UA, CSU Announce Potential Law School Merge through New Joint Exploratory Working Group

A partnership between the two law schools would expand course opportunities available to students and more.


Megan Parker (Left), Cleveland State University (Right)

A unification of The University of Akron School of Law (left) and the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law would be the only one in the U.S. to be part of two different urban public research universities.

By Megan Parker, Editor-in-Chief

The University of Akron (UA) and Cleveland State University announced a potential partnership between the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law and UA’s School of Law through the formation of a Joint Exploratory Working Group.

According to a
UA and CSU press release, the group will be co-chaired by CSU Cleveland-Marshall Dean Lee Fisher and Akron Law Dean C.J. Peters. Members will include representatives from both law schools and both legal communities.

The working group would determine the practicality, timeline and other key elements of this potential partnership and operating model. Recommendations would be reviewed by the university presidents prior to a finalized plan being sent to the
American Bar Association (ABA) and the state for final approval.

If approved, the partnership and joint operating model would create the largest law school in Ohio and one of the largest public law schools in the United States.

“UA and CSU would jointly own and operate the newly organized law school, making it the only law school in the United States to be part of two different urban public research universities,” the press release said.

Due to the distance between UA and CSU, students could either take in-person courses at either campus or choose from several online options. Additionally, the combined faculty would increase the school’s curriculum.

Earlier this semester, the two law schools cross-registered eight courses through existing University cross-registration agreements, giving students the chance to take a course offered by one school but not the other.

Both CSU President Harlan Sands and UA President Gary L. Miller, along with both university’s Board of Trustees, support the formation of the Joint Exploratory Working Group.

CSU President Sands believes both schools working together through this unique opportunity will build upon each school’s record of academic excellence and provide new methods for student engagement.

“Our collective ability to meet the changing needs and expectations of our legal and business communities in Northeast Ohio is greater if we work together,” CSU President Sands said.

UA President Miller agrees and says both universities have an “exciting opportunity to think about how we might redesign legal education through a creative partnership of two outstanding law schools.”

For additional information on the potential unification, visit the
Cleveland-Marshall College of Law FAQs or the UA School of Law FAQs page.