UC Irvine Law School offers full ride to entering class

The University of California, Irvine (UCI) is currently in the process of establishing a new law school, which hopes to pay all expenses for its entering class through gifts and donations. Administrators of the new school are worried they will not be able to compete with longer-established institutions for the top law prospects without significant incentives. According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, the scholarship for each student will be equal to nearly $100,000, with a tuition of around $30,000 a year over three years. The UCI School of Law expects to have an entering class of about 60, gradually growing to classes of 200 within five years. The school also claims it will have the lowest student-faculty ratio in the nation at three-to-one.

The fledgling school was earlier in the news for the controversy surrounding the search for its head. Erwin Chemerinsky, a renowned scholar of law and professor at Duke’s Law School, was initially hired to be UCI School of Law’s first dean, then fired allegedly due to his liberal viewpoints, then rehired again after intense criticism of the University.

Another problem facing the new school is its lack of accreditation from the American Bar Association (ABA). ABA rules prevent it from even beginning the three to five year process until the second year of a law school’s operation. The probability, then, is that this entering class would likely graduate from an unaccredited school.

The school has already begun accepting applications for its first class that will enroll in the fall of 2009.

UCI School of Law and The Chronicle of Higher Education

Harvard hit by anti-anti-abortion vandalism

Administrators at Harvard University have urged their students to respect free speech and expression after instances of vandalism directed at a campus anti-abortion organization. Harvard Right to Life (HRL) has reported numerous instances of its posters and flyers being torn down or defaced across campus, claiming its own informal survey showed almost a third of its distributions being removed or obscured.

After HRL submitted complaints to the administration, Associate College Dean Judith Kidd responded with a campus-wide e-mail noting the school’s commitment to free speech and expression and the need for students to be similarly committed. Harvard passed a resolution in 1970 requiring free speech at the school, according to The Harvard Crimson. The e-mail did not note any specific incidents or groups, but rather spoke of a rash of vandalized posters.

Administrators attributed the e-mail not just to the actions against HRL alone, but to a recent upsurge in vandalism across the campus, with even the Student Life and Activities Office’s distributions being defaced.

“This year is the worst I have seen,” Kidd said of the increase. Despite HRL’s complaints, Assistant College Dean Paul McLoughlin pointed to the impossibility of policing all the posters on campus. The deans also made sure to emphasize their message was in no way meant as an endorsement of any particular groups activities or beliefs, but rather as a broader protection of free speech.

The Harvard Crimson