Program receives provisional accreditation in earliest possible timeframe
For the first time in nearly 50 years, a Tennessee law program has received accreditation from the American Bar Association (ABA). The ABA’s Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar informed Belmont University College of Law it had been granted provisional accreditation at a meeting this past weekend. The milestone was achieved in the earliest possible timeline allowed by accreditation guidelines.
Belmont University Provost Dr. Thomas Burns said, “We are extremely pleased by this recognition of the legal education program that Dean Jeff Kinsler and the faculty of the Belmont College of Law have developed. The granting of provisional accreditation by the ABA validates the outstanding work being done by our administration, faculty and staff to develop a law program of the highest quality focused on preparing practice-ready attorneys.”
Under ABA rules, provisionally accredited law schools are entitled to all rights of fully accredited law schools. In particular, graduates of provisionally accredited law schools are entitled to the same recognition accorded to graduates of fully accredited law schools. A law school must be provisionally accredited for at least two years before applying for full accreditation. To grant provisional accreditation, the ABA reviews numerous factors including curriculum, facilities, library, admissions and faculty.
College of Law Dean Jeff Kinsler said, “Although a new law school, Belmont has become a sought after destination for law study evidenced by the quality of students enrolling in the program and the talented faculty teaching in the program.”
Jaz Boon, a charter class member who will graduate in May 2014, noted, “ABA accreditation validates the hard work of the Belmont Law administration, faculty, staff and students in building a great program. Receiving ABA approval strengthens the momentum our law program has garnered and allows us to become an even greater asset to the state of Tennessee and beyond.”
On October 7, 2009, Belmont University announced its intention to open a College of Law and the charter class began course work in the fall of 2011. It is now the first law school in Nashville to be accredited by the ABA since 1925. The College of Law provides a natural extension of the university’s mission and vision, which emphasize challenging academics, a service-minded approach, real-world experience and community leadership.
The College of Law is housed in a new building, the Randall and Sadie Baskin Center, which opened in August 2012 and includes a state-of-the-art Law Library. The College of Law is integrated into Belmont’s main campus and offers specialties in areas that complement the university’s nationally-known undergraduate program offerings, including healthcare and entertainment/music business.