Non-ABA Accredited Online JD Bar Admission by States

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by TEKMAN, Apr 28, 2020.


    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

  2. sideman

    sideman Active Member

    Those are the boxes that are checked. However, like they say, the devil is in the details. And reading the supplemental remarks for each state, excepting California, an applicant to take the bar in that state would have to jump through further hoops. You've already provided the link so for those that are interested in a particular state just go to those additional remarks for clarification. One more thing that I am surprised with though is Oregon's seemingly easing of the regulations. Would like to see how this works out in that state when it is now used.
  3. Jonathan Whatley

    Jonathan Whatley Well-Known Member

    About one of these states, Maine, I happened to read about an attempt by Husson University, a long-established regionally accredited bricks-and-mortar-based nonprofit in Bangor, to open a non-ABA B&M law school in the late 2000s up to 2010.

    Husson abandoned the attempt in 2010 after the Maine Supreme Judicial Court twice refused to allow graduates of the proposed school to take the Maine bar. Reports seemed to suggest a sticking point was that ABA accreditation requirements include a tenure track for professors, Husson was committed to a policy of no tenure for professors, and the Maine SJC, while open to non-ABA schools, appeared to be benchmarking Husson to some sort of demonstration of substantial equivalence or comparability to ABA standards that Husson couldn't fulfill without offering tenure.

    Maybe the Maine SJC won't necessarily require faculty tenure to let graduates of a non-ABA school sit for admission in Maine if that non-ABA school is based in and approved for bar admission locally by a state other than Maine. But there could be other requirements set by Maine that rule out any particular non-ABA school.

    Husson ends quest to have a law school (Judy Harrison, Bangor Daily News, April 12, 2010)
  4. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    I haven't looked recently but I think that a few years ago a majority of states accepted applications from J.D. holders from non ABA approved schools if they had five years of post bar exam law practice experience in another state.
  5. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    One unfortunate detail is that, whereas a graduate of an ABA school might be able to waive in, the non ABA grad had to take the bar exam.
  6. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

  7. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Once again, don't get a J.D. from a non-ABA approved school unless you are dead sure it will do what you want. Having said that, if I were a middle aged career changing Californian with no thought of ever leaving the Golden State, I would absolutely consider a CalBar accredited degree even over any ABA approved school in that state. Without serious scholarship money, even the UC system is simply too expensive. Total tuition and fees is a shade under $50,000/year and that's less than any private California ABA law school is getting.
  8. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Example: San Joaquin College of Law is a regionally accredited CalBar school whose total tuition for the J.D. program is about $80,000. The school's graduates are eligible for the California Bar Exam on an exactly equal footing with graduates of the state's ABA schools. I wouldn't mind saving $70,000 for my J.D.
  9. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    New York allows non-ABA degree holders to sit for the bar. If you've completed one year at an ABA law school you can also drop out and read the law under an attorney or judge and then sit the bar. New York does, however, have a specific prohibition against online learning. It's the basis for them refusing to allow graduates of Syracuse Law's hybrid JD program to sit for the bar.

    Considering, however, that all New York law schools are presently working online including two ivy league law schools, it feels like New York will either need to revisit that prohibition or ready itself for a lawsuit that they will most likely lose.
  10. TEKMAN

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    Maybe it is a good idea to sue the states, so they could start opening the opportunity for Online JD and LLB holders to pursue a career in laws.
  11. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    It's two different issues. One is non-ABA degrees not being eligible for bar admission. The other is no online learning, evne if the school is ABA accredited, allowed for bar admission.

    I think once the hammer falls on the online piece, we'll see even more law schools going online. And I think that once more of them do, the value proposition of the non-ABA law schools drops to almost zero outside of the state of CA.

    There was that one guy in, what, Massachusetts? He sued and was admitted to the bar. But I honestly don't think he would have bothered if there had been an ABA approved option or, better yet, a plethora of them. The hope should be for greater availability of law education. The ABA issue is, to me, secondary.
  12. TEKMAN

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    It is about only 42% states require ABA-accredited law schools, in these states: Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Wyoming.
  13. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Sue the states...where? State court? It's the state's own Supreme Court that adopted the rule. Federal court? The federal courts regulate practice in federal court but they are very slow to interfere in state court matters.
  14. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly

    That's an interesting question. What does a plaintiff with a legitimate beef with a state supreme court do?

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