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Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Thursday, May 3, 2018

ABA: Florida Coastal Law School Remains Out Of Compliance With Three Of Four Accreditation Standards

Florida Coastal (2017)ABA Accreditation Committee Decision, Public Notice of Specific Remedial Action: Florida Coastal School of Law:

At its March 15-17, 2018 meeting, the Accreditation Committee of the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar (the “Committee”) conducted a hearing pursuant to Rules of Procedure 2, 3, 14, 16-18, 20, and 21 with respect to the compliance of Florida Coastal School of Law (the “Law School”) with ABA Standards 301(a), 309(b), and 501(a) and 501(b) and Interpretation 501-1.

Following the hearing and based on the record, the Committee concluded that the Law School is in compliance with Standard 501(a). The Committee further concluded that the Law School remains in non-compliance with Standards 301(a), 309(b), and 501(b) and Interpretation 501-1, and has directed the Law School to take the following specific remedial actions, including, but not limited to, this public notice.

Jacksonville Daily Record, Florida Coastal School of Law Found in Compliance With ABA General Standards:

Florida Coastal School of Law is in compliance with general American Bar Association standards, but remains in noncompliance with others related to admission standards.

The Accreditation Committee of the ABA Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar notified the school Friday of its rulings, based on a hearing convened in March that followed having been notified in October by the ABA that the school was not in compliance with some standards for accreditation of law schools.

The committee did not recommend the school to be placed on probation or that any sanctions should be administered to the school. ...

Specifically, the committee found that Florida Coastal is in compliance with Standard 501(a): “A law school shall adopt, publish and adhere to sound admission policies and practices consistent with the Standards, its mission and the objectives of its program of legal education.” ...

However, the committee found the school currently is noncompliant with Standard 301(a) that requires law schools to maintain a rigorous program of legal education that prepares its students, upon graduation, for admission to the Bar and for participation as members of the legal profession. Florida Coastal also was found to be out of compliance with Standard 309(b) that requires law schools to provide academic support designed to afford students a reasonable opportunity to complete the program of legal education, graduate and become members of the legal profession. The committee directed Florida Coastal to develop a “written reliable plan” for bringing the school into compliance with the standards and submit the plan to the ABA by Oct. 1.

The required plan includes reporting admission data and methodology and admission practices and policies for the fall 2018 entering class. Until the school is determined to be in compliance with all the standards, it must, after assignment and distribution of semester grades, notify each student of the Florida and Georgia first-time Bar examination passage rates, by class quartiles, for the six administrations preceding the semester; the class quartile in which the student ranks; and the school’s student attrition rate. Further, the ABA will appoint a “fact-finder” to visit Florida Coastal to review the admission data provided by the school and to evaluate the “overall rigor” of the school’s program of legal education.

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