Law school gets provisional approval

Less than two years after it opened, Charlotte School of Law has received provisional approval from the American Bar Association, officials announced Monday.

The designation means graduates can take the bar exam in any state – and means the school is a step closer to full approval.

“This is a significant milestone for the school,” said Renee Hill, associate dean for academics. “It has been a true journey.”

The provisional approval, also granted to Elon University's law school this week, also renders a law school eligible for federal student loan assistance and allows it to participate in admissions recruiting events with other ABA-approved schools.

If the Charlotte and Elon schools get full approval in coming years, they would be the sixth and seventh such law schools in the state, joining UNC Chapel Hill, N.C. Central, Campbell, Duke and Wake Forest universities.

During the accreditation process, a bar association panel reviewed the Charlotte school's curriculum, facilities, admissions, staff and other factors, Hill said. In two years, the school may apply for full approval, she said.

The private Charlotte School of Law, located on East Morehead Street, opened in August 2006 and will graduate its first class next May. It has nearly 180 students from 17 states and has received applications from all 50 states, officials said.

The school will move to a new site near Wilkinson Boulevard and Interstate 77 in early August, Hill said. The 75,000-square-foot site will include nine classrooms and a courtroom. The new building has 25,000 additional square feet that the school can expand into in the future, she said.