Golden Gate Does Not Meet ABA Admissions Standard

Golden Gate University School of Law in San Francisco was found by the American Bar Association to be out of compliance with an accreditation standard that requires law schools to only admit candidates who appear capable of finishing law school and passing the bar exam.  

The ABA’s accreditation committee determined that the Golden Gate was not in compliance with Standards 501(a) and (b), which state that law schools should maintain sound admissions policies and practices and not admit candidates who are unlikely to finish law school or pass a bar exam.

Several law schools have recently been found out of compliance with theses standards. 

Anthony Niedwiecki, dean of the law school, told the ABA Journal that the law school is taking steps to increase the academic credentials of incoming students, and the first-time bar passage rate increased by 20 percentage points between the July 2016 exam and the July 2017 exam.

“We have also been aggressive in recruiting students with excellent credentials, with the goal of increasing our median LSAT by two points,” Niedwiecki wrote in an email to the ABA Journal.

The committee also determined that the law school is out of compliance with Interpretations 501-1, 501-2 and 501-3. 501-1 is related to academic attrition and an incoming student credentials, 501-2 looks at admissions policies and practices, and 501-3 states that a law school with a non-transfer attrition rate higher than 20 percent is not in compliance with Standard 501. 

According to Golden Gate’s Standard 509 Report for 2017, the first year class non-transfer attrition rate was 30.5 percent. The issue of attrition is new, and was born out of the U.S. Department of Education's effort to make sure that those who take out student loans have the ability to get a degree to pay back those loans. 

The incoming class had a median LSAT score of 148 and a median undergraduate GPA of 3.10. 

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