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Dartmouth Law Given Full Accreditation
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UMass Dartmouth

Summary: The University of Massachusetts School of Law at Dartmouth has been upgraded to full accreditation status by the ABA.

The University of Massachusetts School of Law-Dartmouth will no longer be on provisional accreditation status. The school has been granted full accreditation from the American Bar Association’s Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar.

  
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Law dean Eric Mitnick said, “I am so proud of the UMass Law faculty, students and staff for achieving this recognition. UMass Law is uniquely situated as the first and only public law school in the commonwealth. We recently entered the most diverse first-year class in all of New England, while at the same time strengthening our admissions statistics and bar pass outcomes.”

The Dartmouth campus was Massachusetts’ only public law program in 2010 once unaccredited Southern New England School of Law and the University of Massachusetts merged. Otherwise the state has seven private law schools. After the merge, the campus made it a top priority to obtain ABA accreditation with their first stage coming in 2012.

Since their 2012 accreditation status, the ABA had upped the enforcement of admissions and bar passage rules making it harder for them to move forward. The incoming class at Dartmouth has shrunk by 38 percent, whereas their LSAT statistics have improved. Their median LSAT score is up to 148 compared to four years ago at 144. Even with the improved stats, their students have struggled with the bar exam. Of first time test takers in July, 69 percent passed. The statewide average is 80 percent.

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The school is hoping that full accreditation status will help them pull in more students. Student Bar Association President Mary McBride said, “If you talk to any student, you will learn that we are all proud to be here. The community of this school is so tight-knit and supportive. The public interest ethic of this school is really what draws us here, and this recognition by the ABA advances that mission.”

Do you think the school will see better application and enrollment numbers now that they are fully accredited? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.



To learn about the law schools placed on accreditation notice, read these articles:

Photo: commons.wikimedia.org



 

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