Tom Methvin, the managing shareholder with our firm, is well into his term as State Bar President. Tom, who has been a most active president, is working hard in a number of important areas. Thus far, Tom has made 17 appearances at meetings of bar groups and at other functions around the state. The following is his monthly message.
Congratulations to Faulkner University’s Thomas Goode Jones School of Law on its recent full accreditation. The school announced in December that it has been granted full approval by the American Bar Association (ABA) Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions as an accredited institution of legal education.
This designation makes Jones the third accredited law school in Alabama and is a significant milestone. Dean Charles Nelson, Jones staff, instructors and students should be very proud. Full accreditation means Jones graduates are eligible to sit for the bar exam in any state. Jones School of Law received congratulations from Alabama Gov. Bob Riley and Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb, among others.
“I personally recognize the influence that Jones’ alumni, administrative staff and faculty members have had on our legal community, and I am grateful to them for their continued support,” Chief Justice Cobb said. “The recognition that this achievement will bring to our state at a national level is certain to reap benefits to our citizens.”
According to school history, Montgomery County Circuit Judge Walter B. Jones founded the Law School in 1928 at the request of several young men and women who wanted to pursue a legal education but could not afford to give up their employment to attend a traditional law school. It was originally owned and operated by Judge Jones as a proprietary educational institution, and he served as president, dean and faculty member until his death in 1963.
In 1972 the University of Alabama acquired the School of Law from Judge Jones’ heir and transferred the institution’s assets to a non-profit corporation, Jones Law Institute. In 1983, Alabama Christian College (now Faulkner University) purchased the School of Law and moved it to the Faulkner campus, where it has grown by leaps and bounds.
Jones is consistently recognized as an outstanding choice for the pursuit of a law degree. The National Jurist magazine has ranked Jones School of Law as one of its Best Value Law Schools, and The Princeton Review included the school in its Best 172 Law Schools list for 2010. In 2009, Jones boasted an 89.4% pass rate for first-time bar takers, surpassing the overall rate for the state, which was 77.3%. The Law School also boasts a nationally prominent advocacy program whose teams are winning trial advocacy and moot court competitions across the country.
Jones Law School recently welcomed its Class of 2012. The class is comprised of 150 students from 22 states. Out-of-state students make up 50% of the entering class. “This achievement is the result of the hard work of many people who took this as a goal and pursued it,” said Dean Nelson. “To all who played such a significant role in our development over the past five years, I want to extend our heartfelt thanks and our congratulations for a job well done. And, as in all things, to God be the glory.”
I’d like to add my congratulations, also, on behalf of the Alabama State Bar, on this momentous achievement. We are proud of all who helped to make it possible, and look forward to many years of success and continued achievement from Jones Law School and its graduates. Thank you for your continued dedication to excellence in the practice of law.
State Bar President
April 2, 2010
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