Jacksonville University College of Law provisionally accredited

The American Bar Association is granting the law school all rights of a fully approved institution.

  • By Max Marbut
  • | 12:05 a.m. March 4, 2024
  • | 4 Free Articles Remaining!
Plans show a new "College of Law" sign replacing the 121 Atlantic Place sign at the historic building at 121 W. Forsyth St.
Plans show a new "College of Law" sign replacing the 121 Atlantic Place sign at the historic building at 121 W. Forsyth St.
Jacksonville University
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The Jacksonville University College of Law was notified Feb. 29 that it is provisionally accredited by the American Bar Association.

The law school now possesses all the rights of a fully approved ABA law school, and its students are eligible to take the Bar examination, become members of the Bar and qualify for jobs and clerkships open only to students graduating from ABA-accredited schools.

“This is the vision of Jacksonville University, its faculty, staff and leadership – to build a great law school with great students who become great lawyers who go on to serve their communities with ethical professionalism and the highest ideals of a noble profession,” JU President Tim Cost said in a news release.

The university applied for provisional accreditation in March 2023, one year after its board of trustees voted unanimously to launch the school. 

The process required the law school to submit nearly 500 pages of materials to the ABA accreditation council, including a feasibility study, comprehensive self-study and responses to nearly 100 questions from accreditors.

In this November 2023 file photo, Jacksonville University College of Law Founding Dean Nick Allard and Vice Dean Margaret Dees are shown inside the building that will be the school’s new home.
Photo by Karen Brune Mathis

“The deliberate speed with which the College of Law has been able to achieve accreditation must be credited to the years of careful planning and preparation to open a law school by this university, led by President Cost and the Board of Trustees, and guided by talented administrators, faculty, staff, with the encouragement and support of the bench, bar, city, and people of the greater Jacksonville community,” Randall C. Berg Jr. Founding Dean Nick Allard said in the release.

In October 2023, a team of faculty and administrators from law schools across the country, appointed by the ABA, conducted a three-day site evaluation, touring the college, observing classes and interviewing law school administrators, faculty, staff and students.

After responding to the site visit team’s written report, Allard and other senior administrators, Cost, board Chair Matt Kane and other university leaders met Feb. 23 with the 21-person ABA Accreditation Committee in New Orleans. The committee voted to award accreditation provisionally to the school.

“Receiving provisional accreditation is hugely important for everyone at the College of Law, because it not only represents the high quality institution we’ve built so far, but it also bodes well for the future,” Vice Dean Margaret Dees said in the release.

“Our goal has been, and will continue to be, to provide the highest quality legal education possible. The accreditation from the ABA proves that is true, and that we are here to stay. We’re committed to our students and our community to maintaining those standards for decades to come.”

Two years after a law school receives its initial approval, it can apply to the ABA for an affirmation of its accreditation. The school must demonstrate it is maintaining the standards it displayed during the initial application process to keep its accreditation.

The law school’s third entering class will begin studies in August, as the college moves to its permanent Downtown location at 121 W. Forsyth St. 

JU signed a 10-year lease on the four-floor, 50,000-square-foot-space earlier this year, and renovations are underway and on schedule for a summer move in. The space will accommodate the growth of the law school and provide the opportunity to expand as it continues to recruit students and hire more faculty and staff. 



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