To the Law School Community:

At today’s regularly scheduled meeting of the Rutgers Board of Governors, President Robert L. Barchi introduced a proposal for strengthening legal education at Rutgers by unifying the Rutgers Schools of Law in Camden and Newark into a single, cohesive institution.

I encourage you to read this Philadelphia Inquirer story  and this Star-Ledger editorial for some perspective on the idea.

We all are aware of the challenges that are reshaping legal education and legal practice and that are likely to have a lasting impact.  For the past two years, the faculties at Camden and Newark have been discussing the advantages to unifying the faculty, adopting a single curriculum, and developing one set of criteria for enrolling new students.  We believe strongly that, under this Rutgers Law model, there are increased opportunities for students at each location to advance their career searches and to learn from and with a wider selection of world-class Rutgers faculty.  Rutgers Law will be greater than the sum of its parts and will raise our law schools to a significant level of national prominence.

This is very much a work in progress.  There are many important details to be considered, and both law school communities will do so in a careful and consultative manner.

Let me be clear about several points.  First, and foremost, Rutgers Law will remain in Camden and Newark.  Both law schools are hardwired into the lives of their campuses and their host communities, for purposes of learning and service, and both will remain in place to bring the Rutgers mission to life in those regions.

Our students – current and future – will continue to earn juris doctor degrees from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.  Our faculty will continue to be held to Rutgers’ rigorous standards of scholarship.

I look forward to our ongoing discussions about Rutgers Law.

John Oberdiek
Acting Dean