When Phillip Closius interviewed for the post of first dean of Wilmington University’s newly created School of Law, the first question he asked was, “Why does Delaware need another law school?” Now Dean Closius is answering his own question, including offering more affordable legal training that will emphasize the needs of everyday people and not just those of companies who incorporate in the state.
The first class of about 50 daytime students and 15 evening students will begin in fall 2023 at the institution’s Brandywine campus. The university’s application for accreditation by the American Bar Association will be made, per standard practice, as soon as classes begin. Annual tuition will be about $24,000 for full-time students and $18,000 for part-time.
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Closius, who received his law degree from Columbia University and formerly served as dean of the law schools at the University of Baltimore and the University of Toledo, says, “I have experiences at taking law schools to their next levels, but this is my first time in helping launch a new one.”
University President LaVerne Harmon introduced the new dean as someone who “raised bar passage rates by 30% in his first year,” and indicated a similar capability would be a priority at Wilmington. Closius said another goal would be raising the number of minority law school students, and that meeting with minority candidates will be emphasized during upcoming recruiting visits.