UIC John Marshall Law School makes history, becomes Chicago’s first and only public law school

The University of Illinois at Chicago announces the establishment of UIC John Marshall Law School, welcoming the university’s first class of law students.

“The creation of Chicago’s first and only public law school is historic for higher education in Chicago,” said Michael D. Amiridis, UIC Chancellor. “Through our research and scholarship, we have celebrated and contributed to the rule of law for decades and now we open the doors of our academic community to those who teach the law and those who study the law.”

As UIC’s 16th college, the law school will further UIC’s mission and commitment to public education, scholarship, research and community service.

In addition to providing current and prospective students with a more affordable legal education, UIC’s acquisition of John Marshall creates opportunities for interdisciplinary courses and new joint- and dual-degree programs aligned with UIC strengths in disciplines such as the health sciences, engineering and technology, urban planning and public administration, the social sciences and business.

“Adding a law school to our depth and breadth of academic programs will advance UIC as a world-class university and create an opportunity to increase diversity in the legal profession in Chicago and beyond,” said Susan Poser, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at UIC.

The law school has a long history of giving back to the community by providing pro bono legal services in nine community legal clinics – including veterans law, fair housing, family law, and landlord-tenant law – and will continue to serve the public while providing J.D. candidates with real legal experience. These clinics provide millions of dollars in free legal services to people of Chicago who cannot otherwise afford legal assistance and aligns with UIC’s public mission.

“Law School faculty are already collaborating with their new colleagues in other UIC colleges and schools, such as social work and medicine, to represent clinic clients, exchange research ideas, plan conferences, and develop unique programs and experiences for students,” said Darby Dickerson, dean of the UIC John Marshall Law School. “We are looking forward to building new, innovative programs within a strong public university.”

Law students now benefit from enhanced student services, including access to health care services, recreational facilities, residence halls, and college athletics. UIC students benefit from access to law courses and opportunities to take classes jointly taught by John Marshall and UIC faculty.

UIC initiated informal discussions with The John Marshall Law School leadership in 2016. In July 2018, the board of trustees of both the University of Illinois and The John Marshall Law School voted to create UIC John Marshall Law School.

Upon receiving approvals from the Illinois Board of Higher Education, the Higher Learning Commission, the American Bar Association and the U.S. Department of Education, the merger was completed Aug. 16, 2019.

This fall, UIC enrolled a record 33,390 students, including 1,066 law students.

The UIC John Marshall Law School will continue to operate at its downtown Loop location at the corners of State Street, Jackson Boulevard and S. Plymouth Court.