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School of law in new home on west side

Charlotte School of Law is a new neighbor that many folks are eager to know better.

The school moved last week to its permanent home, a gleaming $20million building at Wilkinson Boulevard and Suttle Avenue in Bryant Park.

With the move, school officials see new opportunities to get involved in the community as a neighbor and partner.

“We not only want the law school in Charlotte, we want Charlotte in the law school,” said Eugene Clark, dean.

CharlotteLaw hosted two classes – nearly 200 students – in leased space in Dilworth before moving to Bryant Park.

Roughly half the students were from the Carolinas, which means having the school here kept them from leaving or offered them opportunities they otherwise would not have had.

The school expects enrollment of about 316 students when day and evening programs start today

Clark expects the school to contribute an estimated $100 million a year to the economy. Students, faculty and staff will buy houses, rent apartments, eat in local restaurants and buy other goods and services.

Students in the school's legal clinic will assist agencies such as Legal Aid of North Carolina with real cases.

The school's technology-driven classrooms will be available for lease to organizations that need modern training and education space. Community groups also can find meeting space here. City councilman Warren Turner plans a town hall meeting there with District 3 residents Sept. 17.

Among the school's most prized assets is its law library. Hundreds of lawyers, judges, paralegals and litigants representing themselves use the library for research and study.

The school plans to spend more than $1 million a year to develop the library's resources, which include electronic databases and computer labs.