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The law school's origins can be traced back establishment of the Columbus Law School in 1903, which was founded by the YMCA in an effort to make legal education available to all interested US citizens. Within three years of its establishment, the law school was officially recognized by the Ohio Supreme Court. In 1917, the school became one of five schools at the YMCA and was soon thereafter organized into the Columbus Evening Law School of the YMCA of Columbus. Throughout the 1920's the law school's name was changed four times, finally settling in as the Columbus College of Law until 1948.
In 1933, the YMCA established Franklin University as its educational division, thus drawing the Columbus College of Law into its jurisdiction. This ultimately led to another name change, establishing the law school as Franklin University Law School. By 1954, the school had received full-accreditation from the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar of the American Bar Association. Ten years later, the school split from the YMCA and became an independent non-profit group.
In 1966, the law school became officially attached to Capital University and, following additional name changes, returned to its familiar name in 1998. It has maintained the Capital University School of Law name since then.
Today, Capital University School of Law offers JD, LLM, and joint degree programs. Additionally, the school offers certification programs for paralegal, nurse consultant, and life care planner careers.
The school enrolls 800 students and houses national centers and institutes, including The National Center for Adoption Law and Policy and the Center for Dispute Resolution. Additionally, the law school provides students with the opportunity to work with clients and gain practical experience through its clinic offerings, which include the Family Advocacy Clinic, the Legal Clinic, the Mediation Clinic, and the business clinic.
Capital University Law School further supports academic and professional development through moot court and a number of student organizations, including the Environmental Law Society, the Military Law Society, the Christian Legal Society, and many others.
The school publishes the Capital University Law Review four times each year. The student-run review publishes articles from practicing attorneys, public officials, judges, and recognized scholars.
The law school's Dean and Professor of Law, Richard Simpson, has been with the school since 2010. He most recently served as a managing partner at Bricker & Eckler LLP, a Columbus law firm. He earned his JD from the University of Michigan School of Law and his BA from Michigan State University.
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