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John Marshall Law School in downtown Chicago

University of Illinois at Chicago approves merger with private law school

John Marshall Law School in the city's downtown will become the city's first public law school.

The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) has agreed to merger with John Marshall Law School and establish Chicago’s first public law school.

The university's board of trustees has unanimously approved absorbing the operations of the downtown private law school into the UIC campus on the Near West Side. The new institution will be known as the UIC John Marshall Law School.

The law school will become the 16th college or school under UIC’s umbrella. The merger will enable the university to offer more robust course offerings throughout the university. 

In Illinois, the majority of prominent law schools—University of Chicago, Northwestern, Loyola—are private institutions in the Chicago area.

Courses will be held downtown in the John Marshall buildings for at least five years. John Marshall students will become UIC students and will be able to take interdisciplinary courses at UIC, and access housing and athletic facilities.

About 1,000 students are enrolled at John Marshall and another 280 students are expected to enter this fall, according to school officials.

UIC officials say they expect the reconfigured law school, which still needs approvals from the American Bar Association and Department of Education, among other groups, to be up and running by fall 2019.

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