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Furman Official Says Talk of New S.C. Law School Is Urban Legend

Posted Jan 7, 2010 8:26 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Furman University officials say the hire of a leading law dean as its new president doesn’t signal an intention to form a third law school in South Carolina.

Furman’s new president, Rodney Smolla, was dean of Washington & Lee University’s law school, where he led an innovative program that pushes 3Ls outside the classroom to learn about in-the-trenches legal practice.

Furman board chairman Kathy McKinney told GreenvilleOnline.com that the idea of a new law school has never been discussed in long-range planning sessions during her eight years on the board.

Any talk of Furman forming a law school is “pure speculation,” she told the publication, and would fall squarely into the realm of “urban legends.”

The state’s two other law schools have seen increased interest, according to the story. The University of South Carolina School of Law received 2,068 applications last year for 225 seats. The Charleston School of Law had 1,790 applications for full-time and part-time programs, and enrolled 662 full- and part-time students.

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