You're a small, accredited California night law school whose market is primarily working adults from low-to-moderate income groups, about a third from underrepresented ethnic and racial groups. The California Committee of Bar Examiners has just passed a new rule that you think jeopardizes your accreditation (it requires an average bar passage rate of at least 40 percent over a five-year period to maintain accreditation). What are you going to do? Sue. From the complaint filed in federal court against 22 members and former members of the Committee of Bar Examiners, individually and in their official capacity:
The new standard is a wooden test that fails to take into account the school's mission, the nature of its student body, the quality of its faculty and academic program, its efforts to maximize students' chances of success on the bar exam, or other factors considered historically during the re-accreditation process. To make matters worse, the new test is applied retroactively. The test requires the calculation to be made over a retrospective five-year period, condemning any school with less than a 40 percent rate in some or all years predating 2013 to the negative impact of the lower rates on its overall average. Schools that do not meet the requirement when they file their yearly reports in 2013 will receive a notification of non-compliance which badly tarnishes a school's reputation. Beginning in 2016, schools that fall below the minimum cumulative bar examination pass rate will be placed on probation and could ultimately lose their accreditation if they do not comply with the requirements by the end of 2017.