ABA-approved law schools are accredited by the American Bar Association based on its standards of what makes a quality law school.
In many states, you must graduate from an ABA-approved law school in order to take the bar exam. However, some states allow you to attend non-ABA schools and still take the bar exam.
I interviewed a graduate of a non-ABA school about her experience, decisions, and her career in family law in my blog post “Attending a Non-ABA School.”
Benefits of attending a non-ABA school:
1. Flexible schedule;
2. Lower cost, maybe even half of what a degree from an ABA-approved law school will cost you;
3. Ties in local community;
4. Smaller class sizes; and
5. Classes taught by practicing attorneys.
Things to watch out for when choosing a non-ABA approved school:
1. Low bar passage rates;
2. The number of people who actually end up completing the degree;
3. Quality of instruction;
4. Availability of courses in areas of law you hope to explore; and
5. Snobbism in hiring: “The Pedigree Problem: Are Law School Ties Choking the Profession?“