Law School Accreditation

Law school accreditation can influence where you attend school and where you can practice law careers after graduation. Whether or not a school is accredited should have some bearing on your choice of school. If you are accepted at an accredited school, it is important enough to outweigh other factors.

Law schools can be in three levels of accreditation. They may be unaccredited, which is not a good situation, unless it is because they are working on accreditation or have provisional approval of the accrediting organization. The second is a state accreditation, mostly the state of California. The California Bar Association is the largest of the states and they accredit law schools in California. The third is the highest and most prestigious—accreditation by the American Bar Association (ABA).
The ABA sets standards that must be met for a law school to receive accreditation. The accreditation process includes site evaluations, course work examinations, and checks on professors credentials. In 2010, 200 schools were accredited by the ABA.

To find out if a school is accredited, check the law school web site. Most will have a notation of accreditation. You can also check the ABA web site.
Once accreditation is awarded, a student who graduates from that school may take the bar exam in any of the fifty states. So wherever you intend to practice law, it makes sense to attend an ABA accredited school if at all possible.


Last Updated: 05/23/2014

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