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By Diane Greiwe
In a recent presentation to Binghamton-area Rotary Club members, Binghamton University Provost Mary Ann Swain estimated the economic impact of a new law school at $26.4 million on the region and $33.7 million on the state. The presentation was one in a series scheduled to build awareness and support for the University’s proposal to establish a first-class law school.
“Yes, we need more lawyers,” Swain said. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the employment of lawyers is expected to grow over the next decade, with increased demand in healthcare, intellectual property, venture capital, energy, elder, antitrust and environmental law. An additional public law school in New York state will provide greater access to high-quality, affordable education. With only two public law schools in New York state, estimates show that this proposed school would be in high demand by current Binghamton University students as well as others.
Substantial progress has already been made to secure funding - $3.5 million from the state for planning. In addition, all on-campus approvals have been obtained and two external reviewers will visit campus soon to evaluate the proposed school’s feasibility. Next steps include securing approvals from the SUNY system and board of trustees, the state education department and the governor. If all goes well, the University will hire a dean in late 2009 and open the law school to its first class in 2011.
Alumni support is key as the University works toward securing the remaining approvals for the law school. Alumni have already supported this major initiative, representing a significant portion of the over 2,700 Think Tank advocates currently registered. This advocacy group has sent more than 5,000 messages to legislators and SUNY decision makers urging their support of the University.
You can help by registering as an advocate at the Think Binghamton website, if you have not already done so. It is easy and takes less than two minutes of your time. Think Tank members receive University initiative updates every few months and are occasionally asked to send editable letters to legislators on the University’s behalf through the Think Binghamton website.
Swain’s closing remarks to club members emphasized that the University’s goal is “to become one of the best public law schools in the nation.” Consider doing your part to help the University achieve its goal.
Last Updated: 11/12/13