Concord Law School
|Concord Law School of Kaplan University|
|Motto||The best law school may be the one that comes to you.|
|Parent school||Kaplan University|
|School type||NYSE: GHC|
|Location||Los Angeles, CA, US|
|Faculty||25 full-time and approximately 30 part-time and adjunct professors|
|Bar pass rate||39% (16/41) (February 2015 1st time takers)|
Concord Law School (also known as Concord University School of Law), is a private online law school based in Los Angeles, California. It is currently known as Concord Law School at Kaplan University and is one of several schools within the University, which is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. All lecture and study sessions are delivered entirely from a secure website on the Internet. Established in 1998, Concord Law School is the United States' first fully online law school.
Accreditation status, State Bar registration, and "Baby Bar" examination
Concord is registered with the Committee of Bar Examiners of the California State Bar as an unaccredited law school. Because of the law school's status as an unaccredited distance learning law school by the State Bar, Concord students must take and pass California's First-year Law Students' Examination (FYLSE), colloquially called the "Baby Bar," after their first year of law study. Students may progress to advanced law courses and eventually sit for California's State Bar Examination once they have passed the Baby Bar. Concord Law School is not accredited by the American Bar Association and has not sought approval by the ABA.
Many of the faculty and lecturers at Concord are also professors at larger programs at major universities or are in private practice or corporate employment. Some of the institutions that faculty members come from include University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Wake Forest University School of Law, University of Montana, University of Chicago School of Law, University of New Mexico, and Tulane Law School.
Merger into Kaplan University
The merger of Concord into Kaplan University in late 2007 made Concord the first online law school to be part of a regionally accredited university. As the first fully online law school in the United States, the concept of Concord initially drew criticism from the legal establishment, including U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Concord offers two Juris Doctor (J.D.) law degrees. The recipients of the regular J.D. degree who pass the California Bar Examination and otherwise meet the California State Bar requirements are admitted to the bar and can practice law in California. California bar licensees may practice in most federal courts outside of California, and may work as in-house counsel in out-of-state corporations, among other roles. Recipients of the Executive Juris Doctor (E.J.D.) are not eligible to take the bar examination.
The J.D. program is a 92-unit, four-year program. Students are required to successfully complete at least 22-24 units of coursework between 48 and 52 consecutive weeks each year. Graduates of this program will have met the legal education requirement of the Committee of Bar Examiners, State Bar of California and may apply for admission to the State Bar of California.
The Executive J.D. (E.J.D.) degree is a 72-unit, three-year program. It is designed for executives, administrators and professionals in various fields who seek graduate-level training in law but who do not wish to practice.
Tuition at Concord Law School is approximately $47,748 for its four-year JD program (compared to the average three-year program tuition of $144,913 (Californina residents) and $149,512 (non-residents) for California ABA accredited law schools).
Bar pass rate
For the years 2003 through February 2016, 1,052 Concord graduates have taken the California Bar Examination with 549 passing (367 as first time takers) for an overall bar pass rate of 52.2%. The school also posts bar pass rates.
Faculty and alumni
In November 2008, Ross Mitchell, a 2004 Concord graduate who had been admitted to the California bar, sued for and won the right to take the Massachusetts bar exam, which is normally open only to graduates of ABA accredited law schools. In a 6-1 decision, the state's Supreme Judicial Court ruled for Mitchell, citing his excellent law school record and the ability to represent himself and properly present his case. The court also ruled on equitable grounds, noting that under the ABA standards it would have been impossible for Concord to have received accreditation, regardless of the quality of its educational offerings. Mitchell subsequently passed the Massachusetts bar exam in February 2009.
In June 2016, Martin Pritikin joined Concord Law School as its Dean.
- "General Statistics Report: February 2015 California Bar Examination" (PDF). State Bar of California. June 30, 2015.
- "Concord Law School History". Retrieved 2010-02-02.
- Online Law Schools Have Yet to Pass the Bar March 23, 2011
- Unaccredited (Registered) California Law Schools
- Law School Accreditation
- "ABA-Approved Law Schools by Year". ABA website. Retrieved April 1, 2011.
- Concord Law School Merges with Kaplan U., The Chronicle of Higher Education, October 30, 2007
- Mintz, Howard (November 15, 1999). "Law school online Establishment skeptical about digital degrees; advocates site independent-study tradition of Abe Lincoln". San Jose Mercury News. Archived from the original on October 6, 2000.
- Concord Law School Catalog
- Committee of Bar Examiners Bar Examination Statistics
- Court win for online law school grad, California Bar Journal, January 2009
- Ross E. Mitchell v. Board of Bar Examiners, no. SJC-10157, Supreme Judicial Court, Massachusetts, September 3, 2008
- Law.com "First Online Law Grad to Make Mass. Lawyer"
- "Concord Law School Appoints Martin Pritikin as Dean | Business Wire". www.businesswire.com. Retrieved 2017-01-09.