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Dear Future Lincoln Law School Student:

For more than 100 years, Lincoln Law School of San Jose’s top priority has been to deliver high-quality legal education to our community through affordable evening classes.

What makes Lincoln unique is that our professors are working lawyers and judges, who provide students like you with both academic and real-world experiences. Our faculty and staff consistently earn high ratings from students and accreditors alike for their practical legal knowledge and accessibility to students.

Lincoln is so highly regarded that it is the only non-ABA school to have been chosen by the United States Patent and Trademark Office to run the only pro-bono Patent and Trademark Clinic in Northern California. Our Clinic Director, Britten Sessions, is ranked as one of the Top 300 Intellectual Property Strategists in the world.

2020 challenged us.

As a nation, we faced unexpected health concerns, political unrest, and economic uncertainty.

At Lincoln, our faculty transformed their in-person teachings to online classes (not an easy task!). Our administrative staff worked behind-the-scenes to keep everything moving forward. Our students transitioned to a new way of working and studying from home, spending more time with their spouses and families than ever before (and it wasn’t always quiet time!).

The California State Bar delayed the bar exam several times and changed the exam format from in-person to a new online format with fewer questions. In the midst of these challenges, our recent graduates struggled to adapt. As a result, Lincoln, along with two other schools, has been placed on probation by the Committee of Bar Examiners until our bar pass rate increases.

The State Bar has asked us to make sure our incoming students have had an opportunity to review the following language:

“This law school has been placed on probation by its accreditor, The State Bar of California, through its Committee of Bar Examiners, due to reporting a five-year cumulative bar exam pass rate (MPR) of 30.9 for 2020, when a minimum of 40 percent is required under Rule 4.160(N); the law school must raise this MPR to 40 percent or more by July 1, 2022 or the law school’s accreditation may be terminated. See current MPR statistics for all accredited law schools on the State Bar’s website.”

What does this mean for you?

If you are as action-minded as most of our applicants, this is surprisingly good news. Necessity is the mother of invention, and the Lincoln community aren’t people who take missing goals lightly. So, you are about to become the beneficiary of a fully revamped Bar Review curriculum, in an environment where the entire Lincoln community is focused on the continued success of our students.

There is no danger that we will lose our accreditation this year. The State Bar has given us until July of 2022 to correct the problem; and with this kind of laser focus, we won’t need nearly that long.

If all goes as expected, the probation designation will be removed by the end of this year when the July 2021 Bar Exam results are released. It is possible that the problem could even be corrected as early as May 2021, just about the time when Summer classes are starting.

Thus, if you are applying for the Summer 2021 or Fall 2021 cohorts, this temporary status will likely have no effect on you. Students who complete their first full year at Lincoln before July of 2022 (which our Summer and Fall 2021 cohorts will do if they pass the courses assigned in the curriculum) will continue on to graduation and take the Bar Exam without interruption.

The worst case scenario would be that Lincoln cannot correct the problem, and in July of 2022 it becomes a Registered school, instead of an Accredited school. That would mean students starting in Fall of 2022 (next year’s class) would have to take the First Year Law Students’ Examination before they can receive credit for the second and subsequent year studies.

If the matter remains uncorrected prior to 2025, your class could graduate from a registered, rather than an accredited school. Again, that’s not going to affect your ability to take the Bar Exam or be a lawyer. It’s just something the State Bar wants you to know.

Lincoln only needed to have 11 of its alumni pass the Bar Exam in the four administrations between July 2020 and February of 2022, and 5 already passed on the first administration, so we’re pretty confident we’ll have put this issue in our rear view mirror pretty quickly. We’ll be keeping the Lincoln community (including you) posted on our continued progress.

What is Lincoln Law School doing about this?

As noted above, this is currently our highest priority. We are individually preparing our students and alumni to pass the February and July 2021 bar exams and integrating some of these bar prep techniques across the entire J.D. curriculum. We are excited to see our individualized focus is working, with multiple choice scores as high as 90% for some of the alumni who are preparing for the February exam.

We are enhancing your educational experiences with more Personalized Learning.

What you can look forward to:

Strategy 1 – Bar Review Curriculum. Lincoln has engaged a new Director of Bar Services and a former bar grader to identify each student’s strengths and weaknesses, and train each student to excel in the newly formatted bar exam.

Strategy 2 – Frequent Progress Checkpoints. Unlike traditional law school where students get a grade from a single end-of-year exam, Lincoln faculty will provide continuous assessments throughout the semester to let the students know their current progress relative to the bar exam standards, so they can make adjustments quickly.

Strategy 3 – Personalized Student Training. Each individual student’s progress will be closely monitored over time through assignments, essays, and multiple choice assessments. Students will be offered additional academic support and tutoring as needed. You will never feel like “just a number” at Lincoln. Our Dean and faculty know your name! We will make sure that each of you excels academically throughout your law education.

How will this benefit you?

You will receive a high-quality education with Lincoln’s world-class faculty, many of whom are currently practicing at innovative companies and law firms in the heart of Silicon Valley. You will be prepared both academically and professionally.

At Lincoln, you will be supported individually to achieve your personal goals. You will be part of a unique cohort of legal professionals from diverse backgrounds, who want to make impactful contributions in their communities.

This is a time for Hope. A time for Inspiration. A time for Action.

We have been around for more than 100 years. We are strong, brave, and resilient. We are inspired by students like you. Students who want to lead a purposeful life and represent their communities. YOU are the voices of the future.

We welcome you into our community. If you’d like to ask questions and talk 1-on-1 with our admissions team, contact us here or call (408) 977-7227. It’s an exciting time to be at Lincoln.

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