Relationships and partnerships were the focus when the Jacksonville Bar Association met Oct. 6 at the Marriott Jacksonville Downtown.
The first order of business was JBA President Fraz Ahmed presenting a $10,000 donation on behalf of the membership to the Jacksonville University College of Law.
JU President Tim Cost, Provost Christine Sapienza, College of Law founding Dean Nicholas Allard and Vice Dean Margaret Dees accepted the donation.
The college’s first cohort of law students began their three years of classes in August at JU’s Downtown campus in VyStar Tower.
Ahmed said members of the association, many of whom received undergraduate degrees at JU, worked with the university’s administration, faculty and staff to help launch the law school.
“It is important for us to contribute,” Ahmed said.
“Thank you – not only for the financial support – you have done so much more. Our success is in your hands as much as it is in our hands,” Allard said.
As the college works toward accreditation by the American Bar Association, Allard asked the JBA members to provide their personal input.
“The earliest we can apply is March 2023. We will request an ABA site visit in fall 2023. We hope to complete the process in 2024 with provisional accreditation, one year before the first cohort graduates,” Allard said.
The strategy, he said, is to present a case for accreditation that is irrefutable, based on substantial evidence beyond a reasonable doubt, including a collection of endorsements from the legal community.
“I ask all of you to write me a one-page letter. Tell me why JU needs, deserves and supports a law school. The ABA doesn’t ask for that, but we are going to do it. Help us make that case,” Allard said.