The nation’s newest law school opened its doors on Aug. 25 to welcome its first class.

The Belmont University College of Law in Nashville has an incoming class of 130 students — 30 more than a feasibility study predicted, said Dean Jeff Kinsler. “We had a much higher yield on our offers than we thought we would,” he said.

That same feasibility study predicted that the class’ median score on the Law School Admissions Test would be 152, but it ended up at 154.

That Belmont opened at all is remarkable, considering that two other new law schools that were scheduled to open this year — Concordia University Law School in Boise, Idaho, and the University of North Texas at Dallas College of Law — have delayed their plans.

Belmont’s law school is slated to have about 325 students once it is fully ramped up, Kinsler said. It has nine faculty members. The school’s Nashville location has proven a significant draw; most of the students come from the mid-South and the Southeast, he said.

The law school occupies a facility built for Belmont University’s physical therapy and occupational therapy program, but is scheduled to move to a new, 75,000-square-foot building in 2012.

The law school’s first-year curriculum is similar to that at other law schools, Kinsler said, while upper-level courses will place a greater emphasis on skills training and professionalism. The school plans to offer certificate programs in music and health care law.

Belmont is a private, Christian university with nearly 6,000 students. The law school was announced in 2009.

Karen Sloan can be contacted at