UMass Dartmouth's proposal to create a public law school in Dartmouth took another major step forward Wednesday.

The UMass Board of Trustees' Committee on Administration and Finance voted 12-4 in favor of the plan to open the state's first public law school. UMass Dartmouth wants to create the law program using the donated assets of the Southern New England School of Law, a private institution with no national accreditation.

The favorable vote gives the proposal new momentum in advance of next week's vote by the full board of trustees. It has already received favorable action by another panel of trustees and has the backing of Gov. Deval Patrick.

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UMass Dartmouth finance panel favors public law school | SouthCoastToday.com