Merger talks hover over Charleston School of Law, CofC

Merger talks hover over Charleston School of Law, CofC
Published: Aug. 9, 2013 at 2:22 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 9, 2013 at 3:20 AM EDT
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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A state lawmaker is proposing a merger between the Charleston School of Law and the College of Charleston. College of Charleston president George Benson says the two institutions should have become one ten years ago.

"I think the logic early on was to make that part of the college, but there was opposition to that somewhere in the state, and it didn't happen. Probably should have happened.

President George Benson says the college is open to a possible merger down the road. He says approval for this kind of move would have to come from the state legislature or commission on higher education. Benson says a merger could be completed in six to eight months.

"The actual merger itself, in terms of functional operations of the school being part of the College of Charleston, that could also happen very quickly as well."

Last month the Charleston School of Law announced it had reached a management agreement with the InfiLaw systems, which owns three other for-profit law schools in North Carolina, Florida, and Arizona.

While College of Charleston officials say that agreement would prevent a merger, Benson says a law school makes sense.

"I think the college would certainly be better off adding another professional school. Every great university has arts and sciences at its core, and then around that are the professional schools."

Stephen Goldfinch, a graduate of the law school, is the lawmaker behind the proposal for a merger. Currently, 600 students attend the Charleston School of Law.