The American Bar Association (ABA) has given final approval for a satellite campus of Seattle University School of Law in Anchorage. The satellite campus will be housed at Alaska Pacific University. For the first time ever, law students will be able to take their entire third year of law classes in Alaska, taught by Alaskans, beginning in the fall of 2015. The initiative allows Alaskan students to spend their summers and entire third year in their home state after two years in Seattle.
The all-elective third-year curriculum will be focused on Alaska law, and students will have externship opportunities in a variety of legal settings. Professor Christian Halliburton will be the first Seattle U Law faculty member to teach in the program, which will also rely on the expertise of Alaska practitioners as adjunct faculty.
The development of a satellite campus at Alaska Pacific University further solidifies the law school’s strong bond with Alaska. Seattle University School of Law has many outreach programs within the state, including the longstanding Alaska summer program, in which law students take a course and gain practical experience though a variety of summer placements in Anchorage.
The Alaska Court System, the Alaska Bar Association, and individual lawyers in Alaska have strongly supported the endeavor. The Court System has granted the law school use of its courtrooms and access to its law library.
“This news has been a long time coming,” writes Annette E. Clark, Dean of Seattle University School of Law. “I am beyond thrilled that we have reached this point in this long process, and I am incredibly pleased and proud to work with [Alaska Pacific University] on this exciting and historic enterprise for Alaska.”
Stephanie Nichols, a 2006 graduate of Seattle University School of Law who grew up in Fairbanks, has overseen the development of the satellite campus and teaches several Alaska-related law courses.
“I am thrilled to be a part of something of such great historical significance in my home state,” Nichols said. “It is a privilege to be working in Alaska alongside my fellow Alaskans and to be creating opportunities for the people and state of Alaska.”
Seattle University School of Law is one of the most diverse law schools in the country with 35 percent of this year’s entering class being students of color. The law school offers one full tuition three-year scholarship to an Alaska Native or Native American student.
The School of Law also offers scholarships to Alaskans who attend law school through an endowment made possible by George and Mary Sundborg, the late parents of Seattle University President Fr. Stephen Sundborg. George was one of the drafters of the Alaska State Constitution and helped pave the way for statehood.