Southern University Law Center and the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar
Southern University Law Center (Law Center) is and has been accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar Council since 1953. The Council is the national accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education for programs leading to the juris doctor (JD) degree. Most state Supreme Courts, including Louisiana, require persons sitting for the Bar examination to have graduated from an ABA-approved law school. The ABA accreditation process involves monitoring of the Law Center through an Annual Questionnaire and periodic, usually every seven years, site evaluations. Prior to a site evaluation, the Law Center submits to the ABA Accreditation Committee a Self Study, which is a detailed self assessment of the Law Center’s programs and information about the Law Center’s compliance with ABA Standards. ABA Standards for accreditation, together with the Law Center’s mission of providing a high quality legal education to “a diverse group of students from underrepresented racial, ethnic, and socio-economic groups, motivate the Law Center to continuously improve and enhance the program of education.
The Law Center engages in ongoing integrated, research-based planning and evaluation of its programs and services. The Law Center demonstrates its commitment to its planning and evaluation processes through the development of Annual Unit Plans for its programs and services. The planning and evaluation processes incorporate a systematic review of the Law Center’s program of legal education and services resulting in continuous improvement designed to help the Law Center effectively accomplish its mission.
Institutional effectiveness at the Law Center is a systematic and documented process of planning, assessment evaluation, and budgeting at institution, unit, and program levels. Through the institutional effectiveness process, the Law Center aligns organizational activities with the Law Center's mission, establishes performance targets, conducts assessments, and uses data to provide substantive information for both strategic and operational decision making.
Institutional effectiveness is a cyclical process directly impacted by environmental factors such as Louisiana Legislative Act 1465, accreditation requirements, and the need for the Law Center to engage in constant continuous improvement processes. Louisiana Legislative Act 1465 encourages accountability and fiscal responsibility through formula-based budgeting. Accreditation requirements encourage the Law Center to measure its performance and activities in alignment with peer institutions, and the Law Center is encouraged to engage in constant continuous improvement processes to continue to be able to accomplish its mission and strategic goals.
Planning and evaluation are guided by standards and goals determined by the Law Center. The Law Center's strategic goals are related to individual unit plans as well as its mission statement. All units, both academic and non-academic, identify and evaluate ideal future outcomes and measure whether these outcomes have been met. The Law Center has engaged in a strategic planning process to produce a five-year strategic plan that is driven by the Law Center’s mission.
For information about the ABA law school accreditation process, visit the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar webpage at: