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UNH Law one step closer to being part of University of New Hampshire

The University of New Hampshire School of Law’s board of trustees voted Thursday to fully integrate the school with the University of New Hampshire.

The University System of New Hampshire’s board of trustees will take up the question Friday at its next meeting. If the university system’s board also votes in favor, UNH Law will become a school of the university by early 2014.

The law school would remain in Concord, but students there and at the university’s main campus in Durham would both benefit from the move, said Margaret Sova McCabe, a professor at UNH Law and the school’s associate dean of academic administration and special projects.

The schools have already worked together to create two dual degrees, a JD/MBA with UNH’s Whittemore School of Business and Economics, and a JD/MSW with UNH’s College of Health and Human Services. Full integration would make it easier for students to take course exchanges if they are not interested in pursuing an entire dual degree program – something that is now difficult because the two institutions use different registration systems and often different semester calendars, McCabe said.

“The university, in its strategic plan . . . discussed how the traditional education says you’re an economist and I’m in marketing, we’re separate,” McCabe said. “But we all recognize that’s not the way the real world works, and we want to make sure students understand that before they leave higher education.

“This allows students to figure out what they need to do know to get where they want to be.”

If approved Friday, this would be the last of many incremental steps toward uniting the two organizations that started in 2010 when the former Franklin Pierce Law Center began an affiliation with the university and changed its name to UNH Law. This month was the first opportunity sanctioned by that agreement to move toward full integration.

(Sarah Palermo can be reached at 369-3322 or spalermo@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @SPalermoNews.)

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