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Illinois attorney to lead Indiana Tech law school

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The former dean of Southern Illinois University School of Law has been chosen as dean for Indiana Tech’s new law school, school officials announced Nov. 11.

Peter C. Alexander will officially begin work on Jan. 9. He is currently a professor at the Carbondale, Ill., law school, where he served as dean from 2003 until 2009. Alexander has also worked in private practice in Illinois, was on the faculty of the Dickinson School of Law at Penn State University for 11 years, and served as law clerk to two federal judges in Illinois.

He received his Bachelor of Arts in political science from SIU and his juris doctor from Northeastern University School of Law in Boston in 1983.

“Peter Alexander shares our vision for law school education in the 21st century and has the qualifications and experience to help us achieve our goals,” said Dr. Arthur E. Snyder, Indiana Tech president. “I look forward to working with him as we continue our curriculum development and begin recruiting students for our first class.”

Indiana Tech, a private school based in Fort Wayne with campuses around Indiana and Kentucky, announced in May that its board of trustees approved moving forward with creating a law school in Fort Wayne. The law school hopes to have 100 students in its inaugural class.

This is not the first time Alexander will have worked at a law school in Indiana. He taught bankruptcy and evidence at Notre Dame Law School as a visiting professor in the fall of 2009 and 2010.

Alexander said he is humbled and honored to be chosen as the founding dean of the new law school and is confident that Indiana Tech School of Law will “quickly be regarded as the home of innovation in legal education.”

The school’s president, Arthur E. Snyder, defended the decision to open another law school in Indiana in an editorial this summer in a Fort Wayne newspaper. He cited a 136-page feasibility study which is available on Indiana Tech’s website, that was done by the school. It says hundreds of students leave Indiana to attend law school and very few return to practice here. The study also says that the decrease in interest to go to law school in Indiana may partly be because of a lack of opportunity to attend an Indiana law school.

The law school is working toward obtaining accreditation by the American Bar Association. The approval process can take several years.

A web page dedicated to the law school says it is still determining the specifics of the program, leaving much of it up to the new dean. There is also a possibility that some credits would be offered online. Tuition is projected to be $28,500.•

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