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UNH and Franklin Pierce Law Center Agree to Affiliate, Take Next Step Toward Merger

By Erika Mantz, Media Relations
March 24, 2010

President Mark W. Huddleston and Franklin Pierce Law Center President John D. Hutson announced today that the two institutions have approved an affiliation agreement, the first step in a multi-year process toward full merger. The Pierce Law board unanimously approved the affiliation March 4 and the USNH board of trustees approved it March 15.

“This is an exciting day for both institutions,” said President Mark W. Huddleston. “Pierce Law has one of the top intellectual property programs in the world, and it is an honor to be affiliated with such an extraordinary law school. There is great potential among our many programs, including business and engineering, and Pierce Law’s, especially in the areas of intellectual property and public interest. Affiliating will allow us to begin exploring the many ways we can enhance the university’s academic programs, create clinical education opportunities and encourage joint research. UNH is also pleased now to have a stronger presence in Concord.”

Franklin Pierce Law Center will be named the University of New Hampshire School of Law pending approval of the affiliation by the American Bar Association and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

“For Pierce Law, this affiliation will provide a tremendous opportunity for both our students and faculty to expand our innovative approach to legal education and explore new avenues for scholarly research,” said John Hutson, president and dean of Franklin Pierce Law Center. “We will continue to build upon our long history of intellectual property leadership and maintain the international reputation associated with the name Franklin Pierce. In affiliating with a research university of UNH’s scope, Pierce Law faculty and students will join a wider community of scholars and enjoy significant opportunities for interdisciplinary research in the coming years.”

The affiliation calls for the formation of two integration committees – academic and administrative – that will make recommendations for how best to maximize the benefits of the two schools coming together.

Pierce Law is a global leader in innovative legal education. Its internationally-renowned intellectual property program boasts one of the largest full-time faculties in the field, a broad range of curricular offerings, and the only academic intellectual property library in the nation. Through its Social Justice Institute, wide range of clinics, externships, and unique Daniel Webster Scholar Honors Program, Pierce Law is a leader in practice-based education.

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