About Us

About Us

We provide leadership and services to those involved in legal education and admissions to the bar. The Section's Council is the national accrediting body for American legal education.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, the ABA’s first section, is:

  • To be a creative national force in providing leadership and services to those responsible for and those who benefit from a sound program of legal education and bar admissions,
  • to provide a fair, effective, and efficient accrediting system for American law schools that promotes quality legal education, and
  • to continue to serve, through its Council, as the nationally recognized accrediting body for American law schools.

The ABA's First Section

The beginning of the American Bar Association is linked with American legal education. When the ABA was organized in Saratoga, New York, in August 1878, one of the first standing committees it named was the Committee on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar. About the time of the ABA's founding, written bar examinations were just coming into use. Although required by most states, the bar examination previously had been largely oral and informal. Thus, the two subjects of legal education and admissions to the bar were coupled from the ABA's founding and remain so today.

It was at its 1893 Annual Meeting that the ABA created its first section, the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar.Each year at the ABA Annual Meeting, The Section and the national Kutak Rock law firm present the Robert J. Kutak Award in recognition of an individual who has contributed significantly to increased cooperation between legal education, the practicing bar, and the judiciary.

The Section Today

The Section's Council and Accreditation Committee are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) as the national accrediting agency for programs leading to the J.D. In this function, the Council and the Section are independent of the ABA, as required by DOE regulations. All state supreme courts recognize ABA-approved law schools as meeting the legal education requirements to qualify for the bar examination; forty-six states limit eligibility for bar admission to graduates of ABA-approved schools.

Members of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar become part of a 14,000 member group that strives 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.

General Inquiries

321 N. Clark Street, 19th Floor
Chicago, IL 60654
Phone: 312.988.6738

Staff Contact Information

William E. Adams
Managing Director
312.988.5103  (Donna Mosher, Executive Assistant)

Carl A. Brambrink
Director of Operations

Edwin Butterfoss
Senior Accreditation Counsel

JR Clark
Director, Accreditation Administration

Andrew Crane
Program Specialist

Marsha Factor

Genevieve Ferraro
Manager, Legal Education Assessment Services

Stephanie Giggetts
Deputy Managing Director

Beverly Holmes
Program Associate

Fernando Mariduena

Donna Mosher
Executive Assistant to the Managing Director

Enna Rios
Program Specialist

Erin Ruehrwein 
Section Director

Sara Stretch
Manager, Legal Education Assessment Services 

Adrienne Tucker
Senior Meeting Planner

Molly Wilensky
Manager, Law School Analytics

Ken Williams
Data Specialist

Kirsten Winek
Accreditation Counsel