JUDGE RULES IN FAVOR OF LAW SCHOOL REGULATION
FRANCISCO, Aug. 19, 2013 – A
federal judge has tentatively upheld the Committee of Bar Examiners’ right to
require California-accredited law schools to disclose information about bar
exam pass rates of graduates.
District Court Judge James V. Selna on Friday tentatively dismissed a lawsuit brought by Southern
California Institute of Law. The school is not contesting the tentative ruling.
committee requires California-accredited law schools to post bar passage
information on their websites or publish a link to statistics maintained on the State Bar’s
Ventura-based law school argued the regulation violated its free-speech rights,
saying the quality of a law school education should not be linked to the performance
of its graduates on the bar exam.
ruling said that since the law school chose to obtain accreditation it may also
be subject to certain rules. The court held that the information is factual and
uncontroversial and prospective students are free to draw their own conclusions
about its relevance.
decision vindicates the bar’s regulatory authority over these schools,” said
Sean McCoy, chair of the Committee of Bar Examiners. “It’s our responsibility
to use that authority in a way that protects the integrity of the profession
and protects the public.”
The State Bar of
California is an administrative arm of the California Supreme Court, serving
the public and seeking to improve the justice system for more than 80 years.
All lawyers practicing law in California must be members of the State Bar. By
August 2013, membership reached 244,000.