We reported that the ABA had declined accreditation to Lincoln Memorial University’s Duncan School of Law (they claimed Duncan lacked a strong academic plan). Duncan wants to turn around and slap an antirust suit against this presumptuous ABA outfit, but the presiding judge says not so fast. First, Duncan has to play by the rules and try to appeal it through ABA’s standard procedure, bringing the decision to their appeals panel. Only after Duncan has tried all its alternatives is the judge willing to open up the antitrust suit.
The school is contesting the ABA’s compliance to its own appeal process when Duncan appealed it the first time. They feel the school should have granted them provisional accreditation, and they are therefore exhausting the administrative avenues for a redress .
“We believe we have met or exceeded every applicable standard for accreditation set forth by the ABA,” said Dean Sydney Beckman. “We look forward to working with the ABA to address any concerns that they have and move forward with whatever steps are necessary to achieve our goals.”
But the pressure is on, since last April the Tennessee Board of Law Examiners limited the schools preliminary accreditation to be received no later than 2017. That antitrust suit is a strategy for meeting that deadline. Until the, the 2013 graduating class will be able to take the bar, but only in Tennessee, as reported in the National Law Journal.