For Immediate Release
Contact: Victoria Taylor, Director, Community Engagement and Public Relations 

Charlotte School of Law and the University of New Haven to Foster Justice Education Initiatives for Underserved Populations and Communities
Schools to Promote Scholarship Opportunity, Access-to-Justice Initiatives and Cross-disciplinary Program Development

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – July 27, 2016 -- Charlotte School of Law and the University of New Haven have formed an alliance to increase opportunities for University of New Haven alumni to obtain a law degree at no cost, and to promote cross-institutional programs that build on Charlotte’s education capacities and the University of New Haven’s expertise.

The schools will collaborate in three major areas:
  • Awarding up to 100 full-tuition law school scholarships for qualified students and alumni from the University of New Haven to attend Charlotte School of Law;
  • Training lawyers interested in working in the area of equal access to justice and public or community service; and
  • Developing cross-institutional programs in such areas as compliance for business and public administration; security studies, criminal justice and investigations; and operations management and entrepreneurship.

“This alliance will afford our alumni an unparalleled opportunity to add a law degree to their portfolio,” said Steven H. Kaplan, president of the University of New Haven. “The scholarships offered through this program will make it possible for them to realize their dream of completing law school and working in community-based programs.”

Charlotte School of Law will sponsor up to 100 full scholarships for high-performing graduates and alumni of the University of New Haven who matriculate at the law school this fall or in spring 2017. Participants in the program will also receive a $5,000 grant to aid in relocation, housing, and co-curricular opportunities.

Because Charlotte School of Law specializes in graduating practice-ready lawyers dedicated to community service and social justice, the scholarships will be particularly attractive to University of New Haven alumni who specialized in criminal justice, public administration, legal studies, security and cybersecurity, as well as workforce-focused degree programs in business and engineering.

This initiative is part of a broader Charlotte School of Law plan designed to maintain its low student default rate (2.4%, comparable to elite schools) and increase incoming credentials without compromising its commitment to diversity.  “We understand that the cost of a legal education may deter some highly qualified individuals from pursuing a career in law, particularly when too many law schools still have a curriculum not well suited to the demographic and employment trends shaping legal practice,” Chidi Ogene, president of Charlotte School of Law, said.  “By taking cost off the table as a consideration, we hope to motivate students to consider community-based jobs after they graduate from law school.”

The alliance will allow Charlotte School of Law to develop and expand programs that provide legal services at a relatively low cost to underserved populations such as its legal services incubator, the Small Practice Center. “There is a natural overlap between what Charlotte School of Law offers to serve this population and what is offered by the University of New Haven, such as our work with the Innocence Project or the Tow Youth Justice Initiative,” said Kaplan. “When one considers that eight out of 10 people requiring assistance from Legal Aid do not have their needs met, it becomes imperative that we partner with committed institutions like Charlotte School of Law to address these inequities in the legal system.”

About the University of New Haven
A leader in experiential learning, the University of New Haven offers its students a unique combination of rigorous academics and hands-on professional training. A private university founded in 1920, the University of New Haven has an enrollment of more than 6,800 students, with 70% of its 5,000 undergraduates residing on its 80-acre main campus. The University offers more than 80 undergraduate degrees and more than 25 graduate degrees through its five colleges, in fields such as sports management, forensic science, marine biology, music and sound recording, engineering, computer science, fire science and criminal justice. University of New Haven students study abroad through a variety of distinctive programs.

About Charlotte School of Law
Located in one of the nation’s fastest growing cities, Charlotte School of Law is an ABA-accredited law school with three mission pillars: Student Centeredness, Practice Readiness and Service to the Underserved. Because of its focus on experiential education, Charlotte School of Law’s students have the opportunity to experience the realities of practice in a wide variety of settings, under the supervision of professors with substantial practice experience. Charlotte School of Law provides unique practice opportunities not found in most law schools, such as its award-winning Civil Rights Clinic and its Cooperative Legal Education program, which pairs law students with practicing lawyers in companies and law firms. Charlotte School of Law is also one of very few law schools with a post-graduate incubator program to help newly minted lawyers establish their legal practices. Since its establishment in 2006, Charlotte School of Law’s students have performed more than 150,000 hours of pro bono service, and it is the only law school in North Carolina with a mandatory pro bono graduation requirement.

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