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Indiana Tech explores law school

Committee to report to trustees in May

– The Indiana Tech Board of Trustees announced Friday the creation of a committee to look at the feasibility of opening a law school in Fort Wayne.

The committee will submit a preliminary report and recommendation to the board May 13, according to a written statement from the university.

There are six law schools within three hours of Fort Wayne: the University of Notre Dame; Indiana University School of Law, Indianapolis; Valparaiso University; Thomas M. Cooley Law School, Lansing, Mich; Michigan State University in East Lansing; and the University of Toledo.

Daniel G. McNamara, president of the Allen County Bar Association and a partner at Eilbacher Fletcher LLP, said the question about the possibility of a law school in Fort Wayne should be whether it will be a good one.

The American Bar Association has a rigorous accreditation process, McNamara said, and if a law school can successfully attain that, it would be worthwhile to the community.

The American Bar Association does not accredit many for-profit law schools, and no correspondence or online law schools are accredited. To get through that process, he said, requires a school to be up to the task of educating men and women to practice law.

The state has four law schools now, including Maurer School of Law at at Indiana University in Bloomington.

That, McNamara said, is about average for a state this size.

The creation of a law school, though, would fit nearly perfectly with the mission statement of the local bar association, he said.

“I could see the local bar association having a very good working relationship with a law school here in town,” he said.

Personally speaking, McNamara said Indiana Tech is known as a good school.

“Indiana Tech has a good reputation for its academics, and I would think that Indiana Tech would do it the right way,” he said.