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The transition of Franklin Pierce Law Center into the University of New Hampshire School of Law is complete. The school was formally renamed Monday and has started its inaugural year as a public institution. Franklin Pierce was an independent law school. University officials unveiled new signs during a ceremony on Monday. The law school’s formal affiliation with the University of New Hampshire is the result of more than two years of talks to create more interdisciplinary opportunities for law students and for students in other schools within the university. The law school will continue to be located in the Concord, N.H., about 40 miles away from the main University of New Hampshire campus in Durham, N.H. It is the only law school in New Hampshire. Assistant Dean for Admissions Katie McDonald said that there was no significant change in the number of applications the law school received this year. The announcement of the merger did not occur until April, which is late in the law school application cycle. “Over time, I think it will increase application volume,” she said. “I think we’ll have fewer questions about who Franklin Pierce [the 14th president of the United States] is. I think that it will give us some place recognition, which is beneficial. It will substantiate us with a regional presence, and geography is the No. 1 reason students select a school.” Tuition remains comparable to what it was at Franklin Pierce, although administrators are discussing a tuition waiver next year for New Hampshire residents, McDonald said. The law school, which was founded in 1973, is known for its strong intellectual property program. That program has been renamed the Franklin Pierce Center for Intellectual Property. University of New Hampshire President Mark Huddleston said in a written statement that the law school’s intellectual property focus would benefit other parts of the university. “Not only will it allow us to continue to expand the efforts already underway to commercialize the products of our science and engineering labs, but the affiliation will also provide opportunities to strengthen our academic programs, raise the institution’s national profile and attract even stronger students,” he said. The university is searching for a replacement for John Hutson, who announced in the spring that he will retire as law dean next year. Karen Sloan can be contacted at [email protected].

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