Elon Law reapproved by American Bar Association

Amid the celebration of its 15th anniversary year, Elon University School of Law received notification from its accrediting agency on December 17, 2021, that it remains in full compliance with an innovative curriculum that emphasizes learning by doing.

Elon Law installed a history wall exhibit during its 15th anniversary year in downtown Greensboro. The law school welcomed its charter class in Fall 2006.

Elon University School of Law has been officially notified that it remains an American Bar Association-approved law school for another decade by meeting compliance standards that govern legal education in the United States.

The notification on December 17, 2021, concludes work by faculty and administrators who conducted a self-study and hosted visits from the ABA accreditation team over the past two years that examined all facets of Elon Law’s curriculum and operations.

It also coincides with ongoing commemorations of Elon Law’s 15th anniversary year – including the December installation of a history wall along an academic corridor – and it serves as a coda to the tenure of Luke Bierman, who completes his tenure as dean on December 31, 2021.

“The American Bar Association’s notification effectively recognizes the success of our approach to learning by doing and making a legal education shorter, more accessible, and more connected to the profession,” Bierman said. “Legal educators who share these same values can now look to our pioneering program as a model of what is possible when a law school community values innovation and places students at the center of everything it does.”

Elon Law adopted its 2.5-year, seven-trimester curriculum in 2014 shortly after Bierman’s arrival. Since that time, Elon Law has grown enrollment by 50 percent, deepened its commitment to diversity and inclusion, and reduced average student loan debt at graduation by nearly 30 percent.

Strategic investments in the Office of Academic Success and the Office of Career and Student Development have led to successful bar exam passage and career placement rates, which have hovered at 90 percent in recent years.

A focus on faculty recruitment and development have likewise been a hallmark of the past few years. Since 2017, Elon Law has hired 12 continuing faculty members. Eleven identify as female and one-third identify as from a racial or ethnic group that is underrepresented in the legal academy.

Bierman said that continued approval from the American Bar Association leaves Elon Law well prepared for new ventures and continued growth under the leadership of a new dean expected to be announced by early spring 2022.

“Elon Law’s many successes simply wouldn’t have been possible without the shared vision of so many people, from our faculty and staff to our students and alumni, and certainly from our supporters in the Greensboro community,” Bierman said. “I can think of no better way to conclude my service as dean than to have ABA approval in hand for new leadership who will build on our significant record of achievement and take Elon Law to even greater heights of national acclaim.”