The American Bar Association has fully approved the University of North Texas at Dallas College of Law. This approval has come over seven years since the university opened its law school.
The University of North Texas College of Law was approved for creation in 2009. It has been operating under provisional accreditation since 2017. The law school admitted its first class in 2014.
Throughout the five years it took the school to get approval, the American Bar Association reviewed the school based on multiple factors, from its admission standards to its employment rate after graduation.
To be approved by the bar association, at least 75% of a law school’s graduates must pass the bar exam within two years. According to The Dallas Morning News, Felecia Epps, dean of the UNT-Dallas College of Law, said that the school exceeded that standard for most of its classes. Only the graduating class of 2021 did not meet that standard.
Epps said that the approval by the bar association is a big step forward for UNT-Dallas. “It is a major accomplishment for the entire university,” Epps said.
In 2016, a bar association committee stood against the accreditation of UNT-Dallas College of Law. The committee’s primary fear was that the school enrolled students with lower LSAT scores and poor undergraduate grades. However, Epps said that the college considers other factors when selecting students, such as their work history, military service, and past obstacles they might have overcome.
“We’re looking at the applicants, their whole package, and making decisions about that,” Epps said.
The University of North Texas College of Law slightly tightened its admission standards in 2017, and it was granted provisional accreditation.
UNT-Dallas College of Law focuses on experiential learning. As its students take law courses, they are also tasked with the responsibilities of a lawyer, such as drafting motions.
Another factor the school boasts of is its diversity. Of the nearly 500 graduates produced by the school, more than half are women, while almost half are people of color.
Epps said the University of North Texas College of Law intends to keep enhancing diversity in the legal profession.