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The Earle Mack School of Law at Drexel Receives Accreditation from the ABA

August 5, 2011

Drexel University President John A. Fry announced today that the Earle Mack School of Law at Drexel has received full accreditation from the American Bar Association (ABA).The Council of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar approved the application at its annual meeting in Toronto, following the completion of an intensive accreditation process.
“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 Fry. “Accreditation by the ABA is a resounding affirmation of the outstanding work of our faculty and professional staff, and the collective vision of my predecessor, Constantine Papadakis; our lead philanthropist, Earle Mack; our founding Dean Roger J. Dennis; and our forward-thinking Board of Trustees. It enables us to continue to demonstrate a steadfast commitment to raising the bar for legal education.”

This marks an important milestone in the history of Drexel, which began planning in 2005 to launch a law school that would prepare graduates for the realities of legal practice through the integration of experiential learning. Ambassador Earle Mack’s generosity has helped to realize the university’s ambitious vision.

“It’s a distinct honor to have my name associated with this law school,” Ambassador Earle 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."

The Earle Mack School of Law opened its doors in 2006, and has since graduated a total of more than 400 students from its first three graduating classes. Nearly 93 percent of the first two graduating classes passed the bar exam in at least one state.

The school’s curriculum provides each student with varied opportunities to experience how the principles presented in the classroom play out in legal practice. A co-op program provides semester-long placements during which students can work part- or full-time at law firms, government agencies, general counsel offices, the courts and public-interest organizations. Field clinics that the school operates with three of Philadelphia’s premier public-interest organizations and an in-house Appellate Litigation Clinic provide students with a year-long immersion in practice. The school’s pro bono requirement ensures that every student completes a minimum of 50 hours of service to under-represented individuals or groups before graduation. Most students far exceed the minimum pro bono service requirement; the more than 400 members of the first three graduating classes tallied 48,000 hours of service, averaging more than 115 hours per student.

The Earle Mack School of Law also has attracted exceptional faculty who bring diverse interests and experiences as well as a shared enthusiasm for devising an innovative curriculum. Faculty members include 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.

The school also benefits from the support of the legal community in Philadelphia and beyond, which has embraced its mission and demonstrated a collaborative spirit. Members of the bench and bar serve as valued partners in training students and in honing the school’s curriculum.

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Alex McKechnie