University of North Carolina School of Law
|School of Law|
|University of North Carolina
at Chapel Hill
|Location||Chapel Hill, North Carolina|
|Dean||John ("Jack") Charles Boger|
The University of North Carolina School of Law is a professional school within the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Established in 1845, Carolina Law is among the oldest law schools in the nation and is the oldest law school in North Carolina. It is consistently ranked in the top-tier of law schools, and its 2014 US News and World Report ranking is 31st. Further, according to the US News and World Report, "Carolina Law " is among the top 10 public law schools in the Nation" -- and 17th in reputation among lawyers and judges and 20th among scholars. In 2013, U.S. News &World Report also ranked Carolina Law 2nd in the nation on “return on investment” for its J.D. program.
The law school has just over 700 students at any time, and retains a student-faculty ratio of 13 to 1. The entering class of first-year law students in 2013 was composed of 238 students from 28 states, the District of Columbia, and China. Seventy percent of students were from North Carolina, and students of color made up 24 percent of the class. Men and women were each 50 percent of the class.
Following discussion in the North Carolina legal community, on December 12, 1842, the Trustees of the University of North Carolina authorized the University President, David L. Swain, to review and establish a law professorship. In 1845, William Horn Battle was named the first professor of law, and legal instruction began at the university. In the years following, assistant professors and later an organized faculty and law library were added. The school began taking on much of the character of a modern law school in the 1920s, after the American Bar Association first published guidelines for schools. University President Harry Woodburn Chase was instrumental in leading the efforts for this reorganization over notable opposition, including the governor of North Carolina.
The law school is currently located in Van Hecke-Wettach Hall, towards the southeastern side of the Chapel Hill campus, neighboring the School of Government and several athletic facilities. Van Hecke-Wettach Hall includes the Kathrine R. Everett Law Library, located primarily on four floors on the back side of the building.
Centers and initiatives
The UNC School of Law is home to several centers that focus on issues of state and national interest:
- Center for Banking and Finance - Lissa Broome, Director
- Center for Civil Rights - Julius L. Chambers, Director. Charles Daye, Deputy Director
- Center on Poverty, Work & Opportunity - Gene Nichol, Director.
- Center for Law and Government - Michael J. Gerhardt, Director
- Center on Law, Environment, Adaptation and Resources (CLEAR) - Victor Flatt, Director
- Community Development Law Clinic: third year law students counsel large and small nonprofit and community development organizations.
- Civil Clinic: third year law students represent indigent clients in civil matters.
- Juvenile Justice Clinic: third year law students defend and represent juvenile defendants.
- Immigration Law and Policy Clinic
- Consumer Financial Transaction Clinic
- Domestic Violence Representation Project
The school is home to five student-edited law journals. The oldest, the North Carolina Law Review, was founded in 1922. This journal features an annual North Carolina issue reviewing developments in the state's law.
- First Amendment Law Review
- North Carolina Banking Institute Journal
- North Carolina Journal of International Law and Commercial Regulation
- North Carolina Journal of Law & Technology (NC JOLT)
- North Carolina Law Review
There are more than 10,000 alumni of the University of North Carolina School of Law. Roughly 40 percent of practicing North Carolina attorneys are Carolina Law graduates, more than any other law school in North Carolina. Many have gone on to notable roles, including countless government offices in North Carolina. Among these are several recent NC governors (Hunt, Holshouser, Moore, and Sanford) and (as of the 2013 term) six of seven North Carolina Supreme Court justices (Parker, Martin, Edmunds, Newby, Hudson, and Jackson).A number of Carolina Law graduates have served in the United States Congress, including Representatives Mike McIntyre (D-NC), Howard Coble (R-NC), and Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) in the 113th Congress. Thirteen members of the current North Carolina General Assembly are Carolina Law graduates, including North Carolina Senate Minority Leader Martin Nesbitt (D-Buncombe), North Carolina House Speaker Pro Tempore Paul “Skip” Stam (R-Wake), and North Carolina House Minority Leader Larry Hall (D-Durham).
- William Horn Battle, 1845-1868; 1877-1879 (as professor of law)
- John Manning, Jr., 1881-1899 (as professor of law)
- James Cameron MacRae, 1899-1909 (as dean)
- Lucius Polk McGehee, 1910-1923 (as dean)
- Merton Leroy Ferson, 1924-1926
- Charles T. McCormick, 1927-1931
- Maurice Taylor Van Hecke, 1931-1941
- Robert Hasley Wettach, 1941-1949
- Henry Brandis, Jr., 1949-1964
- James Dickson Phillips, Jr., 1964-1974
- Robert Gray Byrd, 1974-1979
- Kenneth S. Broun, 1979-1987
- Judith Welch Wegner, 1989-1999
- Gene Nichol, 1999-2005
- John "Jack" Charles Boger, 2006-
- Coates , Albert, The Story of the Law School of the University of North Carolina, North Carolina Law Review 47, Oct. 1968 Special Issue
- Carolina Law Alumni Association
- The University of North Carolina School of Law: A Sesquicentennial History, North Carolina Law Review 73.