In July, 2017, only 20.1 percent of Arizona Summit Law School graduates passed the bar exam. The rest spent three years earning a legal education and a Juris Doctorate degree only to fail the exam that matters the most. The American Bar Association says that Arizona Summit Law School is out of compliance with many standards for achieving and maintaining accreditation.
The ABA says that the low bar passage rates are only part of the problem. They say that the school doesn’t have sufficient financial resources to operate in a sound way. President Donald Lively says that the school has recently undertaken a successful capital funding campaign. He says that the school has resources in the millions.
Students worry that the school might suddenly shut down like Charlotte School of Law did. Lively says that the school has plans to continue to operate in a downsized manner. He says students shouldn’t worry. Students say that Charlotte School of Law students received the same assurances from school officials before the school suddenly shuttered its doors. Alumni say the school isn’t addressing the problems. They say that the school is just digging itself in deeper and deeper without any sign of coming into compliance with ABA requirements.
Some legal insiders say that there are too many law schools. They say that too many law schools fail to admit only applicants that have a reasonable shot at completing their education and passing the bar. They say that when most legal graduates can’t find a job that requires a Juris Doctorate degree, there’s something wrong. They say that it’s unfair to take tuition money from people who aren’t likely to see a return on their financial investment. On the other hand, advocates for open-door admissions policies say that more law schools increase minority and underprivileged access to a legal education.