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Arizona State University Plans Nation’s Biggest Nonprofit Law Firm
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While the phrase ‘nonprofit law firm’ might seem like an oxymoron, it has become a reality. The Arizona State University announced that it is going to house the ASU Alumni Law Group , which will function as the nation’s first nonprofit, privately-financed teaching law firm. The firm will employ new law graduates to represent cash-strapped Arizonans.

The news was learned during unveiling of the design for the Arizona Center for Law and Society by Arizona State University President Michael M. Crow and Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. The $129-million project is scheduled to finish by 2016 and would serve as the new home for a number of institutions including ASU’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law.

  
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Speaking on the project, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said, “What we will see is a law school that is unprecedented in their engagement in the city.”

The ASU Alumni Law Group is being equated with a teaching hospital where up to 30 recent law graduates will work and learn under five experienced attorneys. They will be providing legal services at affordable rates to local residents. The new complex will be covering most of a city block with 260,000 sq. ft being the area covered. The work will be done by New York City-based Ennead Architects and Phoenix-based Jones Studio.

The press release at the ASU observed that the Arizona Center for Law and Society has three missions – to amplify the connection between society and law, to improve access to justice, and to ensure more law graduates can start meaningful and sustainable careers.

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The community seems to be solidly behind the project. The city of Phoenix has passed a resolution to contribute $12 million for the law school building, and a bond package of $220 million from Phoenix voters to build buildings on ASU’s downtown campus is there from 2006.

If the Arizona Board of Regents grants quick approval, then the project can begin as early as summer 2014.





 

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