Concord Law School

Concord Law School
Concord Law School of Kaplan University
Motto The best law school may be the one that comes to you.
Parent school Kaplan University
Established 1998
School type Private On-line Law School
Dean Stephen Burnett (interim)
Location Los Angeles, CA, US
Enrollment 1,850
Faculty 70
Bar pass rate 27% (February 2011 1st time takers)[1]

Concord Law School (formerly known as Concord University School of Law),[2] is an online law school based in Los Angeles, California. It is currently known as Concord Law School of Kaplan University. The school is a subsidiary of the Kaplan Higher Education Corporation. All lecture and study sessions are delivered entirely from a secure website on the Internet.


Accreditation status, State Bar registration, and "Baby Bar" examination

Concord is registered with the Committee of Bar Examiners of the California State Bar as an unaccredited law school. Because of the law school's status as an unaccredited distance learning law school by the State Bar,[3] Concord students must take and pass California's First-year Law Students' Examination (FYLSE), colloquially called the "Baby Bar," after their first year of law study. Students may progress to advanced law courses and eventually sit for California's State Bar Examination once they have passed the Baby Bar.[4][3] Concord Law School has not sought approval by the American Bar Association.[5]

Concord is accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council.[4] It is a member of the International Association of Law Schools[6] and the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.[4]

Merger into Kaplan University

The merger of Concord into Kaplan University in late 2007 made Concord the first online law school to be part of a regionally accredited university.[4][7] As the first-ever Internet law school, the concept of Concord initially drew criticism from the legal establishment including U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.[8]

Degrees offered

Concord offers two Juris Doctor (J.D.) law degrees. The recipients of the regular J.D. degree who pass the California Bar Examination and otherwise meet the California State Bar requirements are admitted to the bar and can practice law in California. Recipients of the Executive Juris Doctor (E.J.D.) are not eligible to take the bar examination without an additional qualifying law degree (L.L.M.). Concord also offers a Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Small Business Practice.

The J.D. program is a 92-unit, four-year program. Students are required to successfully complete at least 22-24 units of coursework between 48 to 52 consecutive weeks each year. Graduates of this program will have met the legal education requirement of the Committee of Bar Examiners, State Bar of California and may apply for admission to the State Bar of California.[9]

The Executive J.D. degree requires a 72-unit, three-year program. It is designed for executives, administrators and professionals in various fields who seek graduate-level training in law but who do not wish to practice.

The Small Business Practice LL.M. is a 24-unit, 2 year program offered part-time. It is designed for practicing attorneys and recent law school graduates who are seeking practical knowledge about the legal issues unique to small businesses.[10]

Bar pass rate

For the years 2003 through February 2011, 725 Concord graduates have taken the California Bar Examination as first-time takers; of that number, 264 passed the examination for a bar pass rate of 36%.[11]

Faculty and alumni

Stephen Burnett is the current interim dean of Concord Law School.[12]

In November 2008, Ross Mitchell, a 2004 Concord graduate sued for and won the right to take the Massachusetts bar exam which is normally open only to Massachusetts or ABA accredited law schools. In a 6-1 decision, the state's Supreme Judicial Court ruled for Ross, citing his excellent law school record and the ability to represent himself and properly present his case.[13][14] Mitchell subsequently passed the Massachusetts bar exam in February 2009.[15]

On March 17, 2008, four former graduates from Concord Law School were admitted to the United States Supreme Court bar.[16]


  1. ^ "General Statistics Report: February 2011 California Bar Examination". California State Bar. July 20, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Concord Law School History". Retrieved 2010-02-02. 
  3. ^ a b Unaccredited (Registered) California Law Schools
  4. ^ a b c d Law School Accreditation
  5. ^ "ABA-Approved Law Schools by Year". ABA website. Retrieved April 1, 2011. 
  6. ^ IALS Member Listing
  7. ^ Concord Law School Merges with Kaplan U., The Chronicle of Higher Education, October 30, 2007
  8. ^ Mintz, Howard (November 15, 1999). "Law school online Establishment skeptical about digital degrees; advocates site independent-study tradition of Abe Lincoln". San Jose Mercury News. Archived from the original on October 6, 2000. 
  9. ^ Concord Law School Catalog
  10. ^ Concord Law School LL.M. Program
  11. ^ Committee of Bar Examiners Bar Examination Statistics
  12. ^ Kaplan University Catalog 2011-2012, page 393
  13. ^ Court win for online law school grad, California Bar Journal, January 2009
  14. ^ Ross E. Mitchell v. Board of Bar Examiners, no. SJC-10157, Supreme Judicial Court, Massachusetts, September 3, 2008
  15. ^ "First Online Law Grad to Make Mass. Lawyer"
  16. ^ "First Concord-Educated Attorneys Admitted to U.S. Supreme Court Bar in Open Court Ceremony."

External links

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