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Merger Approved by American Bar Association, Rutgers Law School Created
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After years of preparation, the merger creating Rutgers Law School has been approved by the American Bar Association.

Summary: After years of preparation, the merger creating Rutgers Law School has been approved by the American Bar Association.

On Friday, the Council of the American Bar Association Section on Legal Education and Admission to the Bar approved the merger of Rutgers’ law schools. Now, one unified Rutgers Law School will be formed, with two locations in Camden and Newark, according to Rutgers Today. In June, the Accreditation Committee voted to recommend approval of the merger. The Rutgers Board of Governors voted in favor of the merger in April.


Earlier this month, the school hoped to receive the approval it needed for the merger.

Acting Co-Dean John Oberdiek said, “We are elated with the ABA’s decision to approve the new Rutgers Law School. We believe strongly that our ambitious model allows for increased opportunities for all Rutgers Law students to advance their career searches and to learn from a wider selection of world-class faculty.”

The new Rutgers Law School will offer a comprehensive curriculum, boasting one of the country’s largest faculties. Such course offerings are possible due to advanced technology that connects the two campuses. The Philadelphia Business Journal adds that the technology was introduced last spring.

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Ronald K. Chen, 1983 alumnus and Co-Dean, said, “Rutgers has long provided exceptional and affordable legal educations to its students, but now as a Big Ten law school and a leader in legal education in the Northeast, we are positioned to make an impact on the national legal landscape. Not only will Rutgers Law School continue to further the missions of Rutgers University-Newark, Rutgers University-Camden and the entire Rutgers system, it will serve New Jersey as its public law school.”

Rutgers Law currently enrolls over 1,000 students, and is one of the country’s largest law schools. However, its student-faculty ratio is comparable to other public law schools.

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The school divided in 1967, and the mention of reunification was first made in 2011. The co-deans will maintain their authority, and will report to the chancellors of their schools. They will also work with the university senior vice president for finance and the senior vice president for academic affairs.

Read about the April vote here.

Rutgers President Robert Barchi remarked, “Today is a historic moment for our university and a welcome development for New Jersey and the region. We are excited about the future of an institution that is poised to revolutionize legal education and scholarship for the 21st century.”

Phoebe A. Haddon, Rutgers University-Camden Chancellor, said, “This merger places Rutgers at the forefront of innovation for new models for legal education. Collaboration across academic disciplines and with legal practitioners is the next logical step to ensure that access to justice remains a priority for our country. I am convinced that Rutgers Law School will forge new partnerships that will deliver interdisciplinary, team-based approaches to problem-solving that will prepare our students for successful careers while also better serving the legal profession and the public.”

Rutgers-Newark Law School created a fellowship for its graduates last year.

Nancy Cantor, Rutgers University-Newark Chancellor, added, “Many of the most complex challenges facing Newark and Camden – indeed, legacy cities and their metropolitan areas everywhere – require an all-hands-on-deck approach that integrates the perspectives of legal scholars, practicing attorneys and the broader community of experts including scholars and professionals across other fields, public officials, nonprofit leaders and community members,” Cantor said. “The new Rutgers Law School configuration increases the potential impact of our faculty, staff and students by broadening and deepening the reach of these communities of experts.”

A single application will be created for the 2016 entering class. Classes begin on August 24.

Source: Rutgers Today

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