UIC John Marshall Law School, Chicago's First And Only Public Law School, Makes Its Debut

Jennifer Keiper
September 17, 2019 - 8:08 am
UIC John Marshall Law School

UIC John Marshall Law School/Facebook

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Chicago now has its first and only public law school. 

John Marshall Law School has officially merged with the University of Illinois at Chicago.

After several years of discussions, voting, and approvals by boards and associations, as well as the U.S. Department of Education, the University of Illinois at Chicago and the John Marshall Law School have merged, creating the UIC John Marshall Law School. It is UIC's 16th college.

The merger was completed last month, and the school welcomed students back to campus on Aug. 26. 

Darby Dickerson, dean of the new UIC John Marshall Law School, said "several members of the law faculty are serving as mentors to students in the honors college. Members of the social works faculty are working with our clinicians to represent clients," she said.

Dickerson said there are many joint-degree and joint-certificate opportunities they are trying to balance.

"As a matter of fact, there are so many we have set up a clearing house committee, so that we can prioritize them," she said.

Senator Omar Aquino of the 2nd District and co-chair of the Latino Caucus said he is looking forward to the benefits of the merger.

"According to the Hispanic National Bar Association, Latinos and Hispanics make up 18 percent of total population in the country and the state of Illinois, but unfortunately we only make up four percent of professionals with degrees in law; and I know now having John Marshall Law at an institution that is proudly a Hispanic-serving institution - UIC - that we are going to get better numbers in the future," he said.

Discussions about this merger started back in 2016. Administrators went public in November 2017 with their plans for the merger.

John Marshall had been an independent law school for its 120-year existence.