Law Schools

Higher Ed Board Approves Plan for Public Mass. Law School

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Today the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education unanimously approved a plan to merge the unaccredited Southern New England School of Law with the University of Massachusetts.

The vote paves the way for the state’s first public law school, according to the Associated Press, the Herald News of Fall River and South Coast Today (reg. req.).

After the vote, supporters of the law school passed out blue-and-yellow baseball hats with the words UMass Dartmouth Law, according to South Coast Today.

Under the plan, Southern New England School of Law will donate its campus and assets to the University of Massachusetts and become part of its Dartmouth campus. The tuition will be less than $24,000 for in-state students.

University of Massachusetts President Jack Wilson called the vote “a historic moment for public higher education” in the state, according to South Coast Today. “The creation of a public law school means that Massachusetts residents will now have access to an affordable, high-quality legal education,” he said.

The University of Massachusetts expects to receive provisional ABA accreditation for the school by 2011-12, the Herald News says.

Prior coverage: “Lawmaker to Mass. AG: Law Schools May Be Misusing Public Funds to Fight Competitor” “U Mass Prez Backs Plan to Create State’s 1st Public Law School” “U Mass Mulls Possible Acquisition of Donated Private Law School” “Southern New England Law Dean Prepares for Battle over Merger Plan”

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