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UB rejects lawmaker's proposal to move law school downtown

Chris Caya/WBFO News

The vacant Michael J. Dillon U.S. Courthouse in downtown Buffalo, which is in walking distance of several other courts in Buffalo, is an ideal location for the University at Buffalo Law School, according to State Senator Marc Panepinto. A UB Law School graduate, Panepinto says students would get a better education by being able to interact with judges and legal practitioners.

"Lawyers need to be trained where the work is. And a law school being in the old federal courthouse will allow the kind of hands on training that we haven't ever had...at Buffalo's Law School," Panepinto said at a Friday morning news briefing.  

The General Services Administration wants to dispose of the seven-story building on Niagara Square. Panepinto say that means UB could get the building for free. He adds all government administrative offices are also located within walking distance of Niagara Square.

The proposal has the support of fellow UB law graduate and Common Council member Joel Feroleto. 

"This would give law students a great opportunity to access the courts and interact with attorneys, while making downtown more vibrant. With the recent improvements on Main Street, the growing medical campus and Canalside, the law school would be a great asset to the revitalization of downtown Buffalo," said Feroleto.

In a written response, UB said "The university has no plans to move the UB Law School from the North Campus. Isolating the UB Law School off-campus, away from UB’s other professional schools, is neither academically nor economically sound. It is not consistent with the interdisciplinary nature of legal education and research."

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