by Sam McManis
During the summer, the University of La Verne College of Law had hoped to achieve provisional accreditation for this fall.
However, the American Bar Association (ABA) felt that several problem areas of the school needed to be worked out before accreditation could be given.
According to Dean Thomas Reese, the ABA committee voiced three basic concerns about the La Verne program.
“They were concerned that we did not have a more experienced faculty and that the number of volumes in our library was not sufficient,” said Reese. “Also, they were concerned that our present building would not meet our needs in the future.”
Reese stated that the advancements concerning the faculty and library have already been worked out, but the expansion of the facilities has yet to be planned.
“In my opinion, we have achieved everything except the plans for the additional building,” Reese said. “Early this fall, I expect to finalize negotiations for a modular building, and we will hope to have it (the buildings) by the end of September.” Reese also said that the modular building is only temporary until a permanent wing is built.
Before provisional accreditation can be given however, La Verne must come up with a plan for another building to accommodate classrooms and faculty offices.
“We don’t have to get the permanent building to receive our accreditation, but we must have a plan for doing that. The plan is the only thing that has not been worked out. The ABA committee wants to know what we are going to do about enlarging our existing building,” Reese continued.
The other two areas that the ABA committee was concerned about have been settled. At the time of the inspection last April, the library had only 30,000 volumes and it now has over 42,500 on the shelves. Reese has also hired two experienced professors who have over 20 years of legal education behind them. A third professor will come to the law school this spring to teach tax.
If the plans for the new wing are finalized this fall, Reese, Armen Sarafian and consultant George Stevens will go before the ABA council for reconsideration in December.
“If they agree for reconsideration, it’s likely we could be revisited by the inspection team the first week of January and then be up for receiving our accreditation in February at the ABA mid-year meeting, said Reese.