Local Educational Institutions Form Joint Committee to Consider Establishment of UC San Diego School of Law

Jan 26, 2010, 19:00 ET from University of California, San Diego from ,California Western School of Law

SAN DIEGO, Jan. 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The University of California, San Diego (UC San Diego) and California Western School of Law (California Western) this month formed a joint committee made up of faculty and administrators from both institutions to consider an affiliation that may lead to the establishment of a UC San Diego School of Law.  It is envisioned that the law school would be self-supporting and no state or UC San Diego campus funds would be needed to make the new law school viable.

Formation of this committee follows initial consideration of a proposal from California Western to UC San Diego, according to Paul Drake, UC San Diego's Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.

"We believe the proposal has sufficient merit to explore the possibilities together," Drake said. "A UC San Diego School of Law would enhance the research, teaching and public service mission of the university.

California Western Dean Steven R. Smith added, "The increasingly robust ties between our two institutions, built over the past three and a half decades of dual and joint degree programs, co-sponsored symposia and cross-institutional teaching, led us to look at the possibility of a combination as the next logical step in our relationship. This could create a public law school for San Diego with no start-up costs – and without creating a new (de novo) law school, or generating more law school graduates."

The joint committee will explore ways in which a UC San Diego School of Law might build on existing strengths, enhance other academic disciplines and create unique broad-based areas of exploration in law, science and technology.

In addition, the joint committee will consider the following issues with regard to the proposed affiliation:

  • Faculty – integrating and respecting existing California Western faculty and planning for new hires;
  • Students – attracting students with strong credentials;
  • Finance – ensuring that the law school continues to be self-supporting as a public institution;
  • Governance – maintaining consistency with University of California, American Bar Association and Association of American Law Schools standards; and
  • Transition – charting a smooth transformation into a UC San Diego School of Law.

"At a challenging time in the university's history," Drake said, "this proposed affiliation would present an opportunity to advance the long-term vision of the University of California system and this campus."

Noted Smith, "The San Diego region could benefit from having a law school that helps advance and support its most important science and technology industries, today and tomorrow."

If the Joint Committee determines that the proposal should advance, a planning document will be submitted to the UC San Diego Faculty Senate and administration, and to the California Western faculty and Board of Trustees. If these bodies endorse the committee's recommendation, it will then be sent to the UC Office of the President for a final evaluation and decision.  There is no firm timeline for making a determination.

About UC San Diego

Founded in 1960, the University of California, San Diego is ranked the best value public university in California by Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine and the 7th best public university in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. Named the "hottest" institution to study science by Newsweek, UC San Diego is one of the nation's most accomplished research universities, widely acknowledged for its local impact, national influence and global reach. For more information, please visit www.ucsd.edu.

About California Western School of Law

California Western School of Law is the independent, ABA/AALS-accredited San Diego law school that advances multi-dimensional lawyering by educating lawyers-to-be as creative problem solvers and principled advocates who frame the practice of law as a helping, collaborative profession.  Please visit www.cwsl.edu for more information.

SOURCE University of California, San Diego; California Western School of Law