Savannah Law School Is Closing After Seven Years

Savannah Law School, a branch campus of Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, informed students and faculty in March that the school will close at the end of the Spring 2018 semester.

The law school’s dean, Malcolm Morris, told students about the plan at a town hall meeting, the Savannah Morning News reported. Students were told that the school’s historic building had been sold, and that they would be relocated to an undisclosed location. The law school’s website states that it will not be accepting applications for 2018. 

Barry Currier, ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, told the ABA journal that Morris contacted the accrediting body on Thursday, but that the law school had not made a formal announcement regarding the closure. An official statement was later posted on the law school’s website, affirming the school’s intention to close.

The announcement stated:

“Since the branch was first established seven years ago, there has been an unforeseen national decline in both opportunities for legal employment and a corresponding decline in the national law school applicant pool. The Board’s decision was prompted by the continued small student enrollment at the branch. As such, it was the Board’s responsibility to acknowledge that a viable program of legal education could not be sustained at that location.” 

Savannah Law School was founded in 2012. The law school had an entering class of 39 students with a total enrollment of 117 for the 2017-2018 school year. The median LSAT was 147 and the median GPA was 3.03 for the entering class, according to the school’s website. The bar pass rate for July 2017 was 54.5 percent.

Six years ago, Savannah Law School purchased the 200-year-old Candler Hospital building for its campus. The building’s façade was restored in 2014, according to the Savannah Morning News.

Current students will have the opportunity to complete their legal education at another site in Savannah or at the school’s Atlanta campus, according to the statement. The Savannah Morning News reported that the law school is offering a $2,000 scholarship for students to transfer to the parent school in Atlanta.

Savannah Law School is required by the ABA to submit a teach-out plan that gives current law students an opportunity to complete their degrees. The ABA Section would then review the plan for approval. 

“The Law School is proud of both of its current students and alumni and wishes them continued success in their studies and the practice of law,’ the statement continued. “We know that the community that was built by Savannah Law School will continue to thrive.”

Savannah Law School will be the fourth law school in the last year to close or announce plans to close, joining Indiana Tech Law School, Whittier Law School and Charlotte School of Law. Another law school, Valparaiso University School of Law in Indiana, has suspended admissions andwill close if it does not affiliate with another school. 

 


Tyler Roberts is an editor for The National Jurist. You can follow him on Twitter at @wtylerroberts


 

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