New Public Law School to Open in Massachusetts (NLJ)

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gatorlion
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New Public Law School to Open in Massachusetts (NLJ)

Postby gatorlion » Wed Feb 03, 2010 12:07 pm

New public law school at U. Mass. Dartmouth approved

Sheri Qualters

February 2, 2010

The Massachusetts Board of Higher Education voted on Feb. 2 to approve the state's first public law school at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth despite the vociferous objections of three private law schools throughout the process.

All 10 board members who attended the meeting voted for the school, said Richard Freeland, the state's commissioner of higher education.

The vote means that the University of Massachusetts will accept the Southern New England School of Law's offer to give the public university system its building and assets. Freeland said Southern New England "has made it clear" that if the University of Massachusetts accepts its offer, it will file papers with the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education to close the school.

Without public universities, "talented individuals from low and moderate income levels would not have access to education of a wide variety of kinds and the Commonwealth would be denied the benefit of their contributions," Freeland said. "It's the same argument for the law school."

Freeland noted that the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, which opened in 1962 and is one of "the top public medical schools in the country," also attracted opposition during the planning stages because the state has several noted private medical schools.

"Public higher education is premised on the notion, all over the country, that it is in the public interest to support talent from all income levels to get them educated so they can contribute to society," Freeland said.

The board anticipates charging in-state law students $23,565 in tuition during the school's first year, which is much less than tuition rates at most of the state's law schools. The board expects to charge out-of-state students $31,209 during its first year.

Curriculum focuses will include civil and human rights, legal support for businesses, community law and economic justice.

Three private law schools — which would potentially compete with the new public law school for some of the same students — opposed the public law school throughout the several-month process: Suffolk University Law School in Boston, New England Law | Boston and Western New England College School of Law in Springfield.

The schools argued that a public law school would burden taxpayers and add too many lawyers to the state's bar.

In a statement, Dean John O'Brien of New England Law |Boston said the school is disappointed in the board's "rushed action on such a major acquisition which will require tens of millions of dollars in subsidies from the state and other parts of the UMass system."

"Our legitimate criticisms of the shaky finances of this proposal were [borne out] in the last two days as [University of Massachusetts] President [Jack] Wilson was forced to admit that they'll likely be required to use other university, state, and federal funds to subsidize the law school," stated O'Brien. "It is telling that the [board] gave no explanation for reversing its 2005 conclusion that there is no need for another law school in Massachusetts."

Massachusetts Department of Higher Education spokeswoman Sarah Mealey, who fielded questions about the board meeting, said in an interview that "the law school will not require any additional state appropriation to function."

"U. Mass. Dartmouth has the resources on campus to fund this law school," Mealy said. "That will be primarily through the revenue from fees. They also have other funds available should they be needed. This is not going to require any new additional state or university appropriation."

In a statement, Western New England's dean, Art Gaudio, said the school will follow the progress of the University of Massachusetts law school "in its desire to bring the Southern New England School of Law program up to [American Bar Association] standards for quality and to achieve ABA accreditation."

"We trust that they will remain true to [University of Massachusetts Dartmouth] Chancellor [Jean] MacCormack's pledge not to use taxpayer money to fund the operation of the law school," stated Gaudio.

In an e-mailed statement from Suffolk University Law School, spokesman Greg Gatlin stated that "if the public law school will truly not cost the Commonwealth any of its scarce taxpayer dollars, then it could be a good idea."

"If it costs the taxpayers the tens of millions of dollars that experts suggest, it is simply the wrong time," he said.

tram988
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Re: New Public Law School to Open in Massachusetts (NLJ)

Postby tram988 » Wed Feb 03, 2010 12:09 pm

Don't even get me started lol. UConn gives MA residents in-state tuition.

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puppleberry finn
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Re: New Public Law School to Open in Massachusetts (NLJ)

Postby puppleberry finn » Wed Feb 03, 2010 12:10 pm

tram988 wrote:Don't even get me started lol. UConn gives MA residents in-state tuition.


no, they don't.

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ATOIsp07
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Re: New Public Law School to Open in Massachusetts (NLJ)

Postby ATOIsp07 » Wed Feb 03, 2010 12:14 pm

As a Massachusetts resident, I can only say that this a definitely a step in the right direction. Though it may never compete with Harvarad, BU or BC, maybe with monitored and steady development and $$$, UMass Dartmouth Law can become a solid T2/lower T1 university in a few years' time (and leap-frog Northeastern in the process). And you gotta love it's first-year tuition!

Maybe then, New England Boston, Suffolk & WNEC will be put in their place and exposed for their actual lack of quality.

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ATOIsp07
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Re: New Public Law School to Open in Massachusetts (NLJ)

Postby ATOIsp07 » Wed Feb 03, 2010 12:15 pm

puppins wrote:
tram988 wrote:Don't even get me started lol. UConn gives MA residents in-state tuition.


no, they don't.



it's not necessarily in-state tuition BUT MA residents get a New England discount, which makes the price similar to its in-state tuition. UConn is a great option for Boston applicants. Hell, I might have to apply there now :mrgreen:

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monkeyboy
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Re: New Public Law School to Open in Massachusetts (NLJ)

Postby monkeyboy » Wed Feb 03, 2010 12:17 pm

gatorlion wrote:New public law school at U. Mass. Dartmouth approved

Sheri Qualters

February 2, 2010

The Massachusetts Board of Higher Education voted on Feb. 2 to approve the state's first public law school at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth despite the vociferous objections of three private law schools throughout the process.

All 10 board members who attended the meeting voted for the school, said Richard Freeland, the state's commissioner of higher education.

The vote means that the University of Massachusetts will accept the Southern New England School of Law's offer to give the public university system its building and assets. Freeland said Southern New England "has made it clear" that if the University of Massachusetts accepts its offer, it will file papers with the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education to close the school.

Without public universities, "talented individuals from low and moderate income levels would not have access to education of a wide variety of kinds and the Commonwealth would be denied the benefit of their contributions," Freeland said. "It's the same argument for the law school."

Freeland noted that the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, which opened in 1962 and is one of "the top public medical schools in the country," also attracted opposition during the planning stages because the state has several noted private medical schools.

"Public higher education is premised on the notion, all over the country, that it is in the public interest to support talent from all income levels to get them educated so they can contribute to society," Freeland said.

The board anticipates charging in-state law students $23,565 in tuition during the school's first year, which is much less than tuition rates at most of the state's law schools. The board expects to charge out-of-state students $31,209 during its first year.

Curriculum focuses will include civil and human rights, legal support for businesses, community law and economic justice.

Three private law schools — which would potentially compete with the new public law school for some of the same students — opposed the public law school throughout the several-month process: Suffolk University Law School in Boston, New England Law | Boston and Western New England College School of Law in Springfield.

The schools argued that a public law school would burden taxpayers and add too many lawyers to the state's bar.

In a statement, Dean John O'Brien of New England Law |Boston said the school is disappointed in the board's "rushed action on such a major acquisition which will require tens of millions of dollars in subsidies from the state and other parts of the UMass system."

"Our legitimate criticisms of the shaky finances of this proposal were [borne out] in the last two days as [University of Massachusetts] President [Jack] Wilson was forced to admit that they'll likely be required to use other university, state, and federal funds to subsidize the law school," stated O'Brien. "It is telling that the [board] gave no explanation for reversing its 2005 conclusion that there is no need for another law school in Massachusetts."

Massachusetts Department of Higher Education spokeswoman Sarah Mealey, who fielded questions about the board meeting, said in an interview that "the law school will not require any additional state appropriation to function."

"U. Mass. Dartmouth has the resources on campus to fund this law school," Mealy said. "That will be primarily through the revenue from fees. They also have other funds available should they be needed. This is not going to require any new additional state or university appropriation."

In a statement, Western New England's dean, Art Gaudio, said the school will follow the progress of the University of Massachusetts law school "in its desire to bring the Southern New England School of Law program up to [American Bar Association] standards for quality and to achieve ABA accreditation."

"We trust that they will remain true to [University of Massachusetts Dartmouth] Chancellor [Jean] MacCormack's pledge not to use taxpayer money to fund the operation of the law school," stated Gaudio.

In an e-mailed statement from Suffolk University Law School, spokesman Greg Gatlin stated that "if the public law school will truly not cost the Commonwealth any of its scarce taxpayer dollars, then it could be a good idea."

"If it costs the taxpayers the tens of millions of dollars that experts suggest, it is simply the wrong time," he said.


It's insane that that Massachusetts doesn't already have a law school within the state university system. Yeah, there are too many law schools, but let two of the crappy privates that are complaining close as a result. That would be the best possible outcome.

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puppleberry finn
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Re: New Public Law School to Open in Massachusetts (NLJ)

Postby puppleberry finn » Wed Feb 03, 2010 12:18 pm

ATOIsp07 wrote:
puppins wrote:
tram988 wrote:Don't even get me started lol. UConn gives MA residents in-state tuition.


no, they don't.



it's not necessarily in-state tuition BUT MA residents get a New England discount, which makes the price similar to its in-state tuition. UConn is a great option for Boston applicants. Hell, I might have to apply there now :mrgreen:


yeah I think it is 10k in state, 17k in region, 21k out of region, per semester.

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ATOIsp07
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Re: New Public Law School to Open in Massachusetts (NLJ)

Postby ATOIsp07 » Wed Feb 03, 2010 12:19 pm

puppins wrote:yeah I think it is 10k in state, 17k in region, 21k out of region, per semester.


Do you think we'll see an improvement in UConn's ranking in USNWR this year after its slide last year?

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puppleberry finn
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Re: New Public Law School to Open in Massachusetts (NLJ)

Postby puppleberry finn » Wed Feb 03, 2010 12:23 pm

ATOIsp07 wrote:
puppins wrote:yeah I think it is 10k in state, 17k in region, 21k out of region, per semester.


Do you think we'll see an improvement in UConn's ranking in USNWR this year after its slide last year?


I honestly don't think it matters that much. UConn is still going to be a well-known school in the region, and I doubt its exact ranking is going to change any of that.

tram988
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Re: New Public Law School to Open in Massachusetts (NLJ)

Postby tram988 » Wed Feb 03, 2010 1:49 pm

puppins wrote:
ATOIsp07 wrote:
puppins wrote:yeah I think it is 10k in state, 17k in region, 21k out of region, per semester.


Do you think we'll see an improvement in UConn's ranking in USNWR this year after its slide last year?


I honestly don't think it matters that much. UConn is still going to be a well-known school in the region, and I doubt its exact ranking is going to change any of that.


Wow I always thought UConn gave instate to MA residents. At least they help out a little!

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RVP11
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Re: New Public Law School to Open in Massachusetts (NLJ)

Postby RVP11 » Wed Feb 03, 2010 1:55 pm

Happy to see a public school entering the law school business and effectively taking a 4th tier private school out of business. I'd also like to see the UCSD/Cal Western absorption that's been discussed.

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TTH
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Re: New Public Law School to Open in Massachusetts (NLJ)

Postby TTH » Wed Feb 03, 2010 2:40 pm

New name, same shitty law school. If the UMass system is able to develop Southern New England to full ABA accreditation and really make it a viable option with real employment options for their graduates, it will be quite an accomplishment. The directional New England law schools, like so many across the country, should be killed with fire.

nycparalegal
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Re: New Public Law School to Open in Massachusetts (NLJ)

Postby nycparalegal » Wed Feb 03, 2010 2:45 pm

TipTravHoot wrote:New name, same shitty law school. If the UMass system is able to develop Southern New England to full ABA accreditation and really make it a viable option with real employment options for their graduates, it will be quite an accomplishment. The directional New England law schools, like so many across the country, should be killed with fire.


To do that requires $$$. I'm not sure if the states have that option during this recession.




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