Legal Education

Another law school dinged on accreditation standard regarding diversity of faculty and staff

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The Baylor University School of Law after night on the banks of the Brazos River. Photo by Kairos14, CC-BY-SA-4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Updated: The Baylor University School of Law is noncompliant with an accreditation standard that requires schools to demonstrate “concrete action” showing a commitment to having a diverse and inclusive faculty and staff, according to an ABA notice posted Wednesday.

The notice addresses Standard 206(b) and is in respect to part-time faculty. It was posted by the council of the ABA’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar.

In the most recent Standard 509 Information Report available, the law school has a total of 146 non-full-time faculty members. Out of that group, 100 are men, 46 are women and 14 are people of color, according to the data.

In February 2022, the council determined that the law school was out of compliance with the standard and asked for a report by September 2022. The public noncompliance finding was determined in February 2023, according to the notice.

The council has asked the law school to develop a reliable plan, with measurable goals and a timeline, to come into compliance with the standard.

“Baylor Law is focused on increasing diversity in all aspects of our program, including our adjunct faculty. We have an obligation to our students to create an educational environment that reflects the rich diversity of our state and nation, and we similarly have an obligation to our profession and to society to prepare lawyers for practice in a multicultural, multiracial and multiethnic world,” wrote Brad Toben, the law school’s dean, in an email to the ABA Journal.

According to Toben, more than 30% of the law school’s students are racially and ethnically diverse.

The Hofstra University Maurice A. Deane School of Law received a similar notice from the council in December.

Updated March 2 at 11:23 a.m. to add the quote from Brad Toben, the dean of the Baylor University School of Law.

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