The Earle Mack School of Law at Drexel University is now fully accredited by the American Bar Association, President John A. Fry announced Aug. 5 in an email to the University community.
The announcement came after the Council of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar approved the school’s application for accreditation at its annual meeting in Toronto, according to a University press release. It marks the end of an accreditation process that started with the school’s founding in 2005 and opening in 2006.
Fry praised the accomplishments of Dean Roger J. Dennis and his faculty, staff and students.
“More than 400 graduates already are living examples of the school’s high quality,” Fry said. “The school’s guiding principle is to provide students with an education that is both academically rigorous and infused with experiential learning. With today’s accreditation, we will be able to continue raising the bar for legal education.”
The school’s namesake, Drexel alumnus and former U.S. Ambassador to Finland Earle Mack, also praised the school on the occasion.
“It’s a distinct honor to have my name associated with this law school,” Mack said. “Under the leadership of Dean Roger Dennis, the school’s accomplishments in a short period of time have been nothing short of remarkable.”
When asked for his thoughts on the accreditation, Dennis said he was grateful for the University’s support throughout the process and pleased with how quickly the school was able to complete everything.
“I think we were able to do what we did in record time because of the wonderful support the University central administration and the board [of trustees] gave the law school for its launch,” Dennis said. “It enabled us to really attract and retain excellent faculty and students.”
Grant Keener, pre-law adviser for the Steinbright Career Development Center, gave credit to everyone in the University community who has worked to make the law school what it is today.
“The ABA’s decision to grant full approval to Drexel’s Earle Mack School of Law reaffirms the outstanding quality of a Drexel law education and is the culmination of countless hours of hard work by Roger Dennis, Tobey Oxholm [Dean and Chief Executive Officer of the Drexel University Center for Graduate Studies in Sacramento, Calif.] and many other current and former members of the Drexel community,” Keener said. “Each year, a significant number of Drexel’s strongest students and alumni choose to continue their education at Drexel Law. This is a testament to the law school’s accomplished faculty and staff, as well as its strong reputation in the legal community.”
In order to receive full accreditation, the school had to prove that it was in full compliance with all of the ABA’s standards for approval of law schools, which are listed on the ABA’s website.
Among the requirements was an adequate law library, which was established on the third floor of Drexel’s Hagerty Library. The loss of this area as a year-round study space for the University’s general student body has been a common cause for complaints in recent years, but one that has been addressed with the recently opened Library Learning Terrace at 33rd and Race street and tentative plans for other study spaces around campus in the future.
Press releases from the University and the law school listed several figures attesting to the school’s excellence. Graduates of the school have completed 48,000 combined hours of pro bono service, averaging more than 115 hours per student and far exceeding the minimum graduation requirement of 50 hours. Members of the school’s faculty have published “66 law review articles, eight books, 20 book chapters and 19 other types of scholarly publication.” Nearly 93 percent of the school’s first two graduating classes have passed at least one state’s bar exam, according to the law school press release.
In addition to the pro bono service requirement, the school provides students with real-world experience through its co-op program and field clinics. In its press release, the school stressed the value of its partnerships with the legal community in Philadelphia and beyond.
For more information on the law school, visit its website at earlemacklaw.drexel.edu.