Florida mayor commits $5 million in public funds to help open new law school

Faculties of law

Florida mayor commits $5 million in public funds to help open new law school

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The mayor of Jacksonville, Florida has pledged $5 million in public investment to help open a new law school in the city.

Jacksonville University has announced plans to open the law school in fall 2022 with municipal and private funding, according to a Press release.

Law.comthe Jacksonville Daily Record and News4Jax have coverage.

The city’s contribution would take the form of a first-year grant and loans that would be forgivable, according to the Jacksonville Daily Record. The $5 million pledge still needs to be approved by the Jacksonville City Council.

The university expects the law school’s inaugural class to be 20-30 students. By fall 2024, total enrollment is expected to be 150 students. Tuition will be $36,000, according to the Jacksonville Daily Record.

Speaking at a press conference, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry said Jacksonville is currently the largest city in the United States without a law school.

The city’s former law school, the ailing Florida Coastal School of Law, closed under an education plan approved in 2021 by the Legal Education and Bar Admissions Section of the ABA, which accredits law schools. The closure follows the U.S. Department of Education’s decision to bar students from the school from accessing federal financial aid.

Jacksonville University plans to begin the accreditation process in the spring of 2023 with the Legal Education and Bar Admissions Section. The school’s goal is to obtain provisional accreditation by the time the first cohort of students graduates.

A spokesperson for the University of Jacksonville told Law.com that the university was conducting a nationwide search for a dean of law. Students wishing to apply to law school can visit ju.edu/law. All applicants will be considered for merit scholarships of up to $14,400. The school hopes that additional private scholarships will be available.

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