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UD to consider law school, authorizes study

Contact: Meredith Chapman, University Media Relations, 302.690.1316, mchapman@udel.edu

Newark, Del.-The University of Delaware Board of Trustees authorized the administration to prepare a feasibility study and business plan to establish a new law school at its Newark campus. The announcement was made at today's semiannual board meeting.

Delaware is one of the few states in the country without a law school at its flagship state institution. Delaware is the nation's corporate law capital, with more than half of all U.S. publicly traded companies and 60 percent of Fortune 500 companies based in the state.

"By operating a first-class law school in a state known for its considerable influence in corporate law, the University of Delaware could occupy a special niche in the nationwide legal community, attract top-notch students and faculty from across the country and produce future law and business leaders for Delaware," said University of Delaware President Patrick Harker. "At the same time, a law school would offer extraordinary opportunities to strengthen multidisciplinary research and teaching within UD's existing academic programs."

This law school study falls in line with UD's strategic plan, the Path to Prominence™, outlined in May 2008, which pledges to “invest in professional programs that provide excellence, uniqueness, impact and response to societal needs,” including professional degree programs in health, education, business and law.

The feasibility study, which must be submitted to the American Bar Association as part of the accreditation process, will be presented to the board at its next meeting in May 2011.

After that meeting, with authorization from the Board of Trustees, UD would enter a two-year period of curricular design, financial analysis and operational planning. _

The Board of Trustees would not be asked to formally approve a new law school until 2013, and only if the University finds in its study a law school would contribute significantly to the legal education nationally and that the University and Delaware and state will be stronger as a result.

If formally approved, UD anticipates admitting its first law students for classes beginning in fall 2015 and estimate enrollment of 200 first-year J.D. matriculants per year.

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