ABA approval and accreditation
The University of Denver Sturm College of Law is approved by the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar of the American Bar Association, 321 North Clark Street, Chicago, Illinois 60654, (312) 988-6738. Founded in 1892, our law school was first accredited by the ABA in 1923. See the Official Guide to ABA Approved Law Schools here.
What does it mean for a law school to be "ABA-approved"?
All jurisdictions (Colorado is one example) set minimal educational requirements a person must meet to be eligible to sit for the bar examination. For all jurisdictions, graduation from an ABA-approved law school meets the jurisdiction's legal education requirement for bar-eligibility. Denver Law is ABA-approved.
Accreditation--to determine whether a law school is "ABA-approved"--is a task undertaken by the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar (the Council). Consistent with U.S. Department of Education rules that govern accreditation of professional programs, the Council establishes the ABA Standards and Rules of Procedure for Approval of Law Schools (ABA Standards). See ABA Standards here.
How does a law school maintain ABA approval?
Each year, our law school completes and submits the ABA Annual Questionnaire. Questionnaire items are tied to ABA Standards. The items inquire about policies and practices relating to academics, admissions, students affairs, etc., and also ask the law school to account for employment statistics, diversity efforts and more.
Every seven years (that period will soon change to ten years) the law school undergoes a Site Visit. First, a more intense and detailed set of questions about law school policies and practices, called the Self Study, are answered. Next, an ABA Site Visit team spends three days at the law school going over evidence that supports the answers given to the Self Study questions. As part of this process, Site Visit members meet and speak with faculty, administrators, staff and students. Denver Law's next ABA Site Visit occurs in November, 2018.
A law school maintains ABA approval by successfully responding to inquiries on the Annual Questionnaires and the Self Study, successfully meeting ABA Standards in the eyes of the ABA Site Visit team, and successfully responding to issues that arise from the Annual Questionnaires and Site Visits.