Legislation & Lobbying

U Mass Prez Backs Plan to Create State's 1st Public Law School

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The president of the University of Massachusetts announced today that he will support a proposal to establish the state’s first public law school under the U Mass banner.

Under the plan, Southern New England School of Law, which is not accredited by the American Bar Association, would donate its campus and assets to the university and become part of its Dartmouth campus. Although critics contend that the move would amount to a taxpayer-funded bailout of the struggling law school, President Jack Wilson says he expects it to bring in a growing cash balance that could hit $10 million within a decade, reports the Metro Desk blog of the Boston Globe.

The university expects the law school’s student body to grow from 278 this 2010 to 559 students in by 2018, according to Jean MacCormack, who serves as chancellor of the Dartmouth campus. It would seek ABA accreditation by 2011-2012, Wilson says.

Before it is final, the plan must be approved by the university’s board of trustees and, if they agree, by the state Board of Higher Education.

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “U Mass Mulls Possible Acquisition of Donated Private Law School”

ABAJournal.com: “Southern New England Law Dean Prepares for Battle over Merger Plan”

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