Golden Gate University will cease offering a juris doctor program, though its law school will not shut down altogether and will continue offering non-J.D. degrees, Reuters reported last week.
The move comes as the law school has faced scrutiny from accreditors over recent failures to meet American Bar Association compliance standards, including having at least 75 percent of graduates pass the bar exam within two years. Enrollment challenges also led to financial difficulties, with the law school declaring financial exigency in May as questions swirled about the future of legal education at the San Francisco university, which founded its school of law in 1901.
“We know—and regret—the pain and disruption that will come from ending the ABA-accredited JD program,” university leaders said in a statement. “Given the realities of the marketplace, our Law School’s place in it and a host of related trends and data, we determined it is no longer viable to offer this degree program. To reiterate, reaching this point took months of due diligence and analysis. We have heard from and considered carefully input from stakeholders across the community as well as outside experts on legal education.”
The statement from the president and chair of the Board of Trustees noted that legal education will continue at Golden Gate in the form of “interdisciplinary, cross-University offerings” that will “complement what is happening in our Business School, where we are developing high-demand programs for local, national, and international professionals seeking to advance their careers.”
The law school is initiating a teach-out program for current students in a juris doctor program to complete their studies, but no new students will be admitted in the J.D. degree program at GGU.