The University of California, Irvine School of Law, which opened in August 2009, has been granted provisional accreditation by the American Bar Association.
On June 14, 2011, the ABA Council of the Section on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar notified Dean Erwin Chemerinsky that the Law School fulfills the criteria necessary for provisional accreditation. The Council approved the April recommendation of the Accreditation Committee.
Law schools are eligible for provisional accreditation after two years, and full accreditation after five. Provisional accreditation means that graduating students can take the bar exam in California without taking a qualifying "baby bar" exam.
"The ABA's decision puts the official seal of approval on the hard work of scores of faculty, administrators, students, and supporters - both on campus and in the legal community," said Dean Erwin Chemerinsky. "It's the culmination of years of planning and execution."
A team of six ABA inspectors visited the campus in October 2010 and reported to the Accreditation Committee its findings, which provided a basis for the Committee's positive recommendation.
"We worked hard to make sure the Law School was accredited at the earliest opportunity. We are pleased to have this be the case. We received very positive feedback through each step of the accreditation process and look forward to its continued success," said UC Irvine Chancellor Michael Drake.
"We have envisioned having a rigorous academic and nationally prominent law school for decades. The level of success to-date has exceeded our expectations. The credit goes to the dean, faculty, staff, and students, as well as the broader campus community and our community supporters," said Drake, who has been Chancellor since 2005.
Full accreditation requires full compliance with all ABA standards after having been provisionally approved for at least two years. A student at a provisionally approved law school and an individual who graduates while the school is provisionally approved are entitled to the same recognition given to students and graduates of fully approved law schools.
For more information about ABA accreditation:
Office of the Consultant on Legal Education /
Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar
American Bar Association
321 N. Clark Street, 21st Floor
Chicago, IL 60654
Web: ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar