Legal Education

Oregon and Kentucky law schools are back in compliance, ABA Legal Ed Section says

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The University of Oregon School of Law and the University of Kentucky J. David Rosenberg College of Law have demonstrated compliance with accreditation standards, according to the ABA’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar. Image from Shutterstock.

The University of Oregon School of Law has demonstrated compliance with a faculty and staff diversity standard, according to an ABA notice on Wednesday.

It follows a March 13 notice from the council of the ABA’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, stating that the law school was not in compliance with Standard 206(b) with respect to part-time or adjunct faculty.

Standard 206(b) requires that law schools demonstrate “concrete action” showing a commitment to having a diverse and inclusive faculty and staff with respect to gender, race and ethnicity.

The finding was related to part-time and adjunct faculty, according to a noncompliance notice dated March 13.

Standard 509 Information Reports include information about how many faculty members are women and people of color. For 2023, the Standard 509 Information Reports are expected to be released in December.

According to the University of Oregon School of Law’s 2022 report, 17.31% of the non-full-time faculty are people of color. Based on February 2023 data from the Oregon State Bar, 5.8% of its active members identify as people of color.

According to its Sept. 6 notice, the council concluded that the information provided by the law school was sufficient to demonstrate compliance. The notice did not say how the council reached its decision, as is customary for compliance notices.

“I’m glad they found us in compliance, as I believe we have always been. We’ve had regular increases in diversity each year since our last site visit, and we charted that history for the council. The actions we have taken since the March notice didn’t lead to those increases for all those years,” Marcilynn A. Burke, the dean of the University of Oregon School of Law, told the ABA Journal in an email.

She adds that the noncompliance finding offered an opportunity to take a fresh look at diversity efforts and expand them.

“But make no mistake: We have been hard at work on this for a long time. We have demonstrated that not only through efforts but the results,” Burke says.

Oregon’s notice follows a similar finding for the Baylor University School of Law, which was posted Aug. 29.

Financial compliance

Additionally, the council determined that the University of Kentucky J. David Rosenberg College of Law demonstrated compliance with Standard 202(a). It requires that law schools’ current and anticipated financial resources available are sufficient to carry out legal education programs and operate in compliance with the standards.

That notice is also dated Sept. 6, and it follows a March 7 noncompliance notice.

Mary J. Davis, the dean of the University of Kentucky J. David Rosenberg College of Law, told the Journal in an email that the law school has been working closely with the university to develop a long-term plan.

“The accreditation process, as it should, provided an opportunity for UK Rosenberg College of Law and the university to focus even more intently on continuing our tradition of excellence in legal education, robust scholarship and a commitment to public service well into the future,” she wrote.

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