Half of Concordia Third-Year Law Students Delay Graduation Amid Bar Accreditation Hangup


  • Kelsey Hawes

Roughly half of Concordia University School of Law's first crop of third-year law students are opting out of taking temporary leave from classes this fall, Boise State Public Radio reports. 

That's because if they receive diplomas before the law school receives provisional accreditation from the American Bar Association, those diplomas won't entitle them to take the bar exam—a test every would-be attorney must pass to practice law.

Provisional accreditation is commonly given to new law schools since the process of receiving full ABA accreditation takes years. Idaho law students who graduate from institutions with provisional accreditation are allowed to take the bar exam like students receiving degrees from fully accredited law schools, but not those who graduate from institutions without any accreditation at all.

Aug. 8, at a closed-session meeting in Boston, the ABA Section of Legal Education considered the case of the Portland-Ore.-based law school that has a branch in Boise, but denied Concordia provisional accreditation issued a continuance on Concordia's accreditation process. This fall the ABA is expected to send a fact finder to Concordia to revisit the issue. The accreditation panel meets this August and again in March, so Concordia has two chances to give their school the credentials it needs.

Meanwhile, classes at Concordia will commence Monday, Aug. 25.