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Big Changes in Store for Two Minnesota Law Schools
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Mitchell Hamline School of Law

Summary: With approval from the ABA, Hamline University School of Law and William Mitchell College of Law will merge into one law school.

The American Bar Association has granted approval for William Mitchell College of Law and Hamline University School of Law to join forces. The new Mitchell Hamline School of Law will become the largest in the area.


The schools say their unification should be done within days. The dean will be Mark Gordon and the new chairman will be Dan O’Keefe, current chairman of the Mitchell board of trustees. He said the school will “extend the best of each predecessor law school and become the pre-eminent institution in the region for practical, problem-solving legal education.”

According to the ABA, the two former rivals will be the first law school merger in recent history. The schools are anxious for the combination due to falling enrollment. Hamline has seen a drop of 33 percent since 2010 in their enrollment numbers while Mitchell has seen a 17 percent drop.

The Mitchell Hamline School of Law will call the William Mitchell campus the main campus. They will have around 1,000 students and 42 full-time faculty. They have been working together to formulate the plan to merge since February. Upperclassmen have already started taking classes on the other’s campus.

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Gordon expressed his excitement for the school, “At a time when other law schools are cutting back, we are adding faculty, classes and clinical opportunities, and creating a combined alumni network that will be unmatched in the region.”




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