ABA, Appeals Panel Decision Notice to Affirm the Council Decision to Withdraw Approval Thomas Jefferson School of Law:
The Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar of the American Bar Association (the “Council”), at its meeting on May 16-18, 2019, considered the status of Thomas Jefferson School of Law (the “Law School”) and determined to withdraw the approval of the Law School, located at 701 B Street, San Diego, California. The Council’s May 2019 determination follows its finding of continuing noncompliance with Standards 202(a) and (d), 301(a), and 501(b) and Interpretations 501-1 and 501-2.
The Law School appealed the Council’s May 2019 decision and an Appeals Panel (the “Panel”) appointed by the Managing Director’s Office, pursuant to Rules 30-36 of the ABA Rules of Procedure for Approval of Law Schools, reviewed the Council’s May 2019 decision. Following consideration of the record in the matter and the Law School’s and Council’s appearance at a hearing, the Panel reported to the Council and the Law School on November 21, 2019, that it affirmed the Council’s decision to withdraw approval.
Public notification of the decision of the Panel is being made pursuant to Rule 48. There is no further appeal or review of the Council’s decision within the accreditation process. Rule 44 applies and all matters related to this proceeding, other than this announcement, are confidential.
The Panel’s decision reinstates the Council’s prior decision to withdraw approval. That removal is effective on December 17, 2019, the day following the end of the fall semester’s final exam period.
As provided by Rule 29, the Law School must submit a teach-out plan for review by the Council. Preparing a plan that addresses the concerns outlined in Rule 29 and that appropriately considers the interests of the students will take some time. The details of that plan are not public. The Council expects and the Law School has stated its intention to communicate, as necessary and appropriate, with the Law School’s students throughout the period of developing the teach-out plan.
Voice of San Diego, It’s Official: Thomas Jefferson Law School Will Lose Its National Accreditation:
“The law school is disappointed by the appeals panel’s decision, and is focused on ensuring that its current students will graduate pursuant to an ABA-approved teach-out plan here at Thomas Jefferson School of Law,” the school said in a statement. “The ABA Council has approved recent teach-outs allowing law schools to remain ABA-accredited in order to grant degrees to current students. While the approval process is pending, the law school will proceed with plans for the Spring 2020 semester as scheduled.”
The school said although it will no longer admit new students into its J.D. program as an ABA-approved school, it plans to continue as a State Bar of California-approved institution.