WILLIAMSBURG -- The accreditation hearing by the American Bar Association for the College of William and Mary's Marshall-Wythe School of Law will beheld May 13 in Chicago, it was announced Thursday.

Acting law school Dean Emeric Fischer said the college received word of the hearing by letter from the ABA in Thursday morning's mail.

The hearing will be before the ABA's Legal Council of Education Committee and will discuss W&M's status in its quest to remedy space and library inadequacies claimed last year by ABA consultants, Fischer said.

Fischer added that he and the dean-designate, former Sen. William B. Spong Jr., will represent the college in Chicago. "We're going to be put on the defense," Fischer said. "We're going to be asked about what the inspection team has found."

On the library, the college will be in "good shape," Fischer said, and added he would only hope the committee appreciates the action of the General Assembly regarding a proposed law school building.

He said he did not know how many people from the ABA committee would be at the hearing. "They're not going to decide anything while we're there," Fischer said, adding that he had no idea how long the decision process would take.

Earlier this year it took about six weeks for the same group to tell the college it would not accept the alternatives proposed to solve the space problem. At that time, however,the college supplied information by letter.

If the ABA committee finds W&M is not in compliance with ABA guidelines, Fischer said it could recommend to the House of Delegates of the ABA that "our accreditation be lifted. But there could be an alternative," he added. "They could give us a deadline to rectify the situation."

"But I think we would have to wait until the legislature meets again," he said. Fischer and Spong will report to Dr. Thomas A. Graves Jr., W&M president, and Gov. Mills E. Goodwin Jr., if believed necessary.

Fischer said he would handle the ABA committee's questions regarding the law school library, while Spong, who was in Richmond when the last-day appropriation of $486,150 by the General Assembly was included in the $25 million supplemental building fund package, would answer questions about the law school building.

The General Assembly, in authorizing the funds, also gave Godwin the power to divert other state money to the law school project if it is necessary to preserve the accreditation of the school.

Earlier this month the governor said he believed the ABA would accept the action of the General Assembly.


Wilford Kale

Document Type

News Article

Publication Information

Richmond Times-Dispatch at B-1, B-8 (April 30, 1976)