FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Jan. 25, 2012) – Indiana Tech officials announced on Tuesday that the university will build a 70,000 sq. ft. facility on its main campus to house its law school.
The university’s plan to open a law school in 2013 was announced in May 2011. Since then, officials have been weighing the pros and cons of an on-campus location vs. a downtown Fort Wayne location.
“We seriously considered several possibilities but ultimately decided that constructing a new facility on our campus is the best way to serve our future law students,” said Indiana Tech President Arthur E. Snyder.
The Indiana Tech Law School building will be located on the east side of the campus at the corner of Maumee Avenue and Comparet Street. It will house classrooms, faculty offices, the law library, a trial courtroom, a legal clinic, and a café.
“Having the law school on the campus will provide many more opportunities for the law school community to interact with the rest of campus and vice versa,” said Peter Alexander, founding dean of the law school. “The location also is close to downtown, which will allow us to foster close working relationships beween law school faculty and students and the local bench and bar.”
Unlike existing law schools, the Indiana Tech Law School will be based on collaborative and experiental learning to better prepare graduates for law practice or other careers. The curriculum will place a heavy emphasis on practical experience, and the on-campus location will facilitate the establishment of legal clinics to serve the Indiana Tech community.
“For example, our Mediation Clinic will mediate disputes between undergraduates, among other duties,” Alexander explained. “Our Estate Planning Clinic will provide simple wills and powers of attorney for Indiana Tech employees. These activities will give our law students vital practical opportunities to apply what they learn while building relationships with others in the university.”
The on-campus location also will allow Indiana Tech law students to more easily take advantage of services and facilities such as the university’s wellness center, student activities in Andorfer Commons, and athletic events.
“I also see the law students being able to take courses in the MBA program and in other graduate programs that will count toward degree completion in the law school,” Alexander said. “With this location on campus, the law school programs and the general university programs will have a greater chance of being synergistic with one another, and there will be more opportunities for team-teaching and cross-listed courses.”
Site engineering for the construction will begin immediately with the building under roof by December and completed by July 2013. Cost is expected to be just above $15 million. The building was designed by SchenkelShultz Architecture with SHW Group, and the lead contractor is Michael Kinder and Sons.
The Indiana Tech Law School will officially open in fall 2013 with an initial class of 100 students. Curriculum details and admissions policies are in development, and additional information for prospectives students will be posted at www.IndianaTech.edu/law as it becomes available.