Interesting non-accreditation statement-TJSL

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Interesting non-accreditation statement-TJSL

Postby nosborne48 » Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:13 pm

Hm. Interesting. One of my favorite shoulda-stayed-CBE-accredited law schools is Thomas Jefferson in San Diego. TJSL is fully approved by the American Bar Association. However, it APPARENTLY has no accreditation whatever for its LL.M. and J.S.D. programs:

http://www.llmprogram.org/admissions.html

Here's a quote:

National Accreditation


ABA Institution - - TJSL Accreditation by the American Bar Association
Thomas Jefferson School of Law is fully accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the American Association of Law Schools.

TJSL is Accredited and Recognized by the American Bar Association
TJSL is a recognized member of the AALS American Association of Law Schools
This Graduate Law Program is acquiesced to offer: 1) LLM Master of Laws for attorneys and CPAs, 2) JSD Doctor of Juridical Science (PhD Level Research Degree), and JSM Masters for non-graduate degree holders.,
TJSL is a recognized provider of Post Doctorate Law Programs and Graduate Legal Education by the American Bar Association - See ABA Link
This Diamond TJSL Graduate program is recognized and listed on the Section of Legal Education and Admission to the Bar on the ABA Website
This TJSL Graduate Program is officially listed and recognized on the ABA Section of International Law in the International Law Programes sanctioned list. See Link
Our EDU Official Address is here: www.llmprogram.tjsl.edu

The ABA Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar has adopted a statement that no post J.D. or other graduate program is a substitute for the J.D. and should not be considered the equivalent of the J.D. for bar admission purposes. Students participating in an LL.M. are advised that an LL.M. does not prepare or qualify its students to engage in the practice of law; that the LL.M. is not intended to qualify students to take a bar examination. Because each State or Dependency (Puerto Rico, USVI, Guam, etc.) has its own Bar admission requirements, contact the relevant State or Dependency Bar regarding any questions that you may have regarding its requirements to sit for its bar examination.


Notice that it uses the ABA term of art "acquiesced" as if it means the same thing as "accredited" when the ABA is itself at considerable pains to state that "acquiescence" IS NOT "accreditation.

There is nothing wrong with this school. I just thought the situation was interesting.
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Re: Interesting non-accreditation statement-TJSL

Postby SteveFoerster » Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:05 pm

TJSL wrote:Students participating in an LL.M. are advised that an LL.M. does not prepare or qualify its students to engage in the practice of law; that the LL.M. is not intended to qualify students to take a bar examination.

Also, these two statements are both false.
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Re: Interesting non-accreditation statement-TJSL

Postby Roald » Tue Jan 29, 2013 4:15 pm

Well, IIRC, the ABA only accredits the first degree in law. LL.M programs are simply not eligible for ABA accreditation, although perhaps it's typical to obtain some other form of accreditation?

The cost/benefit analysis associated with obtaining either an LL.M or J.S.D. from Thomas Jefferson is another story. The LL.M might provide some utility for a foreign lawyer who is seeking admission to a U.S. jurisdiction, I suppose. As far as the J.S.D., I don't understand it at all. What's the point?

SteveFoerster wrote:
TJSL wrote:Students participating in an LL.M. are advised that an LL.M. does not prepare or qualify its students to engage in the practice of law; that the LL.M. is not intended to qualify students to take a bar examination.

Also, these two statements are both false.


What's false about these statements? The LL.M is not the bar-qualifying practitioner's degree. In some jurisdictions (CA, DC) an LL.M from can qualify an applicant to sit for the bar if they possess a foreign law degree, or a non-ABA accredited domestic J.D.
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Re: Interesting non-accreditation statement-TJSL

Postby nosborne48 » Tue Jan 29, 2013 4:28 pm

TJSL does not appear in the WASC list of accredited institutions. Makes sense; if the school were regionally accredited, they wouldn't have to engage in the above, slightly millish-looking statement of how wonderful everyone thinks they are.

I doubt seriously that, say, the Oregon Office of Degree Authorization would object to a TJSL grad claiming his J.S.D. degree in that state. The law school itself is as legitimate as they come. But technically, all of TJSL's degrees, other than the Juris Doctor, are apparently unaccredited. I wonder what effect this fact has on the availability of federal student aid? Or on the ability of a non-J.D. student to claim the usual education tax advantages?

This exact situation is what caused Southwestern Law to seek DETC accreditation for its online LL.M. programs I gather. I wonder if this school will follow suit?
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Re: Interesting non-accreditation statement-TJSL

Postby nosborne48 » Tue Jan 29, 2013 4:35 pm

Georgetown Law Center states flat-out that a J.S.D. degree is of little value to a U.S. trained lawyer seeking a law faculty appointment:

http://www.law.georgetown.edu/academics ... ademia.cfm

So I guess TJSL's program is of greater value to foreign trained lawyers (though their web site doesn't say this as far as I can tell.)
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Re: Interesting non-accreditation statement-TJSL

Postby Tark » Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:10 pm

The best-known standalone law school in California is UC Hastings. They were established in 1878, but did not bother with regional accreditation until 2012. Hastings stated, quite explicitly, that regional accreditation was necessary so that their LLM and MSL programs would qualify for federal aid.

Why seek accreditation?

UC Hastings is already accredited through the American Bar Association (ABA). However, the ABA only accredits Juris Doctorate (JD) programs. UC Hastings currently offers a JD as well as an LL.M. in United States Legal Studies. Beginning in Fall 2012, the school will be adding two new programs: the Master of Studies in Law (MSL) and the LL.M. in Law & Science. In order for students to receive federal financial aid, the US Department of Education requires that the program be accredited. Since the ABA will not accredit MSL or LL.M. programs, UC Hastings must obtain additional accreditation in order to ensure that incoming students in these new programs will have access to federal financial aid.

So RA is one approach that standalone law schools can use to cover their non-JD programs. Another option might be DETC, which is presumably is the approach that Southwestern is using.

Another option, in theory, might be to team with another school: non-JD degrees could perhaps be offered jointly with an RA university. That might be an option for California Western, which already offers dual-degree programs with UC San Diego and San Diego State. A few years ago, they were actually talking about a merger with UCSD, so a joint degree program doesn't seem impossible.
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Re: Interesting non-accreditation statement-TJSL

Postby nosborne48 » Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:58 pm

Oho!

TJSL used to be regionally accredited but resigned in 2006.

http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/InstAcc ... 333820504d

Doubtless that's after they received ABA approval. Bet they now wish they'd kept it up.
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Re: Interesting non-accreditation statement-TJSL

Postby Roald » Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:33 pm

Yes, it makes more sense now. I hadn't really considered the fact that TJSL is a stand alone law school, and therefore is unlikely to possess RA.

Tark wrote:The best-known standalone law school in California is UC Hastings. They were established in 1878, but did not bother with regional accreditation until 2012.


So would a pre-2012 Hastings LL.M be an entirely unaccredited degree? Or could the University of California system as a whole be considered accredited, thus conferring RA to a Hastings degree? It's just funny to think of a Hastings degree as unaccredited.
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Re: Interesting non-accreditation statement-TJSL

Postby Eric » Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:08 pm

Thomas Jefferson School of Law is fully accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA).

Question does ABA accredit programs or they accredit Schools?

I thought that Schools, Institutional Accreditation is for RA or NA accreditors and Programs are for Specialty and Professional Accreditation.
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Re: Interesting non-accreditation statement-TJSL

Postby nosborne48 » Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:12 pm

ABA approval extends ONLY to a J.D. Program. But TJSL isn't any sort of mill. Their other degrees are unquestionably legitimate but because ABA approval is all the school has, those degrees are apparently unaccredited.
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Re: Interesting non-accreditation statement-TJSL

Postby Eric » Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:03 pm

nosborne48 wrote:ABA approval extends ONLY to a J.D. Program. But TJSL isn't any sort of mill. Their other degrees are unquestionably legitimate but because ABA approval is all the school has, those degrees are apparently unaccredited.


That means that the statement on their web site that "Thomas Jefferson School of Law is fully accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA)" is false and misleading.
They should state that their J.D. Program is accredited by ABA.
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Re: Interesting non-accreditation statement-TJSL

Postby nosborne48 » Tue Jan 29, 2013 11:54 pm

No, it don't think it is exactly misleading. The ABA has two categories of approval, full and provisional. The school IS fully approved but that approval extends only to its J.D. Program. Now, the school's use of its ABA approval to imply that the ABA somehow also approves of its other programs is...thought provoking...which is why I started the thread.

A further thought...there is a legitimate reason to describe one's ll.m. As coming from an ABA school. When state bar authorities say that a foreign lawyer can take the bar exam with a U.S. ll.m. Degree, the degree has to come from an ABA approved school. So that's some justification, I guess.
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Re: Interesting non-accreditation statement-TJSL

Postby Tark » Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:02 am

Question does ABA accredit programs or they accredit Schools?

I thought that Schools, Institutional Accreditation is for RA or NA accreditors and Programs are for Specialty and Professional Accreditation.

ABA accredits programs. But what if the program and the school are the same?

ABA normally acts as a Programmatic Accreditor for JD programs.
But now suppose you have an independent law school -- not connected to a larger university -- that offers a JD program and nothing else.

In this case, there is nothing to accredit except for the JD program. If ABA accredits the JD program, then there is nothing left for an RA or NA Institutional Accreditor to do.
So US Dept. of Education allows ABA to act as both a Programmatic and Institutional Accreditor for independent law schools.

But an issue arises comes when an independent law school -- not connected to a university -- wants to offer other types of legal degrees, like the LLM or the MLS.
ABA says that their approval only covers the JD. So now the independent law school does need RA or NA, to provide accreditation for the non-JD programs.
Last edited by Tark on Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Interesting non-accreditation statement-TJSL

Postby Tark » Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:08 am

So would a pre-2012 Hastings LL.M be an entirely unaccredited degree? Or could the University of California system as a whole be considered accredited, thus conferring RA to a Hastings degree? It's just funny to think of a Hastings degree as unaccredited.

The UC system is not accredited as a whole; each campus is accredited separately. So yes, pre-2012 Hastings LLM degrees were technically unaccredited.

I don't think anyone cared about this until recently -- everyone simply treated LLM degrees from ABA-approved schools as accredited. I would guess that someone at the US Dept. of Education noticed that ABA technically only accredits the JD degree, and so the policy changed.
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Re: Interesting non-accreditation statement-TJSL

Postby nosborne48 » Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:11 pm

Or maybe someone at the ABA noticed. There have been occasional proposals for the ABA to approve LL.M. programs for foreign lawyers seeking Bar eligibility in the U.S. Naturally, this would cost EXTRA... :twisted:
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