U Mass Mulls Possible Acquisition of Donated Private Law School
Posted Oct 14, 2009 6:29 PM CDT
By Martha Neil
The University of Massachusetts is mulling over a possible plan to acquire the Southern New England School of Law, potentially creating the state's first public law school and giving the law school, which is not accredited by the American Bar Association, a higher profile.
The 235-student private law school, which is located in Dartmouth, has offered in a letter to the U Mass president to donate its campus and assets, in an offer valued at about $22.6 million, reports the Metro Desk blog of the Boston Globe.
"We agreed to take this unusual step as we are persuaded that the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth ... has the leadership commitment and management experience, particularly in the area of accreditation, to responsibly shepherd the establishment of a public law school program," writes Margaret Xifaras, who chairs the Board of Trustees at Southern New England School of Law.
While the U Mass president, Jack Wilson, hasn't yet said he will support the idea, he has asked officials at the university's Dartmouth campus to review academic, financial and legal issues and come up with a proposal by next month, the newspaper reports.
A similar plan in 2005 ignited bitter opposition from two private Boston law schools that are accredited by the ABA, the New England School of Law and Suffolk University Law School.