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Golden Gate University Law School Commits to Remaining Open for Upcoming Academic Year
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Golden Gate University’s law school faced an existential vote in June, leaving its future uncertain amid financial struggles and concerns over compliance with accreditation standards. The 122-year-old nonprofit institution has been grappling with challenges in recent years, compounded by the deteriorating condition of the surrounding Downtown neighborhood.

Despite the uncertainties, the law school announced that it would remain open and fully accredited for the upcoming academic year. Administrators assured students in an email at the end of June that there were no plans to close within the next school year. However, the school acknowledged that it is still evaluating its long-term viability, and faculty have been advised that layoffs may be a possibility in the future.

GGU Law’s spokesperson, Jenny McKeel, emphasized the commitment to ensuring that all currently enrolled and incoming students would continue to receive their scholarships and pursue an ABA-accredited degree. This decision came after students and faculty raised concerns in June regarding rumors about the potential closure of the law school or the abandonment of national accreditation due to struggles in meeting standards in recent years.


See also: Golden Gate University Law School’s Future Hangs in the Balance

One significant issue that drew attention was the law school’s low bar passage rates in 2021, leading to the American Bar Association (ABA) finding Golden Gate University School of Law out of compliance. In response, the school took measures to address this, substantially reducing its admission rate starting in 2022.

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Despite facing financial difficulties, GGU Law initially devised a plan in January 2022 to stay afloat by selling property. However, this plan fell through due to the unexpected devaluation of Downtown commercial real estate.

While the university declined to disclose the current number of students and faculty at the law school, the Student Bar Association President, Mohammed Jamal, estimated that there are approximately 200 students. Jamal expressed concern over the recent challenges faced by the law school, which has a longstanding reputation for providing legal education to students from working-class backgrounds and individuals who may not have access to top-tier schools. Moreover, GGU Law is known for its specialization in public interest and environmental law, attracting students with a passion for making a positive impact through their legal careers.

Despite the difficulties, GGU Law is committed to maintaining its accreditation with the ABA, assuring the community of its dedication to providing a quality legal education. The uncertainty surrounding the law school’s future has left students, faculty, and alumni deeply concerned about the potential loss of an institution with over a century of history in legal education.

As the academic year 2023-24 approaches, Golden Gate University and its law school continue to navigate the challenges they face, seeking solutions to ensure the long-term institution’s long-term sustainability the school remains open, providing hope for its students and stakeholders, who hold dear the law school’s legacy of inclusivity and social impact in the legal profession.

However, the road ahead remains uncertain, and the law school’s administrators will need to make strategic decisions to address financial hardships and uphold the standard of education that has defined GGU Law for decades. The fate of the institution hangs in the balance as stakeholders anxiously await updates on the long-term plan to secure the future of the beloved law school. The legal community and those inspired by Golden Gate University’s mission continue to rally behind its efforts, hoping that GGU Law will overcome its current challenges and continue to thrive as a beacon of legal education and social justice for many more years to come.

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