New England Law | Boston

Growth and Transformation


Professor Susan Finneran addresses a class during the 1980s. Courtesy of New England School of Law Library Archives

In 1969, Portia Law School–now called New England School of Law–achieved its goal of earning accreditation from the American Bar Association. As the school strengthened its curriculum and resources, it attracted more students. Enrollment grew from 154 in 1968 to more than a thousand in 1980.

The school’s stature also grew. The faculty, which had expanded from seven in 1969 to 27 in 1983, produced scholarship that was nationally recognized. The annual Law Day celebration brought prominent speakers to campus. In 1983, Vice-President George Bush helped the school celebrate its 75th anniversary.

  1. 1969: The school earns accreditation

    1969 AccreditationNew England School of Law receives provisional accreditation from the American Bar Association, recognizing the school’s commitment to academic excellence and its improved resources. It wins full accreditation four years later.

    The new name of the school is displayed for the first time at the 1969 graduation ceremonies. Photograph by Tim Prendiville

  2. 1970: First Law Day

  3. 1971: Dean O’Toole takes office

  4. 1971: Students offer legal services

  5. 1972: Move to Newbury Street

  6. 1973: First visit from a U.S. Supreme Court Justice

  7. 1974: Gillis becomes dean

  8. 1978: National search for a new dean

  9. 1980: Move to Stuart Street

  10. 1982: World-class library

  11. 1983: Tenure of Dean Cronin begins

  12. 1983: 75th anniversary of the school’s founding

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