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Charlotte’s the largest US city without a law school. Elon University aims to change that

Elon University leaders are working to expand its law school in North Carolina with a new location in Charlotte.

In July, the university submitted an application to the American Bar Association, which provided full accreditation to the Greensboro-based law school in 2011. The law school was established in 2006, and more than 400 students are enrolled.

If Elon’s request is approved by the ABA, it will be the first law school to operate in Charlotte since the for-profit Charlotte School of Law closed in 2017 after losing a state license amid issues about admissions and student aid laws.

The Charlotte School of Law’s demise again rendered Charlotte as the biggest U.S. city without a law school. In 2017, UNC Charlotte’s then-chancellor said the university did not envision creating a law school, given the challenging job market at the time for law school grads.

Elon Law is one of several law schools in the state. The others are Duke School of Law, Durham; Campbell University’s Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law, Raleigh; North Carolina Central University, Durham; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem.

After the Charlotte School of Law shut down in 2017, it left the city again without a law school.
After the Charlotte School of Law shut down in 2017, it left the city again without a law school.

More about Elon University

Priscilla Totten, a spokeswoman for the ABA, declined to detail Elon’s application, saying it was confidential.

BusinessNC first reported about the application. According to the BusinessNC report, An independent arm of the ABA that deals with law school accreditations hasn’t decided on Elon’s application yet; that council next meets in November.

Elon University, a private university in Alamance County, was founded in 1881. More than 7,000 students from throughout the U.S. and 51 nations are enrolled there.

Elon Law school said total tuition cost for its incoming class of 2023 for its 2 1/2-year Juris Doctor degree is $125,000, or lower based on scholarships and fellowship awards. The law school also guarantees that there will be no tuition hikes during their time there.

An Elon spokesman declined to comment about the school’s law school plans for Charlotte. But he said an announcement about academic programs would be coming on Tuesday, when the university opens its “Charlotte Regional Center” in South End on Tremont Avenue.

Elon University submitted an application to the ABA to have a law school in Charlotte.
Elon University submitted an application to the ABA to have a law school in Charlotte.