UIC celebrates Chicago’s first and only public law school

Photos: UIC Creative and Digital Services

UIC celebrated the establishment of its 16th college, the UIC John Marshall Law School, at a Sept. 16 event at the Union League Club of Chicago.

University and student leaders were joined by alumni, faculty, elected officials and community members as they officially welcomed UIC John Marshall Law School into the UIC family.

Make no mistake about it — this is a huge day for the city of Chicago and the state of Illinois because this is Chicago’s only public law school,” said Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch (7th District) and John Marshall Law School alumnus. “That’s a game-changer. This merger, I truly believe, will keep future law students here in the state and it will attract future law students to our state.

“This merger is going to drive our economy. People are going to live here. They’re going to pay taxes here. They’re going to raise their families here. And the UIC John Marshall Law School is going to help us lift up the Illinois economy. That’s something we can all be proud of.”

As Chicago’s first and only public law school, the UIC John Marshall Law School brings to fruition three years of careful planning, said Susan Poser, UIC provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs.

“The vision for the UIC John Marshall Law School that we articulated three years ago, which is now reality, is to take this excellent law school, which has been a mainstay of the Chicago legal community now for 120 years — with an outstanding legacy of educating practice-ready lawyers — and integrate it into Chicago’s public research university in a way that enhances this excellence and the excellence of UIC,” Poser said.

John Marshall Law School was a “perfect match” for UIC, with its long history of providing access to students from underserved populations, as well as service to the community, UIC Chancellor Michael Amiridis said.

We are committed to access and fairness in our selection processes. We are committed to transparency. We are also committed to improving the lives of the people in our surrounding communities and beyond,” Amiridis said. “With a public law school, you have a guarantee that this is not going to change. This is why a public institution is very important — it guarantees access, transparency and service.”

The new law school provides current and prospective law students with more affordable education, as well as enhanced student services, such as access to health care, recreational facilities, residence halls and college athletics. It also creates opportunities for interdisciplinary courses and new joint and dual-degree programs aligned with UIC strengths in the health sciences, engineering and technology, urban planning and public administration, the social sciences and business.

As an example, Poser said, UIC graduate students in social work, psychology and accounting will work in nonprofit legal clinics run by the law school, providing a “one-stop shop for clients.” While law students assist clients with legal issues, UIC graduate students could help them with related services, such as financial advice, finding resources for domestic violence, and more.

Masayoshi Haynie, president of the UIC John Marshall Student Bar Association, spoke on behalf of the newest group of UIC students.

“I want to say how excited we are to be part of the UIC family,” Haynie said. “In our short time as UIC students, we’ve already felt the warm UIC welcome. As law students, whose lives are engulfed with the task of enormous amounts of both writing and research, we are so excited to be a part of such a prestigious Research 1 institution.

“We are thrilled to welcome this new level of clout to our strong practice-ready brand, encompassing both the students and alum. We look forward to enriching the history of the school while making this brand new chapter one of plentiful success and historic impact, adding tremendous value both to the university and the community as a whole.”

For more information, visit law.uic.edu

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