Jacksonville University (JU) today announced its plan to establish a law school, becoming the 13th institution within the state to offer a pathway to a law degree. JU’s College of Law is readying a launch for the fall 2022 academic semester and anticipates an inaugural class of 20 to 30 students.
Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry spoke at the press conference announcing the school’s future, stating that the university will receive $5 million in city funding, helping to establish the program in its early years.
“Jacksonville is currently the largest city in the U.S. that does not have a law school,” said Curry. “Too often, our citizens must choose to leave Jacksonville to pursue a legal education. This College of Law will offer a prime opportunity for current residents and serve as a magnet to attract talent back into our city and our downtown.”
Per JU President Tim Cost, JU owns 15,000 square feet of leased space within the downtown VyStar building that will be utilized in creating space for law classrooms and libraries. The building is currently home to the school’s Downtown Campus, which houses 19 offices, 2 work spaces, and 4 classrooms, among other various unused spaces.
— jacksonvilleu (@JacksonvilleU) February 28, 2022
Though the school plans to begin teaching classes by September, the JU has hopes of being accredited in 2023, anticipating a participatory group of over 150 students by that time. The College of Law marks JU’s 5th academic department and indicates a increased growth of the school in years to come.
“We are proud to partner once again with Mayor Curry and the City of Jacksonville to propel northeast Florida toward a stronger future,” said Jacksonville University President Tim Cost. “We thank them and our partners for their support. We believe this is the role of a responsive and agile university in a city like ours – to move decisively on opportunities that lift the entire community and to forge partnerships that serve the greater good.”
The university has committed to creating a path to a law career that is both affordable and attainable, also announcing that all applicants will be automatically considered for merit-based scholarships and grants, creating an alternative choice from the costlier programs at Florida’s largest schools like the University of Florida of the University of Miami.
“Jacksonville University believes in building connections, not barriers,” said Cost. “We will encourage students to link their law education to course concentrations in a strong selection of in-demand fields across the breadth of our university. With 10 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs holding a J.D. degree, we believe that Jacksonville University College of Law graduates will be prepared and positioned to run global companies in the future.”