Florida Coastal School of Law has received full ABA accreditation.
Dean J. Richard Hurt made the announcement following the ABA annual meeting in Washington, D.C. The action followed a favorable recommendation of the Accreditation Committee on June 28 in Seattle, which was ratified August 8 by the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar of the ABA. Although the council has the final authority on accreditation matters, ABA procedures require council actions to be reported to the House of Delegates, the ABA’s governing body. On August 12, the House of Delegates concurred in the council’s report, finalizing FCSL’s full approval.
Dean Hurt noted that although most new law schools remain provisionally approved for four to five years, FCSL received full approval in three.
“Attaining full accreditation just three years after being provisionally approved by the ABA is a significant achievement and a tribute to our dean, board and, in particular, to the extraordinary dedication and trust of students, staff, and faculty,” said Donald Lively who was FCSL’s founding dean before becoming chancellor in 2001.
FCSL was provisionally approved by the ABA in 1999, following its licensing by the state of Florida in 1995. The school welcomed its first class in the winter of 1996 and graduated that class in the spring of 1999.
ABA accreditation comes shortly after FCSL announced receiving a record number of applications for the fall terms that began August 26. The law school received more than 2,300 applications from students in Florida and 27 other states and Canada, according to Director of Admissions Stephen M. Jones. Applications rose approximately 30 percent this year, Jones said, compared with an average rise of 17.9 percent among law schools nationwide.
“Part of our mission is to develop a diverse group of students from all over the country,” Jones said. “The record number of applications we received indicates our efforts continue to pay off as the school’s reputation continues to grow.”
The majority of the students, numbering 110, will attend full-time day classes, Jones said. Another 35 students will attend classes part-time during the day, and 25 will study part-time at night.