FAMU College of Law Nears Provisional Accreditation
Just two years after opening and one year before its first class will graduate, Florida A&M University College of Law is just one step away from being granted provisional accreditation.
The American Bar Association (ABA) Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar voted that the college be granted provisional accreditation at a meeting last month in Washington. The council’s decision will be sent to the ABA House of Delegates for concurrence or non-concurrence at the ABA Annual Meeting in August. If the House of Delegates concurs with the council’s action, the FAMU College of Law will be granted provisional approval. The Council also voted to grant provisional accreditation to Florida International University’s law school.
“This significant professional and academic milestone is the result of much hard work and dedication by FAMU President Fred Gainous, FIU President Modesto A. Maidique, the deans, the administration, staff and faculty of these two prestigious law schools,” Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said in a statement.
“As a result, FAMU and FIU law students can sit for the Bar examination upon graduation as they prepare for their practice. This is a significant step for higher education in the State of Florida, and I am very proud of both teams,” Bush said.
FAMU President Fred Gainous attended the meeting along with Provost Larry Robinson, College of Law Dean Percy R. Luney Jr. and Associate Dean Ruth A. Witherspoon.
“We are pleased that our historic College of Law is closer to the status that would afford it all rights and privileges of a fully accredited law school,” Gainous said. “We have every reason to believe that we are on the right track. We will continue to take steps that will ensure provisional accreditation and, eventually, full accreditation for our students.”
Provisional accreditation means that the college will remain so for at least three years and no more than five. A site evaluation team will visit each year. During this period, the school must be in compliance with all ABA standards. New law schools must obtain provisional accreditation before being considered for full accreditation.
Luney, dean of the law school, said, “this is a very positive step in the accreditation process.”
The re-established College of Law admitted its first class of students in August 2002 with a full-time day program and a part-time evening program (see Black Issues, June 20, 2002). The first class will graduate in 2005.
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