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LawSchool.com received the following, apparently from
a messageboard posting of Sept. 2, 2004:
CA Bar Cte Report - Accreditation of Internet Law Schools
"Final Report - Internet Only Law Schools 2 June 2003.doc."
This report was published by the CA Bar on August 11, 2003, as the
work-product of a special task force that the Bar had appointed to
evaluate the question of whether, when, and under what circumstances,
internet-only and/or internet-based law schools should be accredited.
The committee was composed of 17 voting members, including an
appellate court justice, a superior court judge, Counsels for the
(State) Senate Judiciary Committee, and the Deans of the following
Law Schools: Concord, Northwestern CA (internet-based distance
school), Empire (CA- but not ABA-accredited), and ABA-accredited
schools UC Hastings and California Western. [Of the 11 who voted on
the final report, two of the four Against the proposal were the Deans
of Concord and Northwestern CA.]
The Task Force's work included real-time observance of a "chat" and
input from some Concord students who were selected by the School to
The report addressed a variety of concerns about Internet-based Law
education, some of which related to quality and quantity of student-
faculty interaction; level of sophistication and complexity of in-
class discourse; internet-related technical quality; library
resources; degree to which student composition were from "other-than-
CA"; admissions standards; other factors.
The Task Force concluded that the matter should be re-addressed in
four years (i.e., 2007), at which time it or a similar body should
reconvene and revisit the progress made in the areas of concern, as
well as Bar pass rates.
This task force began its work in September 2002, i.e., it took a
year to reach its conclusions. It seems reasonable to assume that a
future similar group would take the same amount of time to reach a
negative conclusion, and almost certainly more time to reach a
positive conclusion (as a decision to accredit would necesssarily
require also establishing policies and procedures for accreditation,
and responding to concerns of non-internet-based schools with Bar-
passing track-records equal-to-or-better-than Concord's).
Thus, given that the planned "reconvened" Task Force will not begin
its work until mid-late 2007, [it] is unlikely that Concord could be, even
under the best-case scenario, CA-accredited until at least late 2008