Board of Governors Approves Unified Law School
April 2, 2015
Members of the Rutgers Community:
We are pleased to announce that the Rutgers Board of Governors today approved the merger of the two Rutgers law schools into one unified school with two distinct locations in Camden and Newark. This exciting merger is contingent upon final approval by the American Bar Association. The ABA has already visited both law schools in regard to the merger and is expected to announce its formal decision this summer.
At a critical moment for law schools across the country, this merger puts Rutgers at the forefront of innovative best practices in legal education by combining the unique strengths of both institutions into one law school that will provide more opportunities for our students. An integrated Rutgers Law School—which becomes one of the largest law schools in the United States, with a faculty of remarkable depth—will immediately raise the school’s profile and attract outstanding students from within and far beyond New Jersey. All our law students will benefit from a much broader range of course options available through the school’s immersive distance education classroom. They will also have access to more library resources, career services offered at each location, and a now-doubled alumni network that spans two of the five largest legal markets in America.
Rutgers Law School will be led by co-deans at Rutgers University–Camden and Rutgers University–Newark who will maintain their individual lines of authority and report to their respective chancellor, advancing their respective strategic plans. Each of the co-deans will work with both chancellors and with our Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs. Rutgers Law School will have a comprehensive curriculum, one set of graduation standards, and a single admissions application, and accepted students will be given the choice to matriculate at either location. Student services such as health services, residential life, and recreational facilities will continue to be provided locally, and graduation ceremonies will honor existing traditions at both locations. In addition, the merger will create efficiencies in some areas that will reduce costs without compromising service to our students and the community.
As you may know, this merger is the culmination of plans and discussions that began several years ago and that have been embraced by both faculties. As evidence of this momentum, the law schools have begun offering courses jointly at Camden and Newark this semester through the immersive distance education classrooms, and a newly merged Rutgers University Law Review is being produced this spring, jointly run by students in both locations.
Partnership and collaboration are the future of legal education, and the creation of Rutgers Law School will generate extraordinary opportunities for our students while continuing the deep engagement with our host cities and regions that has characterized each of our law schools for many decades. Indeed, we anticipate an ever-deeper commitment to the clinical, pro-bono, and other forms of experiential learning that have brought our law schools national acclaim.
We look forward to final ABA approval of the merger and are eager to work with the co-deans and faculty of Rutgers Law School to bring legal education at Rutgers to a new level of prominence and relevance in teaching, research, and service.
Chancellor, Rutgers University–Newark
Chancellor, Rutgers University–Camden