Trustees approve juris doctor degree at UIC

John Marshall Law School

The University of Illinois Board of Trustees on Dec. 14 established a juris doctor degree for the new John Marshall Law School at UIC, which will offer the city of Chicago’s first and only law degree at a public university when it welcomes its first class next fall.

Creating the new degree program is another step in a process that began with the board’s July approval of an agreement to make the now-private Chicago law school part of UIC.

Since then, the acquisition has been approved by the American Bar Association and the Illinois Board of Higher Education. It also has been approved for continuing membership by the Association of American Law Schools. Now, the new law school is in the process of seeking accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission and approval for a change of control from the U.S. Department of Education.

The UIC John Marshall Law School will continue to operate at its current home in the South Loop when it becomes the university’s 16th academic college. The first entering class is expected in fall 2019 with an estimated 900 students pursuing juris doctor degrees.

John Marshall, founded in 1899 and named for the fourth chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, has a history of providing access to students from underserved communities. As part of UIC, the law school will continue efforts to increase diversity in the legal profession and enhance legal services available to the people of Chicago through pro-bono work and community legal clinics in areas such as veterans affairs, international human rights, fair housing, family law, and landlord-tenant issues.

The new UIC law degree can be completed full- or part-time and during the day or evenings. The flexible hours will expand opportunities for Illinois students, who also will have access to affordable degrees from a leading public research university. Students with undergraduate degrees in any discipline may apply.

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