Frequently Asked Questions About Probation

Is Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) still accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA)?

  • Yes. The Law School remains an ABA accredited school.

Will students attending an ABA accredited law school on probation be able to graduate from an ABA accredited school?

  • Yes. The ABA Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar (the “Council”) takes the position that a student who is enrolled in an ABA accredited law school at any time during the student’s enrollment, will be considered a graduate of an ABA accredited law school. Eligibility to sit for a bar exam, however, is a matter for each state to determine. Students should direct their specific questions to the bar admissions office where they may seek admission.

Will Atlanta’s John Marshall students be able to receive financial aid?

  • Yes. Atlanta’s John Marshall students remain eligible for federal student financial aid.

Have other law schools that have been put on probation been successful in getting off probation?

  • Yes. Other law schools that have been put on probation have been successful in getting back into compliance with the Standards.

What is the specific language of the Standards which the ABA is citing for noncompliance and what is the Law School’s position?

301(a) A law school shall maintain a rigorous program of legal education that prepares its students, upon graduation, for admission to the bar and for effective, ethical, and responsible participation as members of the legal profession.

  • The Law School fundamentally has the same required curriculum as most other ABA accredited law schools. In maintaining a competitive program, Atlanta’s John Marshall has introduced more required coursework and training than what is often found at other schools. This additional programming is designed to help equip our students with the tools needed to succeed.

309(b) A law school shall provide academic support designed to afford students a reasonable opportunity to complete the program of legal education, graduate, and become members of the legal profession.

  • Atlanta’s John Marshall has a rigorous academic support regime that includes: individualized academic counseling, first year Academic Lab training, First Year Assessment evaluation, access to a library of cooperative assessment tools, Kaplan bar exam programming with individualized grading and feedback, upper level Legal Methods training, upper level Mastering Legal Skills training, upper level Mastering Legal Principles training, an engaged faculty that provides support throughout the student’s academic career, and a supplemental alumni bar review program that includes weekend workshops and an appointed bar exam coach.

501(a) A law school shall adopt, publish, and adhere to sound admission policies and practices consistent with the Standards, its mission, and the objectives of its program of legal education.

  • Atlanta’s John Marshall adheres to sound admission policies while providing the opportunity for legal education to both traditional and non-traditional students. From 2017 to 2018, the Law School’s competitive admission requirements resulted in a voluntarily decrease of its entering class by 31 percent. In one academic year, AJMLS increased its entering class 75th percentile LSAT score by three points to 152, its median score by two points to 149, and its 25th percentile by three points to 147.

501(b) A law school shall only admit applicants who appear capable of satisfactorily completing its program of legal education and being admitted to the bar.

  • Atlanta’s John Marshall strongly believes all of its admitted students have the capacity to successfully pass the bar exam and become attorneys.

Interpretation 501-1 Among the factors to consider in assessing compliance with this Standard are the academic and admission test credentials of the law school’s entering students, the academic attrition rate of the law school’s students, the bar passage rate of its graduates, and the effectiveness of the law school’s academic support program. Compliance with Standard 316 is not alone sufficient to comply with the Standard.

  • Atlanta’s John Marshall reviews an applicant’s entire file, including academic credentials and professional and personal experiences. It has never admitted an applicant it did not believe could successfully complete the program by applying their full potential to their studies.

What happens moving forward?

The ABA has outlined specific actions it wants the Law School to take in order to demonstrate it is working toward compliance with the Standards. AJMLS is actively preparing both its responses to the ABA’s inquiries and a plan for ongoing student success.