Valparaiso Law School has indicated it plans to remain open through the 2019-2020 academic year to teach-out the last class of students slated to graduate from the 139-year-old institution.
The northwest Indiana law school announced in October 2018 it would be ceasing operations, after nearly a year of searching for an alternative way to stay open. Less than 100 students are currently enrolled at the law school.
At the time of the closure announcement, Valparaiso University President Mark Heckler said the school was exploring the options for the current second-year students who will graduate in 2020. One possibility was to have the students attend another law school for their final year of study, then transfer the credits back to Valparaiso, which would award the J.D. degree.
Now, apparently, the university has submitted a teach-out plan to the American Bar Association that includes having the law school teach all the remaining students.
“Valparaiso University has submitted plans to the American Bar Association and the Higher Learning Commission that detail the University’s intention to continue to teach in Valparaiso, Indiana, next year the currently enrolled law students who have not yet completed their J.D. degrees,” said Nicole Niemi, university spokeswoman. “The University is currently working with these accrediting agencies toward final approval of its plans.”
The ABA requires all accredited law schools which have decided to close to submit a written plan for how it will provide for the education of the remaining students. According to a May 2017 memo from the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, teach-out plans are confidential.