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Earle Mack School of Law Celebrates American Bar Association Accreditation

August 05, 2011

The Earle Mack School of Law at Drexel University has received full accreditation from the American Bar Association. The Council of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar approved our application Aug. 5, at its meeting in Toronto.

This marks an important milestone in the history of Drexel University, which began planning in earnest in 2005 to launch a law school that would raise the bar for legal education. Drexel sought to create a school that would from its inception prepare graduates for the realities of legal practice. Since that time, the university has demonstrated a steadfast commitment to the principle that excellent legal education requires a comprehensive integration of theory and practice. Ambassador Earle Mack’s generosity has helped us realize the university’s ambitious vision.

“Providing students with an education that is both academically rigorous and infused with experiential learning has been a guiding principle since the inception of the Earle Mack School of Law,” said Drexel University President John A. Fry. “Accreditation by the ABA is a resounding affirmation of the outstanding work of our faculty and staff thus far, and enables us to continue to demonstrate a steadfast commitment to raising the bar for legal education.”

Ambassador Earle Mack, who provided a major gift to the endowment of the law school, welcomed the development.

“It’s a distinct honor to have my name associated with this law school,” Mack said. “Under the leadership of Dean Roger Dennis, the school’s accomplishments in a short period of time have been nothing short of remarkable.”

Our curriculum gives students multiple opportunities to see how the principles presented in the classroom play out in legal practice. The Co-op Program provides semester-long placements where students work part-time or full-time at law firms, government agencies, general counsel offices, the courts and public-interest organizations. Field clinics we operate with three of Philadelphia’s premier public-interest organizations and our in-house Appellate Litigation Clinic provide students with a year-long immersion in practice. Our pro bono requirement ensures that every student completes a minimum of 50 hours of service to under-represented individuals or groups before graduation. Yet most students provide far more pro bono service; the 404 members of our first three graduating classes tallied 48,000 hours of service – averaging more than 115 hours.

We’re delighted to have attracted exceptional faculty who bring diverse interests and experiences as well as a shared enthusiasm for devising an innovative curriculum. Our faculty includes internationally known, pioneering scholars and young professors who publish their work at a prodigious rate and in some of the nation’s most respected law journals. In the last three years, 21 tenured and tenure-track faculty members published 66 law review articles, eight books, 20 book chapters and 19 other types of scholarly publication. Professors here seek and find ways to incorporate hands-on experiences in the classroom, so that students may present arguments in a constitutional law class or cut a deal in a transactional lawyering class.

We benefit from the support of the legal community in Philadelphia and beyond, which has embraced our mission and displayed a collaborative spirit that exceeded our expectations. Members of the bench and bar serve as valued partners in training our students and in honing our curriculum.

Last, but hardly least, we have been gratified to find that so many outstanding students recognize the quality of our faculty and the extraordinary advantages we offer by integrating experiential learning into our programs. Nearly 93 percent of our first two graduating classes passed the bar exam in at least one state.