The University of Delaware is launching a feasibility study to explore the creation of a UD law school at the Newark campus.
The Board of Trustees ordered the study during its meeting Tuesday afternoon. The study is not expected to be completed for some time, and the board won’t consider establishing a law school until at least the fall of 2015.
In a letter to the University community explaining the decision, UD President Patrick Harker says the school “stands out as one of the few [universities] without a professional degree program in law or medicine.” He adds that establishing a law school is an expensive endeavor, and the university would need to “pursue philanthropic gifts in support of a new law school.”
Creating a law school is in line with the school’s strategic plan, the Path to Prominence. Harker ends his letter by saying, “The establishment of a law school has the potential to support UD’s growing prominence and move us into the next rank of American higher education.”
If UD moves forward with the law school, it would be the state’s only public law school. Delaware is already host to the private Widener University Law School. Widener also has a law school campus in Harrisburg, Pa. The Delaware campus was originally founded in 1971 as the Delaware Law School. It became affiliated with Widener in 1975. Widener uses Delaware’s status as a “corporate capital” with so many companies incorporated in the state as a “the perfect place to focus on corporate and health law.” Widener Law School’s enrollment is about 1,000.