4 things we learned about Elon University’s plans for a law school in Charlotte

Leaders from Elon University School of Law traveled from Greensboro to Charlotte on Tuesday to detail plans for a new law school.

Inside Elon’s new regional center in South End, university President Connie Book and officials presented new details about their plans for the city. The Charlotte Observer recently reported on the university sending an application to the American Bar Association in July, which is pending.

“We actually have several Elon law grads making a mark here in Charlotte,” Book said at the official opening of the regional location. “They actually asked us to bring our law school to Charlotte on several occasions. So, it’s an exciting day to see this come full circle.”

Elon law school was established in 2006 and received full ABA accreditation for the campus in 2011. More than 400 students are enrolled.

As for plans for Charlotte, here’s what university officials said to expect of the law school:

Elon University at Charlotte regional center in South End is ready to welcome aspiring lawyers next year.
Elon University at Charlotte regional center in South End is ready to welcome aspiring lawyers next year.

What’s being offered?

Elon University School of Law is offering a Juris Doctor degree program through the Elon Law Flex Program. It was designed to meet the needs of working professionals and students.

Book said it’ll allow participants to work full time and take care of family obligations. It was named “Flex” because it can be completed in four years rather than 2 1/2 years at the main campus, and students can engage with faculty members to have a program that fits their schedule.

The school will give students opportunities to work in legal clinics, law journal publications, moot court programs and competitions with other students from across the country.

How long has a law school plan been in the works?

The Elon law school would be the only in-person law school offered in Charlotte now.

The for-profit Charlotte School of Law closed in 2017 after losing a state license because of issues with admissions and student aid laws — leaving a void in on the biggest metro areas in the U.S.

The faculty at Elon Law began thinking about Charlotte back in 2018 and the difference they make could in the city, Book said. “It’s really a dynamic, creative way to approach legal education,” Book said.

Book said it’s great to have a footprint in the city. The work for the center was part of a 10-year plan, “Boldy Elon.” Regional centers were envisioned for Charlotte, Raleigh and a few other locations.

When will the new law school open?

If Elon gets approval from the ABA and The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, law classes will start in the fall of 2024.

The university will start accepting applications for the Charlotte-based program on Oct. 1.

“We know how powerful having physical presence here in Charlotte will be for the future of Elon University, and we’re banking on the future of Charlotte too,” Book said. “We want it to go both ways.”

More about Elon’s regional center in Charlotte

The regional center at 330 W. Tremont Ave. is also offering undergraduate students majoring and minoring in sports management an opportunity to work and study in Charlotte.

The university came to South End because of the neighborhood’s access to public transportation, in addition to the arts, culture and business.

Elon University was founded in 1881. The private university in Alamance County has more than 7,000 students from throughout the U.S. and 51 nations.

For its law school in Greensboro, the cost of tuition for a 2 1/2-year Juris Doctor degree is $125,000 for the incoming class of 2023. Scholarships and fellowship awards are also available.