ABA censures Kansas regarding new LL.M.

The American Bar Association publicly censured University of Kansas in December and imposed a $50,000 fine for the law schools willful violation of a standard that required the school to obtain approval before enrolling students in a new LL.M. program.

The school launched a new program in American Legal Studies and enrolled two foreign students, who paid $26,200 tuition, before it even applied for approval. 

The ABA said it imposed the fine because the Law School made misleading statements when it said the program was “merely a new concentration in an existing LL.M. Elder Law Program, when the admission requirements and purpose of the programs were different,”

“At best, the Law School’s conduct in that regard was grossly negligent. Moreover, the Law School demonstrated an absence of candor, when it failed to voluntarily inform the Consultant’s Office or the Committee that students had already been admitted to the Program and were enrolled in the Law School,” the ABA said in a statement.

The law school said the violation resulted from a “procedural error.” The school said it mistakenly believed the new program fell under the scope of Elder Law program, and later informed the ABA when it learned additional approval was required.

Stephen Mazza, the school’s dean, said in the statement that the school had adopted new procedures to prevent such an error in the future.

“We got ahead of ourselves, and we regret the error,” he said.