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State bar to consider new rules for unaccredited schools

The State Bar of California will consider Friday a proposal to require unaccredited law schools to disclose their attrition rates to the public.

The move comes about a month after The Times published an investigation showing that nearly nine out of 10 students at unaccredited law schools dropped out before their final year of study. About one in five unaccredited law school alumni who took the bar passed, according to state statistics.

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California's 22 unaccredited law schools enroll about 1,500 new students each year. The schools offer four-year programs aimed at working adults. The schools are required to register with the state bar but are held to few academic standards.

Some bar officials said they are concerned that the schools are not giving students a realistic chance of becoming attorneys. Bar officials also are considering a proposal to require the unaccredited schools to meet certain standards, including a minimum bar passage rate within 10 years.

The new regulations would require the schools to disclose student attrition rates over the previous five years. Currently, most prospective students do not know how many people enroll or drop out of a school.

Nationally accredited law schools on campuses like UCLA and USC must disclose attrition rates.

The committee will hear public comment Friday in San Francisco; it is not expected to vote on the regulations.

Twitter: byjsong

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