ABA removes accreditation censure for Valparaiso University School of Law
Updated: A public censure given to Valparaiso University School of Law for not being in compliance with admissions standards has been removed by the council of the ABA’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar.
The decision adopts earlier Accreditation Committee recommendations, according to a notice (PDF) posted on the section’s website Monday. The rules the committee determined the school are now in compliance with—Standard 501(a) and Standard 501(b)—address law schools maintaining sound admissions policies and not admitting applicants who don’t appear capable of finishing law school and passing a bar exam.
The public censure was given to the law school in November 2016. It followed a New York Times story that reported that in Valparaiso’s class of 2015, only three out of 131 people had jobs with large law firms.
According to Valpraiso’s 509 Report (PDF) for 2015, its median GPA was 2.93, and the median LSAT score was 145. On its 509 Report (PDF) for 2016, the median GPA was 3.02, and the median LSAT score was 147.
Earlier this year, Dean Andrea Lyon told the ABA Journal that in the reliable plan submitted to the ABA, the school listed a goal of getting the median LSAT score at 150. According to her, the median LSAT score for this fall averaged out to 151. Also, between 2015 and 2017, the school’s 1L class shrank from 139 students to 28 students.
On the same day that the council released its public censure of Valpraiso Law, it announced that Charlotte School of Law was placed on probation. The council rejected Charlotte’s reliable plan in August 2017, and the school closed shortly afterward.
Other accredited law schools to receive public notice from the council in the past year include Arizona Summit School of Law (PDF) and Thomas Jefferson School of Law (PDF), which were placed on probation, and Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law (PDF), which received a public censure.
Also, the council in the past year posted public notice that the Accreditation Committee had found that the following schools were not in compliance with some ABA standards:
• Appalachian School of Law (PDF)
• University at Buffalo School of Law (PDF)
• Florida Coastal School of Law (PDF)
• Atlanta’s John Marshall School of Law(PDF)
Updated Nov. 15 to clarify actions by the council and actions by the accreditation committee as well as to note that Thomas Jefferson School of Law was placed on probation.