New Jersey State Bar Association - The voluntary Bar Association of New Jersey, serving members since 1899.

For Immediate Release

03/19/12

Kate Coscarelli

Director, Media Relations

732-937-7548

New Jersey State Bar Association Opposes Merger of Rutgers-Camden Law School into Rowan University

The New Jersey State Bar Association opposes the proposed merger of Rutgers University School of Law-Camden into Rowan University. The NJSBA believes it will be harmful to the future of legal education in New Jersey and the viability of the bar in the southern part of the state. Moreover, it will disserve the citizens if Camden County, as the school’s clinics and pro bono programs serve the various and important needs of the region’s poorest residents. We urge the Senate and Assembly Higher Education Committees to reject this proposed merger.

 

If the merger is approved the name “Rutgers University School of Law-Camden”, one of the outstanding public law schools in the country, and a preeminent institution for training lawyers in the greater Philadelphia region, the Northeast and the nation will be lost. This result will trigger a number of unfortunate consequences. Therefore, when considering the appropriateness of the merger, we ask the committee members to consider a number of factors:

  • The law school is recognized nationally for its scholarship, outstanding facultyand diverse student body that boasts over 9000 alumni; can the faculty be retained, exceptional students enrolled and alumni support continue if the “Rutgers” name is lost?
  • The law school has produced graduates that are recognized in the legal community as top-notch lawyers, judges and leaders of the organized bar and has proved to be a fundamental asset to the underserved Camden community which has been served by the law school; will this leadership survive if the school is placed under the Rowan banner?
  • The placement of the law school within Rowan University will almost certainly trigger a lengthy evaluation of the school by the American Bar Association (the accreditation body for all law schools), perhaps placing that critical accreditation in jeopardy
  • The elimination of the School of Law from Rutgers University will not only affect the university’s reputation, but will undoubtedly have financial implications for the university

The loss of “Rutgers School of Law-Camden” would be devastating for the state, the bar, Rutgers University and the citizens of Camden. We ask that you weigh the potential consequences carefully, and vote to reject this portion of the UMDNJ Advisory Committee’s proposal.