Law Schools

FAMU official calls canceled ABA hearing 'very good news'

A brief spike in attrition a couple of years ago at Florida A&M University’s College of Law apparently prompted a request for a Friday hearing by the American Bar Association’s accrediting board, according to FAMU’s interim president and the law school dean.

But the law school was able to offer a satisfactory explanation to the ABA before the hearing, and it has been canceled, the two men told the Tallahassee Democrat.

“This is very good news,” said Larry Robinson, the interim president. “The hearing didn’t mean bad news was coming, but not having the hearing is very good news.”

Dean LeRoy Pernell described the 2011-2012 academic year attrition spike as “not particularly alarming,” explaining that it was based on a misunderstanding by the law school about what the ABA wanted to have reported. A recalculation after the misunderstanding was cleared up eliminated the seeming increase in students leaving before they graduated, he said, and the school was able to explain the situation to the ABA’s satisfaction.

“We took a close look and reported back that we were able to show the basis for admission for every student. We are required to admit only students who have a reasonable chance for success. We showed that students succeed across the spectrum; we can’t pinpoint non-success to any set of entering credentials.”

The school’s graduates had an 82 percent pass rate on Florida’s bar examination last spring, the article notes.

Barry Currier, the ABA’s managing director of accreditation and legal education, declined to comment at this time when contacted by the ABA Journal.

See also: “Florida A&M Law Breathes Sigh of Relief, Gets ABA Accreditation”

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