Financial Concerns about Mass. Public Law School

by Vault Education Editors | October 19, 2009

  • My Vault

Chances aren't looking good for Massachusetts's first public law school. State Treasurer Timothy P. Cahill told The Boston Globe last week that he is solidly against Southern New England School of Law's joining the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth campus because the state simply can't afford it. From the Globe:

"From an economic point of view, it's an investment in a profession that we may not need more of," Cahill, who is running for governor as an independent, said in a telephone interview. "It's not like training medical technicians or nurses, which we need more of. In this economy, we should make investments in things beneficial to the state, and I don't see that here,' he added.

As the newspaper pointed out on Friday, despite the university's promises that Massachusetts taxes won't increase to cover the costs, "the proposal is too speculative." It's true that earning ABA accreditation for the law school would be costly, including investments in a robust library and full-time faculty. Moreover, the proposal was turned down the first time around in 2004/2005 because it was deemed too expensive, so it stands to reason that the proposal will again be rejected on the same grounds. Notes the Globe, "the state's fiscal picture has become downright bleak since then, with tax revenues falling by as much as $200 million below projections in September alone."

Despite these concerns, Mass. Governor Deval Patrick urges university officials to complete a full review of the proposal.

Filed Under: Education

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