Dallas, Texas (August 14, 2017)--The UNT Dallas College of Law celebrated its ABA accreditation with a reception Monday, August 14, 2017 on the first floor of the College of Law building in downtown Dallas.

Twenty-one of the College’s first graduates led a celebratory champagne toast following remarks from Dr. Betty Stewart, provost and senior vice president of academic affairs at UNT Dallas; Royal Furgeson, Dean of the UNT Dallas College of Law; and UNT System Chancellor Lee Jackson.

“Thank you for attending this truly historic occasion, and thank you to our students for trusting in your dean, and believing in the process that has brought us to today,” Stewart said. “Our university serves to provide pathways to social mobility through higher education. That is why our College of Law and the students we serve are different. This accreditation validates our approach to legal education.”

The UNT Dallas College of Law earned provisional approval for accreditation from the American Bar Association. The ABA Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admission to the Bar announced its decision following a positive recommendation from the ABA Accreditation Committee and a review of documents and testimony provided by the College of Law’s leadership on June 3, 2017.

As is the case for all new law schools, UNT Dallas College of Law opened its doors as an unaccredited college in 2014. Once its first students enrolled and began classes, the College of Law worked closely with the ABA to reach this historic milestone. 

 “There were days when we wondered if this would work, but I always knew in my heart that we would be accredited,” Furgeson said. “The biggest question was whether we would be accredited by the time our first students graduated-and we did it! Our model for legal education needs to be out there as an example. Today, the UNT Dallas College of Law is the third most diverse law school in the nation, and we are diverse not only in nationality, but in age and background. We also are one of the top 20 most innovative law schools in the country, and we are affordable. We are showing the world you don’t have to graduate with $100,000 in student debt to be a lawyer. This is a law school you can be proud of, with students of strong character who stand for what is good. The best is yet to come.”

Chancellor Jackson closed out the evening thanking those that made this law school possible, including State Senator Royce West and Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick who shared Jackson’s vision for bringing a great, and different, law school to Dallas.

“Thanks to all of you who have helped this law school get started,” Jackson said. “To our students, we are proud to be a part of the law school that you are creating. This is your legacy.”