August 24, 2020

'Watershed moment': Purdue Global Concord Law School fully accredited by State Bar of California

Note to Journalists: A photo of Martin Pritikin is available on Google Drive.

INDIANAPOLIS — Martin Pritikin called a Friday (Aug. 21) decision by the State Bar of California “truly a watershed moment in legal education.”

Concord Law School at Purdue University Global was granted full accreditation by the State Bar of California.

“Being fully accredited provides us additional credibility and recognition,” said Pritikin, dean of Concord Law School. “It acknowledges that we can meet all the educational objectives of a regulator. Concord’s mission since its inception over 20 years ago was to make high-quality legal education affordable and accessible by delivering it fully online. I am thrilled that the State Bar of California has recognized that quality.”

“Accreditation of our convenient and affordable programs expands opportunities to access legal education for students who are otherwise highly qualified but who cannot move their families or change their employment status to attend a traditional law program,” Purdue Global Chancellor Frank Dooley said.

pritikin-m20 Martin Pritikin Download image

As a result of being granted accreditation, students in Concord’s JD program no longer have to take or pass California’s First Year Law Students’ Exam. Concord’s first accredited term will begin Sept. 24. Pritikin expects interest and enrollment in Concord to increase.

“Having been a tenured professor and administrator at a brick-and-mortar law school, I know that Concord’s program rivals that of most traditional schools,” Pritikin said. “This shouldn't be surprising; after all, if you can function as a lawyer almost entirely online, why not train to be a lawyer online as well?”

The Committee of Bar Examiners deemed that Concord is in full compliance with the guidelines governing accredited law schools and, therefore, was not required to have a period of provisional accreditation, as typically is the case for law schools seeking full accreditation.

The State Bar of California is one of the few bodies in the country other than the American Bar Association to accredit law schools. State regulation of non-ABA law schools was designed to facilitate lower-cost law school options, particularly in regions not served by traditional schools. Although the ABA has temporarily suspended limits on online learning due to the coronavirus pandemic, the ABA accreditation standards generally limit law schools to being one-third online. Concord opened as the nation’s first fully online law school in 1998.

Concord was the first online law school to apply for full accreditation when that path opened up in July 2019 and subsequently was the first school to have its inspection site visit conducted entirely remotely in March 2020 during the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic. Until last year, only “registration,” not accreditation, was available to fully online law schools in California.

About Purdue University Global

Purdue University Global is the extreme personalization online university, providing students the competitive edge to advance in their chosen careers. It offers a hyper-tailored path for students to earn an associate, bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree, based on their work experience, desired pace, military service, previous college credits and other considerations – no matter where they are in their life journey. Purdue Global serves more than 31,000 students (as of June 2020), most of whom earn their degree online. It also operates several regional locations nationwide. Purdue Global is a nonprofit, public university accredited by The Higher Learning Commission. It is affiliated with Purdue University’s flagship institution, a highly ranked public research university located in West Lafayette, Indiana. Purdue University also operates two regional campuses in Fort Wayne and Northwest, Indiana, as well as serving close to 6,000 science, engineering and technology students at the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) campus. For more information, please visit purdueglobal.edu.

About Concord Law School

Concord Law School is part of Purdue University Global, a public, nonprofit school within the respected Purdue University system. Founded in 1998, Concord was the first U.S. law school to offer students a traditional law school program online, including interactive live classes, frequent testing with extensive feedback, and nationally respected faculty members. Offering rigorous, rewarding online degree programs, Concord provides students with a first-rate law school education that is affordable and reflects the needs of today’s employers, delivered in a convenient, highly supportive environment. For more information, please visit concordlawschool.edu.  

Writer, Media contact: Tom Schott, 765-427-1721, tschott@purdue.edu

Sources: Frank Dooley, frank.dooley@purdueglobal.edu

Martin Pritikin, mpritikin@purdueglobal.edu 

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