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CHICAGO, Dec. 4, 2013 — The Accreditation Committee of the American Bar Association Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar today reported that it has sanctioned Rutgers University School of Law-Camden for violating the ABA Standards for Approval of Law Schools.
The committee found that Rutgers-Camden violated Standard 503, which requires law schools to use a valid and reliable admissions test, and Interpretation 503-1, which requires law schools that use an admissions test other than the Law School Admission Test to establish the test’s validity and reliability in determining an applicant’s ability to complete the J.D. program.
Rutgers-Camden operated an admissions program, without obtaining a variance from the ABA, that allowed some applicants to use a standardized graduate admissions test score instead of an LSAT score to gain admission to the law school. The school subsequently qualified for a variance but elected to suspend the program.
The accreditation committee imposed a public censure on the law school, which must post the censure document prominently on its website home page for one year. The censure is also posted on the website of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar.
The committee also imposed a $25,000 monetary penalty based on the benefit the school received from operating the program.
The council of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar and its accreditation committee are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as the national accrediting agency for programs leading to the J.D. The section’s 14,000 members strive to improve legal education and lawyer licensing by fostering cooperation among legal educators, practitioners and judges through workshops, conferences and publications. The section also studies and makes recommendations for the improvement of the bar admission process.
With nearly 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at www.ambar.org/news and on Twitter @ABANews.