Alaska, the only state in the union without a law school, will soon get a satellite campus, allowing third-year students to study in their home state. Seattle University School of Law recently announced a partnership with Alaska Pacific University that will allow it to offer a full 3L curriculum in fall 2015.
The school still needs approval from the American Bar Association, which conducted a site visit at Seattle University in May.
"We are so proud to partner with APU, and we look forward to continuing to meet the needs of Alaskan students and the legal community in the state," said Dean Annette Clark. "Seattle University has been committed to Alaska for over 12 years, and housing a satellite law school campus at APU is a natural extension of this commitment."
Seattle University has offered summer classes at the University of Alaska, Anchorage for more than a decade.
The law school also has strong ties with the Alaska Court System and the Alaska Bar Association. The Alaska Court System will allow the law school to use its law library and courtroom for some evening and weekend classes, and for Moot Court and other competitions.
Chief Justice Dana Fabe wrote a letter to the ABA expressing support for the program.
"We anticipate that the satellite campus will open the door to legal and judicial careers to many more Alaskans and will have a direct impact on increasing diversity in our profession," Fabe said.
Students from other ABA-accredited law schools will be allowed to attend the Anchorage program as visiting students, but still earn degrees from the school where they spent their first two years, Clark said.