2012 2012: UMass Law announces three-year freeze in tuition and law school fees

2012 2012: UMass Law announces three-year freeze in tuition and law school fees
UMass Law announces three-year freeze in tuition and law school fees

Need- and merit-based aid also planned to make law school opportunity more accessible; application deadline extended to July 30

The University of Massachusetts School of Law today announced that it would freeze its tuition and mandatory law school-related fees for the next three years at current levels. The announcement guarantees that students entering this fall will be better able to predict the total cost of their education and keep that cost at about 50 percent of private alternatives.

Under the cost freeze plan, the following annual tuition and law school fee rates will remain in place:

Full-time in-state - $23,068
Full-time out-of-state - $30,760
Full-time regional/proximity - $24,936

Part-time in-state -- $17,300.88
Part-time out-of-state - $23,069.88
Part-time regional/proximity - $18,702

UMass Law will also continue to offer significant merit- and need-based aid that can further lower the out-of-pocket costs for students. Complete law school cost and financial aid information is available at umassd.edu/law.

The cost freeze follows recent announcements that UMass Law has secured provisional accreditation by the American Bar Association, allowing graduates to take the bar exam in any state; and the appointment of CUNY School of Law Associate Dean and Professor Mary Lu Bilek as UMass Law dean. UMass Law also announced today that it is extending its application deadline to July 30.

"As the Commonwealth's first public law school, we have a mission to provide individuals with the aspiration, talent and will to succeed as citizen lawyers the opportunity to achieve their dream,'' said UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Jean F. MacCormack. "Freezing fees at this moment in the law school's history, given the significant base resources that the school has started with, and recognizing that we are just beginning our journey, is the right and smart thing to do."

"Last semester alone, our law students donated 5,500 hours of legal services to the community," Chancellor MacCormack noted. "That is a testament to our students' public service ethic and to the power of UMass Law to have a positive impact on society. We want to do all we can to open the doors of UMass Law to such citizens."

"The establishment of UMass Law is about mission, not money,'' said UMass President Robert Caret. "I want to commend Chancellor MacCormack, Dean Hillinger and the law school team for staying true to the University's mission to provide a quality and affordable law school option within the Commonwealth. UMass Law is off to a great start.''

Professor Bilek, who will take office the first week of July, said, "A public law school has a special obligation to provide accessible legal education and to graduate lawyers who are civic-minded. By controlling the cost of their education, we open up many more options for them. Graduating from UMass Law, they will be able to consider using their skills for public and civic purpose because they will not be as heavily burdened by debt. I am proud to have been chosen to lead a school that not only says it has a mission of access and public service, but has taken action to achieve it."

Professor Bilek served as Interim Dean of the CUNY School of Law School during the 2005-06 academic year. As Academic Dean for the first three deans of CUNY Law, she played leadership roles in developing and implementing its innovative curriculum for practice, insuring that its policies and its programs supported access to legal education for students from communities underrepresented in the profession, and moving the law school towards full ABA and Association of American Law Schools accreditation.

The American Bar Association recently notified UMass Law that it has been granted provisional national accreditation. The ABA's Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar stated: "The School has established that it is in substantial compliance with each of the Standards and has a reliable plan for bringing itself into full compliance with the Standards within three years after receiving provisional approval."

About the University of Massachusetts School of Law
UMass Law was created in 2010, establishing the first public law school in Massachusetts. UMass Law, one of eight colleges and schools at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, currently has 325 students. The school's modern facility is located 5 minutes from the UMass Dartmouth main campus and 1 minute from I-195. Like UMass Dartmouth, the law school is dedicated to engaging its students in the life of the community, and its students provided more than 5,500 hours of legal services to the region last semester.