Former Massachusetts AG Opposes UMass Law School Proposal
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Former Attorney General of Massachusetts Thomas F. Reilly opposes a plan by the University of Massachusetts to open a law school. UMass wants to open a school without funding from taxpayer dollars by relying on mandatory student fees. Up to 87% of a prospective law student’s bill would be listed as “mandatory fees”. Reilly believes this method of funding violates the state constitution because the fees would pay directly for the schools core academic programs.

Reilly submitted his opinion to the Higher Education Commissioner Richard M. Freeland on behalf of the New England School of Law, one of three private law schools in the state opposed to a public law school. Reilly has been retained by the New England School of Law for an undisclosed amount of money to review UMass’s proposal.

Massachusetts’s state constitution requires that all tuition be remitted to the state, and according to Reilly, UMass’s proposal would “abuse” the exception allowing universities to retain student fees. According to Robert Connolly, spokesman for the UMass system, all 29 public college campuses function financially in this manner, with “fees” outweighing tuition. The Board of Higher Education is set to vote on the plan February 2. If it is approved, UMass-Dartmouth will begin enrolling students in the fall.



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