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Countywide : Law School to Seek Bar Accreditation

Western State University College of Law will be seeking accreditation with the American Bar Assn. for its campuses in Orange and San Diego counties, taking advantage of new guidelines recently reached between the association and Justice Department.

“The revised guidelines appear to be more accepting of a law school such as Western State, which prides itself in offering a practical, traditional legal education to the broadest base of traditional and non-traditional students alike,” college President John C. Monks said. Accreditation with the American Bar Assn. would bring a higher level of prestige and offer graduates the opportunity to take the bar exam in any state, Monks said.

The law school campuses are presently accredited through the California Bar Assn., which makes graduates eligible for the state bar exam, and the Western Assn. of Schools and Colleges.

The San Diego campus will be the first to apply for ABA accreditation this fall and officials expect the campus in Irvine or Fullerton will follow in the future, Monks said.

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The accreditation process, which involves extensive studies and visits, could take at least a year.

The law school, which last applied for ABA accreditation a decade ago, has graduated more than 11,000 students since it was founded in 1966. About 2,200 students attend the school’s three campuses.


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