For the first time in eight years, it looks like a new law school with plans to gain ABA accreditation will be opening its doors.
Jacksonville University College of Law will be Florida’s first new law school in more than 20 years when it plans to open this fall. It is the first new law school to seek ABA accreditation since the University of North Texas opened at Dallas College of Law in 2014, and only the second new law school in the past ten years. years.
High Point University in North Carolina has also announced plans to open a law school. It plans to start in the fall of 2024.
University of Jacksonville officials recently announced that the new law program will be funded in part by the city of Jacksonville, which has pledged $5 million to get the school off the ground. And he hopes to enroll between 20 and 30 students in the first year and increase enrollment to 150 by fall 2024.
Jacksonville officials said tuition would be $36,000 per year and merit scholarships would also be available. Applications are currently being accepted. The law school will be located away from the main campus in a downtown office building, according to Reuters.
The move comes as the city’s only other law school, the Florida Coastal School of Law, is set to close. Florida Coastal, a for-profit law school, was founded in 1996 but ran into trouble with the US Department of Education and lost its students’ ability to get federal loans. At one point, Florida Coastal had over 1,000 students.
Without Florida Coastal, Jacksonville is one of only three metropolitan areas with 1.5 million or more residents without an ABA-approved law school. The other two regions – Charlotte, North Carolina and Riverside, California, both housed ABA law schools until recent years. The Charlotte School of Law closed in 2017 and La Verne University in Ontario, California, which dropped its ABA accreditation in 2019.
High Point University is just outside the Charlotte metro area, along with Wake Forest University and Elon School of Law. The university plans to build an 80,000 square foot legal building and has hired a dean. It is a private university and is affiliated with the United Methodist Church.