Indiana Tech Law School hurries up and waits for ABA approval

Indiana’s newest law school has entered the long waiting period that comes with the accreditation process.

Indiana Tech Law School, which opened in August 2013 in Fort Wayne, is applying for accreditation from the American Bar Association. Without approval from the ABA, its graduates would not be able to sit for most states’ bar exams.

The school must get provisional accreditation before becoming fully accredited. As part of the provisional step, Indiana Tech Law School’s faculty and administration submitted eight volumes of documents to the ABA which included a self-study along with details of the school’s legal education program, the facility, budget and faculty.

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From Sept. 14 through 17, an ABA site team visited the school. The six-member team sat in on classes and met individually with each faculty member as well as Indiana Tech’s president, Arthur Snyder, and the board of trustees.

“It’s an intense process,” the law school’s Interim Dean andré douglas pond cummings said. “It isn’t onerous, just intense.”

The site team has eight weeks to write a report, offering no opinions but only stating the facts gleaned from the visit. Both the ABA and cummings will be able to review a draft of the report to ensure all the topics are covered and to correct any errors.

Then the report is given to the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar’s accreditation committee which will decide whether the school qualifies for provisional approval.

“I believe that we made a very strong case for substantial compliance with the ABA standards,” cummings said. “That’s been our goal since we opened the doors.”

Indiana Tech Law School’s application is on the accreditation committee’s April 2015 agenda. At that time, the committee is scheduled to vote and make a recommendation to the Council of the Legal Education Section, which will make the final decision.

“We’re just going to continue to do what we’re doing,” cummings said of the long wait until April. “We feel good about our program of legal education and feel good about the students.”•

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