UC Irvine's School of Law was informed today that it has been granted provisional accreditation by the American Bar Association.
"The ABA's decision puts the official seal of approval on the hard work of scores of faculty, administrators, students, and supporters--both on campus and in the legal community," Erwin Chemerinsky, the young law school's dean, says in a university statement. "It's the culmination of years of planning and execution."
The ABA's Council of the Section on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, approving the recommendation its Accreditation Committee rendered in April, found UCI's law school fulfills the criteria necessary for provisional accreditation.
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The school welcomed its first class of UCI law students in 2009. Law schools are eligible for provisional accreditation after two years, and full accreditation after five. Provisional accreditation allows graduating students to take the California bar exam without first qualifying through a "baby bar" exam.
"We worked hard to make sure the Law School was accredited at the earliest opportunity," UCI Chancellor Michael Drake says in the same university release. "We are pleased to have this be the case. We received very positive feedback through each step of the accreditation process and look forward to its continued success."
Drake credited "the dean, faculty, staff, and students, as well as the broader campus community and our community supporters" for the successful accreditation.
According to the university communications office, the UCI School of Law faculty recently ranked ninth in the country in scholarly impact and its first three classes of students have median grades and LSAT scores comparable to those of classes at top 20 law schools.