California Law Dean Flips Out Over New Rules For Law Schools


The California State Bar Committee of Bar Examiners has laid down the gauntlet for underperforming law schools in the state.

The committee voted last month to require law schools to keep a cumulative bar examination pass rate of at least 40 per cent in order to maintain their state accreditation, the California Bar Journal reported this month.

The committee approved the changes to fix what it said was a vague standard and give schools a specific goal to meet for state accreditation, which is separate from American Bar Association accreditation.

However, despite the fact that most schools in the state meet the requirements, at least one law school dean isn’t happy about playing by a new set of rules.

In a letter to the committee, Southern California Institute of Law Dean Stanislaus Pulle called the new rules “draconian.” Since many students at California-accredited schools have to work while enrolled, it’s understandable if they don’t perform as well as students at higher-tier American Bar Association-accredited schools.

“To judge the value of a legal education based solely on whether a person one day becomes a member of the bar is deeply shortsighted,” Pulle said in his letter, which was co-authored by Loyola Law School professor Christopher May and retired California Court of Appeal Justice Elizabeth Baron.

But, judging by California bar exam results, the new rule seems to make sense.

Students from ABA-accredited schools scored significantly higher than those who went to state-accredited schools.

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