NOTE: Publication for public comment is not, and shall not, be construed as a
recommendation or approval by the Board of Trustees of the materials published
In March 2015, the State Bar of California Board of Trustees approved the adoption of proposed amendments to Rule 4.160(H) and 4.165(B) of the Accredited Law School Rules (Rules) that clarify the requirements for branch and satellite campuses of California-accredited law schools (CALS), which were proposed by the Committee of Bar Examiners.
Amendments to the Guidelines for Accredited Law School Rules (Guidelines) were also approved by the Committee to further define that a branch campus in any new location where a CALS offers students more than fifty percent of its J.D. curriculum, or the curriculum of any other law degree it is authorized to award. A branch campus must have its own qualified administrator, although the same Dean may be the same, and must operate as an independently-accredited campus.
Under the amended Rules and Guidelines, a satellite campus is defined as any new location where a CALS intends to offer no more than 50% of its J.D. curriculum or the curriculum of any other law degree it is authorized to offer.
Currently there is no additional annual fee charged to CALS that have branch or satellite campuses, although time is spent reviewing information about those campuses in a law school’s annual compliance report.
Following the adoption of Rules and Guidelines that clarify the requirements for branch and satellite campuses, the matter of the lack of an annual compliance fee for those schools with branch (and satellite) campuses has surfaced. Under the new rules, CALS with branch campuses will be treated as one institution and be required to pay the same fees as any other CALS without branch campuses.
Averaging the amount of time spent reading the associated materials by the educational standards department and using the fixed fee amount, the following proposed amendments to Rule 4.161 of the Rules and the insertion of new language into the State Bar of California Appendix A: Schedule of Charges and Deadlines Title 4, Division 2 Accredited Law School Fees were adopted in principle by the Committee, subject to the approval of the Board of Trustees:
(A) A law school subject to these rules must submit an Annual Compliance Report using the form prescribed by the Committee. The deadline and fee for submission of the report are set forth in the Schedule of Charges and Deadlines.
(B) A law school with an approved branch or satellite campus must submit an annual fee for each additional campus as set forth in the Schedule of Charges and Deadlines.
Currently, there are five CALS with branch campuses and one school with a satellite campus, which would result in $5,800 in annual revenue if the amendments and fees are ultimately adopted. Two of the schools, however, had been paying the $1,650 fee for each campus for a total of $3,300 and are now paying less ($2,650). The net anticipated additional income is $4,500 annually.
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