Independent Graduate and Law Schools Launch First-of-Its-Kind Coalition

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A coalition of 11 independent graduate schools recently launched a new organization called the National Association of Standalone Graduate Schools. The first-of-its-kind initiative will allow the institutions to collaborate, lobby, and act as a collective voice for stand-alone graduate schools.

“It is essential that independent graduate schools have a seat at the table with our policymakers,” Anthony W. Crowell, dean and president of New York Law School and lead organizer of the collaboration, said in a news release.  “Our institutions play a vital role in communities across the country. ”

During initial COVID-19 relief negotiations, the federal government divvied out funds “far less on average” to independent graduate schools than institutions connected with undergraduate universities, according to Crowell. Some independent law and graduate schools could not receive CARES Act funding because the eligibility was based on Pell Grants.

Eight of the 11 founding members are independent American Bar Association-accredited law schools.

The full list of inaugural members includes New York Law School, Appalachian School of Law, Bank Street Graduate School of Education, Brooklyn Law School, California Western School of Law, Erikson Institute, New England Law | Boston, Relay Graduate School of Education, South Texas College of Law Houston, UC Hastings Law, and Vermont Law School.

“This coalition will ensure that our students, faculty, and staff have the resources needed to thrive,” Crowell said.