Valparaiso Law School in talks to leave state for Tennessee

Valparaiso Law School, which has been searching for a way to remain open, is looking to Tennessee for its future.

Valparaiso University has released a statement saying it has entered into a nonbinding letter of intent to transfer the law school to Middle Tennessee State University’s campus in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Details of any potential transfer, including whether current faculty and students would be a part of the move, are still being discussed.

The university noted the talks are preliminary, with both institutions still determining whether the move would be in the best interests of the respective stakeholders. Also, the possible transfer would require approval from the governing board of the two universities as well as relevant accrediting and government bodies.

In November 2017, Valparaiso Law School announced it was suspending admissions for the fall of 2018 and exploring alternatives to remain open. The private institution in Northwest Indiana had been publicly censured in November 2016 by the American Bar Association for admitting students who did not appear capable of completing law school or passing the bar exam.

A transfer would be a major shift for Valparaiso Law School. The law school, which opened in 1879, is currently part of a private Lutheran university with about 4,000 students, but joining MTSU would make it part of a state-supported institution that has an enrollment of nearly 20,000.

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