FORT WAYNE – Indiana Tech looked around downtown Fort Wayne for a home for its future law school, slated to open in the fall of 2013.
But after all possibilities were exhausted, school officials decided to put the school on the western edge of the campus, which lies between Maumee Avenue and Washington Boulevard.
President Arthur E. Snyder and Peter C. Alexander, dean of the law school, made the announcement Tuesday morning, both expressing excitement the new school would be on campus.
After initial plans to create the law school were announced, school officials identified potential locations downtown. The options were narrowed to three – the Scottish Rite Center on West Berry Street; the Anthony Wayne Building at Berry and Clinton streets; and the Masonic Temple on East Washington Boulevard.
But none of those buildings became a viable option, Snyder said. The first two were sold and the third could not be converted as a workable space.
So school officials moved its focus to the campus, where construction on the three-story building will begin this spring, Snyder said.
Putting the law school on the campus will keep it from being separate from the students, creating or working with the synergy already on campus, Snyder said.
The building has been designed to house the new type of law school planned by Indiana Tech, Alexander said.
Alongside traditional classrooms and faculty offices, the building will house a law library that will be open in a semi-public fashion to students outside the law school, as well as local attorneys and judges.
A courtroom will be constructed to allow students to practice trial techniques, but the room will also be available as a place to conduct hearings for higher courts such as the Indiana or federal courts of appeals, Alexander said.
The law students will also be able to practice their craft in a legal clinic, open to the campus community and Fort Wayne.
The legal clinic will include a mediation center for students, allowing them to resolve disputes among themselves for free.
School officials also plan to incorporate the mediation center into student disciplinary matters, Alexander said.
Estate planning services, such as power of attorney and the creation of wills, will be available to employees of Indiana Tech, Alexander said.
There will also be an immigration clinic available to area individuals looking for help in obtaining citizenship or dealing with other immigration issues, Alexander said.
We have a lot of work to do to make this the most exciting law school, he said.
Even with the change in location, Snyder said there is no change in the schedule for the law school, which should begin enrolling students this spring.
The building will likely be under roof by December, with classes scheduled to begin in August 2013, Snyder said.
Alexander has already mailed about 575 information packets to prospective students, Snyder said.