Associated Press reports that the first new law school to open in California in 40 years intends to offer full scholarships for three years to its first class. Subsequent classes will pay tuition on a traditional basis. The school’s goal in offering no-tuition education to its entire inaugural class: attract Ivy League-caliber students.
Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the new law school at UC-Irvine, believes that the scholarship combined with the law school’s emphasis on public interest law will quickly fill the sixty available spots for the first class. In addition, Chemerinsky says that “Our goal is to be a top 20 school from the first time we are ranked.”
Although Chemerinsky is optimistic, others say that his goals may be difficult to attain. Richard Morgan, founding dean of Boyd Law School at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, says “It’s like trying to fly a plane while you’re still building it.” He also cautioned that the competition for top students is fierce. Yet, Chemerinsky responds that UC Irvine’s new law school will stand out from the start. “There isn’t a need for another law school like all the rest…This is our chance to create the ideal law school for the 21st Century.”
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