University of North Carolina School of Law
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Van Hecke-Wettach Hall
|UNC School of Law|
|Founder||William H. Battle|
|University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill|
|Dean||Martin H. Brinkley|
Van Hecke-Wettach Hall, 160 Ridge Road, CB #3380,
|Accreditation||American Bar Association|
The University of North Carolina School of Law (also designated as UNC 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.
As of 2017[update], the law school has 634 enrolled students and a student-faculty ratio of 11.3 to 1. The entering class of first-year law students in 2017 was composed of 213 students from 25 states, the District of Columbia, and China. Sixty-three percent of students were from North Carolina, and students of color made up 26 percent of the class. Fifty-one percent of incoming students were female, while 49% were male.
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.
In 1915, Margaret Berry became the first female to graduate from the law school. In the 1920s, the school began taking on much of the character of a modern law school, 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.
In 1951, Harvey Beech, J. Kenneth Lee, Floyd McKissick and James Robert Walker Jr. were the first four black students enrolled at the law school in June 1951. McKissick and other black students had argued in court that a state law school for blacks in Durham was not equal to that in Chapel Hill. In March 1951, a U.S. Court of Appeals agreed and ordered UNC to stop excluding black applicants. Sylvia X. Allen became the first black female student to graduate in 1962, and did so as the mother of six children.
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 programs
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 - Theodore Shaw, Director.
- Center for Climate, Energy, Environment & Economics - Jonas J. Monast, Director
- North Carolina Coastal Resources Law, Planning and Policy Center
- UNC Center for Media Law and Policy - David Ardia, Co-Director
- Director Diversity Initiative
- Intellectual Property Initiative
- UNC School of Law Medical Child Abuse Initiative
- Prosecutors and Politics Project
- N.C. Poverty Research Fund
Clinics provide students with the opportunity to learn legal theory and put the legal theory to practice.
- Civil Legal Assistance Clinic
- Community Development Law Clinic
- Consumer Financial Transactions Clinic
- Domestic and Sexual Violence Clinic
- Immigration Clinic
- Intellectual Property Clinic
- Veterans Legal Assistance Project
- Youth Justice Clinic
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
- North Carolina Journal of Law & Technology (NC JOLT)
- North Carolina Law Review
According to UNC School of Law 2017 ABA-required disclosures, 80.51% of the Class of 2017 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required or JD advantage employment ten months after graduation.
UNC Law has increased its tuition 71% for in-state residents since 2007-2008 at a time when law school graduates have faced a sharply declining legal job market.
The total cost of attendance (indicating the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses) at UNC for the 2017-2018 academic year is $49,562 for North Carolina residents and $66,193 for out-of-state students. The Law School Transparency estimated debt-financed cost of attendance for three years is $176,368 for residents and $243,846 for nonresidents.
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 the current and several recent NC governors (Cooper, Hunt, Holshouser, Moore, and Sanford) and (as of the 2019 term) three of seven North Carolina Supreme Court justices (Martin, Newby and Hudson).
- William Horn Battle, 1845-1868; 1877-1879 (as professor of law)
- Kemp Plummer Battle, 1879-1881 (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, 2006-2015
- Martin H. Brinkley, 2015-Present
- "University of North Carolina--Chapel Hill". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
- "Class of 2020 Profile" (PDF). University of North Carolina School of Law. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
- "Women's History @ UNC". Archived from the original on 2013-02-03. Retrieved 2017-04-04.
- Coates , Albert, The Story of the Law School of the University of North Carolina, North Carolina Law Review 47, Oct. 1968 Special Issue
- Carolina to Celebrate 50 Years of African-American Students
- Black History
- "Centers and Programs". UNC School of Law.
- "UNC Law Clinics". UNC School of Law. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
- "UNC School of Law Journals". UNC School of Law.
- "ABA Required Disclosures". ABA Required Disclosures. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
- "Tuition and Fees".
- "University of North Carolina Profile".
- Carolina Law Alumni Association
- The University of North Carolina School of Law: A Sesquicentennial History, North Carolina Law Review 73.
- "Martin Brinkley '92 chosen as 14th Dean of UNC-Chapel Hill School of Law".