Phoenix School of Law changes name to Arizona Summit Law School

Phoenix School of Law, the eight-year-old private law school in downtown Phoenix, changed its name to Arizona Summit Law School effective Nov. 4, 2013.

The name change is a result of a two-year review, in which it worked with a public relations firm and an advertising agency.

“We decided to change the name to be better reflective of who we are and what we do,” said Dean Shirley Mays. “Phoenix [as a name] helped initially, but it did not say anything beyond where we were located.”

The word “summit” in the name is symbolic for achievement, and Arizona is designed to show the school serves a broader geographic region.

“This shows that our students have overcome adversity,” Mays said.

Phoenix School of Law was often confused with University of Phoenix, the controversial for-profit university that posted a higher student loan default rate than graduation rate last year. The University of Phoenix spends more than $350 million a year in advertising and bought the naming rights to the Arizona Cardinals sports arena.

While Phoenix School of Law is also a for-profit institution, it has no affiliation with University of Phoenix. It is owned by InfiLaw System, which also owns Florida Coastal School of Law, Charlotte School of Law and is in the process of acquiring Charleston School of Law

Mays said the confusion with University of Phoenix played some role in the name change, but the primary impetus came from a desire to better define the school.  

“This name change dovetails nicely with our new curriculum,” Mays said referring to the schools new first-year curriculum that combines traditional first-year courses with skills training. “We are innovators. We do everything differently.”

The school launched the name internally at the start of the fall semester, but is now introducing the name to the larger community through a robust marketing effort. It changed its logo and colors in addition to the name change.

Mays is hopeful the change will resonate with prospective students.