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Dartmouth School of Law Granted Provisional Approval by ABA
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In a landmark event in the law school’s 30-year history, the Dartmouth Law School at University of Massachusetts is being granted provisional approval by the bar association. A recommendation to the effect has been made to the bar association by the ABA Accreditation Committee. According to retiring Chancellor Jean F. MacCormack, the ABA Accreditation Committee has sent its recommendation to the Council on Legal Education.

On Wednesday, MacCormack issued a press statement mentioning, “The committee concluded the following: The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth School of Law has established that it is in substantial compliance with each of the ABA standards for approval of law schools, and has presented a reliable plan for bringing itself into full compliance with the standards within three years after receiving provisional approval.

Therefore, the committee recommends to the council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar that it grant provisional ABA approval to the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth School of Law.”


Though the decision is not final, there are few known cases of reversal of such a decision by the ABA Accreditation Committee. The council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar would be meeting on June 8 in Boston over the issue.

Formerly known as the Southern New England School of Law, the school has never been granted accreditation since it is an independent school, and could not arrange the money required by the ABA. The poor shape of the law library was also cited as a reason for denying accreditation.

The situation changed when in 2010, the law school was brought under the University of Massachusetts. The situation further changed when over the last few years continuous allegations surfaced across the country of ABA accredited schools piling backbreaking loans on graduates and the ABA acting opaque on employment data of schools accredited by it.

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