M & A Law Prof Blog

Editor: Brian JM Quinn
Boston College Law School

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Monday, February 1, 2010

Law School Merger News

The pending acquisition of the Southern New England School of Law by UMass-Dartmouth is generating a little bit of political heat.  The local state rep., John Quinn (D-Dartmouth) (no relation) has written to MA Attorney General Martha Coakley to complain about the actions of three private law schools (Suffolk, New England School of Law, and Western New England School of Law) who are attempting to block the proposed deal.  According to the South Coast Today, Rep. Quinn wrote: 

"The leadership of these (private) schools has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on consultants, lawyers, lobbyists and public relations firms in a joint effort to prevent competition from an affordable, quality law school. This could be a case of alleged competitors joining forces to 'fix' the market."

The Boston Globe has chimed in on the dramatics as well.

The key players are three of our state’s private law schools, who have joined in a holy battle to protect something they hold dear: the right to snuff out a weaker competitor.

For their part, the three law schools in question have called on former MA Attorney General Tom Reilly to help make their case.  Among other things, they argue that financing scheme for the proposed UMass-Dartmouth Law School is unconstitutional.  Here's a video and summary of their argument

All of this played out a couple of days ago at a hearing of the MA State Board of Higher Education meeting last week.  The board will vote on the issue on Tuesday (Feb 2).  If it gives its final approval, then UMass-Dartmouth Law could enroll students in the fall 

Hey -- don't think that MA has cornered the crazy on public law school acquisitions.  Apparently UC San Diego is thinking of acquiring California Western School of Law. The reactions are predictably similar, but with a slightly more laid back surfer tone...

-bjmq


Update:  Decide for yourself.  The entire application, as well as public comments, is available online at the MA Board of Higher's Ed's website.


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