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There is a total of 205 educational institutions that are approved by the American Bar Association or the ABA.
Of these, 204 confer the first degree in law or what is known as the J.D. degree.
The U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s School that offers an officer’s resident graduate course – a special law degree program – completes the list.
The ABA is a professional association composed of lawyers and law students.
The organization is responsible for setting the academic standards for law schools as well as formulating model ethical codes for lawyers.
Eligible to take the bar
The graduates of the schools approved by the ABA are eligible to take the bar exams in any state.
There are bar examiners and individual state legislatures that offer a separate accreditation system than the ABA.
An example of such an institution is the State Bar of California. Schools in California that are not accredited by the ABA can receive accreditation from this institution.
Another institution that accredits law schools is the California State Bar. Schools accredited by this institution are recognized by the California Committee of Bar Examiners or the CBE.
The CBE also allows schools that are unaccredited or unregistered to operate.
Graduates of these schools are also eligible to take the California Bar Examination.
Online law schools
Correspondence and online law schools are not accredited by the ABA or by state bar examiners.
This means that graduates of these schools are not eligible to take the bar exams. There are a dozen correspondence and online schools however that are registered under the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar of California.
So if you want to study online, you should make sure that you enroll in one of these schools if you want to practice law in the future.
However, graduates of these correspondence and online schools can only sit for the California Bar Examination and in selected states.
How many law schools are there in the United States?
If you want to become a lawyer in the future and practice in the US, then you should make sure that you study in a school that is accredited by the ABA or other authorized institutions.
Studying law requires a significant investment in terms of time and money.