An online law school graduate who sued the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts for the opportunity to take that state's bar examination is now a newly minted Massachusetts lawyer.
Ross E. Mitchell is the first Massachusetts lawyer with an exclusively online legal education. Last November, Mitchell won his case against the state's Board of Bar Examiners, which denied his bid to bypass a requirement that U.S.-trained applicants be graduates of an American Bar Association-accredited law school.
The court allowed Mitchell to sit for the bar because the ABA is mulling changes to its accreditation standards. Last September, the ABA launched a comprehensive review of its standards for the approval of law schools. Currently, ABA-approved schools can only allow graduates to take up to 12 credit hours of classes online.
Mitchell, who was a pro se litigant in his Supreme Judicial Court case, graduated from Concord Law School. Mitchell has also passed the California general bar examination and the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination, and he was admitted to practice before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit.