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Hamline and William Mitchell to Merge Law Schools
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Summary: The law schools at Hamline University and William Mitchell have agreed to a merger that still requires approval from the American Bar Association. 

Hamline University and William Mitchell College of Law announced Friday that the two law schools are merging, according to The Star Tribune.

  
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The brand new, combined law school will be known as the Mitchell|Hamline School of Law.

It will be located mainly on the St. Paul campus of Mitchell and led by Mitchell’s new dean, Mark Gordon. He was appointed to the position in January.

Eric Janus, who is resigning from the position of law dean at Mitchell this summer, said, “What this is going to do is give the combined law school a sufficient size to be able to offer a truly robust program of legal education.”

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To read more about the William Mitchell College of Law, click here.

Janus said that the combined school will boast close to 900 students. Mitchell had 809 students last year, while Hamline had just 439. The schools have been rivals for quite some time.



The first female law school dean at Hamline, Jean Holloway, did not say if she will remain at the new school. She was named dean in December of 2013.

“It remains to be seen,” she said.

Janus did say that cuts in staff and faculty will occur by combining the two law schools, but he would not specify how many jobs would be lost. He said he hopes to avoid layoffs through voluntary attrition. Hamline has 26 full-time faculty members and Mitchell has 35.

To read more about the Hamline University School of Law, click here.

“It’s a bold move, that’s for sure,” Richard Kyle, president of the Minnesota State Bar Association, said of the combination. “The landscape for legal education has changed significantly,” he said, “and it stands to reason that law schools are looking for innovative ways to adapt.”

Enrollment at Hamline has dropped by one-third since 2010, while Mitchell experienced a 17 percent drop for the same period.

President of Hamline University, Linda Hanson, said that the new law school is going to operate independently of Hamline, but the students will share the library, recreational and cultural facilities.

To read more law school news stories, click here.

The merger must still be approved by the American Bar Association.

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Image credit: William Mitchell College of Law

Source: Star Tribune



 

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