place is for real,” Ryan said, noting that accreditation, pending concurrence by the ABA’s House of Delegates, will mean the school has satisfied the court order. “I hope that it means to the court and to the community that we have established our credibility, our legitimacy and our quality. “This is going to benefit students. It should give them a new sense of pride and worth,” he added. Ryan said accreditation would not raise expectations for student performance — because he already ratcheted up those expectations when he became dean. He said the school would continue to “demand excellence in terms of student performance.” Sebert declined to say whether the school’s much-improved bar pass rate had been a factor in the council’s accreditation decision. All the council’s deliberations are confidential, he said. The school’s bar pass results from the July bar exam were 72 percent for first-time test takers and 81 percent for new graduates. One year earlier, 43 percent of the school’s first-time test-takers passed the bar, and only 27 percent passed the year before that. Georgia’s four accredited law schools averaged a 93 percent pass rate for the July exam.

This content has been archived. It is available exclusively through our partner LexisNexis®.

To view this content, please continue to Lexis Advance®.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber? Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® is now the exclusive third party online distributor of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® customers will be able to access and use ALM's content by subscribing to the LexisNexis® services via Lexis Advance®. This includes content from the National Law Journal®, The American Lawyer®, Law Technology News®, The New York Law Journal® and Corporate Counsel®, as well as ALM's other newspapers, directories, legal treatises, published and unpublished court opinions, and other sources of legal information.

ALM's content plays a significant role in your work and research, and now through this alliance LexisNexis® will bring you access to an even more comprehensive collection of legal content.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]

 
 

ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2020 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.