The University of Massachusetts has entered discussions with the Southern New England School of Law about a donation offer of the law school's assets and campus--worth about $22.6 million. If the proposal were to be approved, the now private, non-accredited law school would become the first public law school in the state, becoming part of the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth campus. Though this is not the first time UMass has considered absorbing the law school (the donation was proposed and turned down in 2004), the university is reviewing the new offer.
Some are concerned the addition of the law school would take away from the University of Massachusetts's flagship Amherst campus. The proposal's critics also include Suffolk Law School, New England School of Law | Boston and the Western New England College of Law, smaller private law schools in the state. They note that the Southern New England School of Law is not accredited by the American Bar Association, and getting the necessary accreditation would be costly. Today, all but six U.S. states (Alaska, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont) have an accredited public law school.
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