Nicholas Allard tapped as founding Dean of Jacksonville University law school

by | Jul 21, 2022


  • Jacksonville University has selected Nicholas W. Allard, an industry-leading lawyer, as its founding Dean for its new law school
  • Allard formerly served as the President of Brooklyn Law School 
  • Jacksonville University’s law school plans to begin classes in the fall of 2022 and anticipates gaining accreditation in 2023
  • The law school aims to serve as an affordable option compared to Florida’s largest law schools 

Jacksonville University has announced the selection of its College of Law founding Dean, Nicholas W. Allard. Serving as a Senior Counselman at Dentons, the world’s largest law firm, Allard brings experience in education and public policy expertise to the new program.

JU in March announced its plan to establish a law school, becoming the 13th institution within the state to offer a pathway to such a degree. JU’s College of Law is readying a launch for the upcoming academic semester and anticipates an inaugural class of 20 to 30 students.

“Nick Allard is a world-class legal scholar and administrator, who is widely recognized and respected as both a thought leader and an educator,” said Jacksonville University President Tim Cost. “Jacksonville University is honored to welcome him as founding Dean of our College of Law, where he will have a tremendous impact on shaping the next generation of legal minds.”

Per the university leader, 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.

“The opportunity to serve as Jacksonville University’s Founding Law Dean offers a platform like no other to share my passion for law and the honorable profession and put my experience and relationships to good use,” Allard said. “I look forward to building upon years of preparation led by President Cost, the encouragement and support of Jacksonville, and working synergistically across disciplines with the University’s vibrant community of scholars and teachers. Our goal is for the College of Law to be in the vanguard of providing students outstanding, forward-looking preparation and practical training for future success and service.”

Allard has received several distinctions and achievements as both an academic and a legal professional, including being awarded a Bodley Fellow of Oxford’s Merton College in 2020 and being recognized a Visionary by the “National Journal-Legal Times.” He also served on the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Government Affairs, as well as its Task Force on Lobbying Reform, and he heads the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on the Law Library of Congress.

Though classes are set to begin this fall without accreditation, JU hopes to achieve the standard 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 an increased growth of the school in years to come.

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.”

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