Blog Network

About The Bloggers


Another New Law School, Sort Of

The Massachusetts School of Law at Andover is branching out. It is launching the nation's first college dedicated exclusively to the teaching of history, including American legal history. To be called the American College of History and Legal Studies, the college will open its doors in August 2010 in Salem, N.H., according to an MSL announcement.

The ACHLS will be an undergraduate "completion college," offering only junior- and senior-year courses. After completing their junior year, students who meet certain criteria will have the option of starting law school at MSL. These students will receive their bachelor's degrees after the first year of law school.

"ACHLS’ curriculum will focus exclusively on general American history and legal history, with attention to U.S. history in the context of world history and the history of constitutional and regulatory law," MSL Dean Lawrence Velvel said in the statement announcing the new school. Professors will teach through discussions, rather than through lectures, and class sizes will be held to 20 students, he said. He expects tuition to be $10,000 a year.

The school will offer four areas of concentration: (1) the history of civil rights in the United States, (2) urban history, (3) the history of American foreign affairs and (4) the lessons taught by history. Courses expected to be offered will include "The History of Women’s Rights," "Race in American Law," "American History in the Context of World History" and "The History of American Constitutional Law."

The college “will stress rigor of thinking and analysis, fluent speaking and good writing,” Velvel said, “with students being required to write many short to medium-sized, heavily critiqued papers in every class on topics raised by the material discussed in the classroom.”

As for why MSL is starting the new school, Velvel said that the public and leaders are too often ignorant about history. "As a high percentage of elected officials, judges and corporate executives are lawyers, it is imperative to begin the process of trying to ensure that American leaders, especially its lawyers, have the historical knowledge needed to make intelligent decisions in the national interest," Velvel said.

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on June 9, 2009 at 11:11 AM | Permalink | Comments (9)


About ALM  |  About  |  Customer Support  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms & Conditions