Q: What does it mean that Concordia University School of Law has provisional approval from the American Bar Association (ABA)?
A: The ABA is the accrediting organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education for law schools. In order to obtain full approval from the ABA, a law school applies for provisional approval and engages in a process that can take approximately three to five years to demonstrate compliance with ABA Standards for Approved Law Schools.
Q: What does ABA provisional approval mean for Concordia Law students?
A: During the time a law school is provisionally approved, its graduates are treated the same as graduates of all ABA approved law schools. Individuals who graduate from ABA approved law schools can take the bar exam in any state in the U.S. (NY requires an extra step). Concordia Law graduates will begin taking the bar exam this July 2015. Concordia Law will hold its first Commencement Ceremony on August 8, 2015.
Q: Where is Concordia Law in the process of obtaining full approval?
Under the ABA Standards, a provisionally approved law school cannot apply for full approval for two years after it receives provisional approval and must obtain full approval prior to expiration of the five-year provisional approval status. Concordia Law has three “windows” to apply for full approval and may decide to apply in fall 2017, spring 2018 or fall 2018. The University has not yet made a determination on when to submit its application to the ABA, but must receive full ABA approval by June 2020.