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The 40-year-long plan to build a law school at University of California, Irvine is on hold again. A report from the California Postsecondary Education Commission (CPEC) found UCI’s proposal failed to meet the criteria necessary to show a compelling state need for the school. UCI plans to revise and re-submit the proposal after addressing these issues, said Christine Byrd, spokesperson for UCI. “UCI is already working with CPEC on this,” she said. “Once the revised proposal is submitted, CPEC will have 60 days to review.” If UCI meets the criteria in its revised proposal, then CPEC will give its support, said Murray J. Haberman, CPEC’s executive director. “We have advised UC Irvine on what would be necessary for approval,” he said. CPEC’s approval is not required for University of California’s Board of Regents’ final approval, but there has never been an instance where an institution has gone forward without CPEC’s support, Haberman said. Building a law school was initially discussed in 1965 as part of UCI’s long-range vision and throughout the past few decades carried unanimous support from the Orange County legal community, but state budget difficulties prevent any action, Byrd said. The proposal argued that a new law school would enable more students to pursue public interest law careers, which would benefit the entire state. UCI would also serve as another public law school in Southern California. Currently, University of California at Los Angeles School of Law is the only public law school in the area.

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