It is important to understand the accreditation process is governed by the American Bar Association (ABA) and the Tennessee Board of Law Examiners (TBLE). Complete information may be found at the ABA website and TBLE website.
Belmont University College of Law is approved by the Tennessee Board of Law Examiners, which makes its graduates (including the Charter Class) eligible to sit for the Tennessee bar examination.
Belmont University College of Law is seeking accreditation from the American Bar Association. Graduates of ABA-approved law schools may sit for the bar examination in all U.S. states and jurisdictions.
ABA accreditation is a two step process. The first step for all new law schools is provisional approval. Under ABA rules, no new law school may be considered for accreditation until it is in its second year of operation. The College of Law made application for provisional approval in late August 2012, and our hope is to be provisionally approved at the end of the academic year (spring/summer 2013). Students at provisionally approved law schools are given the same recognition as students at fully approved law schools (ABA Standard 102, Interpretation 102-4). Upon the award of provisional approval, students enrolled in the institution and who subsequently graduate are deemed graduates of an ABA-approved law school (ABA Standard 102, Interpretation 102-10).
The second step is full approval, which requires full compliance with all ABA Standards after having been provisionally approved for at least two years. If awarded provisional approval in 2013, the earliest Belmont University College of Law may apply for full approval is 2015.
Belmont University officials have met with representatives of the ABA’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, and it is important to note that:
The Dean is fully informed as to the Standards and Rules of Procedure for the Approval of Law Schools by the American Bar Association. The Administration and the Dean are determined to devote all necessary resources and in other respects to take all necessary steps to present a program of legal education that will qualify for approval by the American Bar Association. Belmont University College of Law makes no representation to any applicant that it will be approved by the American Bar Association prior to the graduation of any matriculating student.
Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar
American Bar Association
321 N. Clark Street, 21st Floor
Chicago, IL 60654