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UNH School of Law Welcomes New Name, New Students

September 1, 2010

Every new school year brings with it a palpable sense of anticipation; the eagerness this year at the UNH School of Law was notably beyond the norm. Students who left Franklin Pierce Law Center for summer break returned to take classes at UNH School of Law. Entering students arrived knowing they'd be the first class to start and graduate at UNH School of Law.

The affiliation, in the works for several years and officially effective August 30, unites the previously independent law school with New Hampshire’s world-class public research university, providing fertile ground for joint efforts in research and intellectual property, for which the law school is globally recognized; social justice; business studies; and agriculture and animal law. The law school, located in Concord--state capital and the center of legal activity--and the main university campus, 35 miles east in Durham, are still discovering areas of synergy.

As they arrived on campus, students expressed excitement for the opportunities ahead.  Kazumasa Matsuura, already a patent attorney in Japan and now pursuing a Master of Laws (LLM) degree, was relieved to learn that “Franklin Pierce” will be retained in UNH School of Law’s newly named Franklin Pierce Center for Intellectual Property, because “’Franklin Pierce’ is very famous in Japan, especially for IP.”

Erin Goebel, an entering JD candidate from Michigan, notes that she has been anxiously counting down the days until first year in law school.  The school’s name change and the activity surrounding it is exciting, she says. “UNH's resources will be able to provide the law school with an unprecedented amount of expertise in regards to faculty, course offerings, etc. I don’t think the partnership could prove any more timely due to economic conditions, the legal industry, and the increasing competition for employment.”

The warmth of a school with fewer than 500 students has already made an impression on her, “My undergraduate school, Michigan State, had upwards of 48,000 students, so you could say I’ve downsized a bit. When I first stopped in the bookstore, I was honestly caught off guard by how interested the ladies in the bookstore seemed in me. They were so kind and genuinely seemed as though they wanted to get to know me. That is a huge draw.”

Second-year law student David Howard received both undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of New Hampshire and looks forward to the marriage of the two institutions. “The affiliation will enhance both the educational and professional opportunities for all participants. Franklin Pierce Law Center's intimate legal community, coupled with the multi-faceted resources available at UNH, will augment collaborative innovation in an assortment of disciplines, ranging from Intellectual Property to Social Justice. UNH School of Law will enhance the state’s attractiveness to students, scholars, and practitioners alike.”

The UNH School of Law is a global leader in innovative legal education. Its internationally renowned intellectual property program, now housed in the Franklin Pierce Center for Intellectual Property, 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, UNH School of Law is a pioneer in practice-based education. It is affiliated with UNH, a land, sea, and space-grant university enrolling more than 12,200 undergraduate and 2,200 graduate students.

For a list of FAQs regarding the affiliation visit http://www.unh.edu/unhedutop/university-new-hampshire-school-law.

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