Law Schools

ABA Council Denies Duncan School of Law's Accreditation Appeal

The governing council of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar has affirmed its denial of Lincoln Memorial University’s Duncan School of Law’s bid for provisional accreditation.

The council notified the school of its decision in a letter Thursday, according to papers (PDF) filed Friday in federal court in Knoxville, Tenn., in connection with Duncan’s antitrust suit against the ABA.

Notice of the council’s decision was made public (PDF) Thursday, the filing said, but the contents of the letter remain confidential under the procedural rules of the accreditation process.

Duncan has until Aug. 6 to appeal the decision, according to the filing, but its appeal is limited to the basis for the council’s present decision. That decision concerned certain undisclosed issues that had been remanded back to the council by an appeals panel that heard Duncan’s appeal of the council’s decision to deny the school’s application for provisional approval.

In its filing Friday, lawyers for the ABA asked the judge presiding over the antitrust suit to continue a stay of the litigation he originally issued in April until the ABA can file an updated report on the status of the proceedings on or before Aug. 15.

Law school dean Sydney Beckman said in a statement Friday that school officials were disappointed by the council’s latest decision, but weren’t giving up on their bid for accreditation, the Knoxville News reports.

“We believe we have met or exceeded every applicable standard for accreditation set forth by the ABA,” he said. “We look forward to working with the ABA to address any concerns that they have and move forward with whatever steps are necessary to achieve our goals.”

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