Husson University’s trustees announced Monday that they are suspending further efforts to offer law degrees at the university in Bangor.

Their decision followed the Maine Supreme Judicial Court’s ruling March 4 that Husson’s graduates would not be allowed to take the state’s bar exam.

“We are grateful to the Supreme Judicial Court for their careful review of our petition,” university President Robert Clark said in a press release Monday.

The school requested the court’s assistance in September, asking the court to devise its own review system for evaluating Husson University, as an alternative to the American Bar Association standards.

The court said it was willing to consider an existing alternative review process but could not create one. Without the law school fully operating and a review in progress, the court said it could not allow Husson students to take the bar exam.

The release said the school will continue to offer undergraduate and graduate degrees in criminal justice and undergraduate degrees in paralegal studies through the School of Business.

Planning for the law school began five years ago. It would have been the second law school in the state, after the University of Maine School of Law in Portland. Its main objective would have been providing legal education to people in northern and eastern Maine.

“The need exists to educate lawyers in the underserved areas of Maine,” said Peter Murray, founder of Murray Plumb & Murray, in an article in the Maine Sunday Telegram on March 14.

After learning about the suspended efforts Monday, Murray declined to comment on the trustees’ decision. “We could have had a great law school there,” he said.

Murray, who has served for the past 15 years as a visiting professor at Harvard Law School, had intended to teach part time at Husson’s law school.

 

Staff Writer Emma Bouthillette can be contacted at 791-6325 or at: [email protected]