Charleston Law back into accreditation standard

The Council on Legal Education and Admission to the Bar of the American Bar Association (ABA), the accreditor of law schools in the United States, found that Charleston School of Law was back into compliance with a critical accreditation standard related to the bar exam. The ABA requires accredited law schools to post bar passage rates of at least 75 percent within two years of a class’ graduation.

Dean Larry Cunningham recently informed the Council that graduates of the Charleston School of Law Class of 2019 have already achieved a pass rate of 80 percent, with a full year to go before final numbers are reported for that cohort.

The Council’s finding removes last year’s determination of non-compliance based on the bar passage results of the Class of 2017, which fell short of the minimum standard by one graduate.

“Passing the bar exam is an important outcome for students, the Law School, and the ABA,” said Dean Cunningham. “Coming back into compliance with the ABA standard for bar passage is welcome news. Improving bar exam rates reflect the Law School’s deep commitment to student success. Increasing admissions standards, a rigorous assessment program, science-backed teaching and learning techniques, and comprehensive bar exam support are key aspects of our strategy.”

Dean Cunningham noted, however, that the Law School will continue its efforts in this area. “While we are glad to be back in compliance with the ABA standards, we will not take our foot off the gas pedal until every graduate passes the bar.”

Charleston School of Law’s entering class from the Fall of 2020 were the highest credentialed in nearly a decade. Through the Law School’s pro bono requirement, students have given back over half a million hours of law-related service to the local community. Throughout their time at the Law School, students are taught by a nationally ranked faculty with deep expertise in teaching and learning. The Princeton Review recently recognized the Law School as second in the country in faculty accessibility, number 14 in interesting professors, and number 8 in greatest resources for women. Charleston School of Law is one of only two law schools in South Carolina. It was founded in 2003 with a mission of public service.

“We are all proud of the upward trajectory of the Law School,” Dean Cunningham said. “We look forward to continued success for our graduates as they serve the community through the legal profession.”


The Charleston School of Law is an ABA-accredited law school nationally recognized for its student-centric culture. Our faculty and staff are committed to preparing you for success both in the classroom and in the legal profession.

  • The Princeton Review ranks Charleston School of Law professors second in the country for faculty accessibility (2021)

  • Charleston School of Law faculty ranked among the top of The Princeton Review’s list of Best Professors in the nation (2016-2018)

  • Experiential Learning: Charleston School of Law students have access to about more than 150 externship sites, creating opportunities for experiential learning in the legal field.

  • Community Service: Charleston School of Law students have performed more than 241,000 community service hours (2004-current).

  • Students have won the National Tax Moot Court Championship for seven consecutive years (2012-2018)