LAWRENCE – The University of Kansas School of Law was sanctioned recently by a committee of the American Bar Association, Dean of Law Stephen Mazza announced today.
The sanctions involved a procedural error surrounding the January 2012 launch of a master’s of law degree in American legal studies. The law school had an existing master’s program in place at the time it launched the new program. The school mistakenly believed that the new program came within the scope of the existing master’s program and, therefore, did not seek acquiescence from the ABA. The acquiescence process provides the ABA with an opportunity to ensure that secondary degree programs do not interfere with law schools’ approved juris doctor programs.
When the law school understood acquiescence was required, the school informed the ABA, which granted acquiescence and did not raise any questions about the substance or quality of the program.
Neither of the two students who were admitted to the program before the school received official acquiescence was delayed in course work or suffered financial repercussions. One has already graduated with the degree. No other students or programs have been affected by the matter.
The ABA imposed a censure on the law school and a $50,000 fine to be used to further the mission of the ABA committee’s work.
“As a result of this incident, the law school has adopted new procedures to prevent such an error in the future,” Mazza said. “We got ahead of ourselves, and we regret the error.”
The procedures put in place by the law school have been reviewed and accepted by the ABA, and the proceeding has been terminated.