Nicholas Allard named founding dean of Jacksonville University School of Law


  • The University of Jacksonville has chosen Nicholas W. Allard, a leading lawyer, as the founding dean of its new law school
  • Allard was previously president of Brooklyn Law School
  • Jacksonville University School of Law plans to begin classes in fall 2022 and plans to achieve accreditation in 2023
  • The law school aims to serve as an affordable option to larger Florida law schools

The University of Jacksonville has announced the selection of its founding dean of law school, Nicholas W. Allard. As a senior counsel at Dentons, the world’s largest law firm, Allard brings his education background and public policy expertise to the new program.

JU in March announced plans to establish a law school, becoming the 13th institution in the state to offer a path to such a degree. JU College of Law is preparing a launch for the next academic semester and expects an inaugural class of 20-30 students.

“Nick Allard is a world-class jurist and administrator, widely recognized and respected as a thought leader and educator,” said the president of the University of Jacksonville. Tim Cost. “The University of Jacksonville is honored to welcome him as the founding dean of our law school, where he will have a tremendous impact in shaping the next generation of legal minds.”

According to the head of the university, JU owns 15,000 square feet of leased space in the downtown VyStar building that will be used to create space for law classrooms and libraries. The building currently houses the school’s downtown campus, which houses 19 offices, 2 workspaces, and 4 classrooms, among other various unused spaces.

“The opportunity to serve as the founding dean of the University of Jacksonville provides a unique platform to share my passion for law and the honorable profession and to put my experience and connections to good use,” Allard said. “I look forward to building on years of preparation led by President Cost, the encouragement and support of Jacksonville, and working in synergy across disciplines with the vibrant community of scholars and teachers. Our goal is for the College of Law to be at the forefront of providing students with exceptional, forward-looking preparation and practical training for future success and service.

Allard has received several honors and achievements as an academic and legal professional, including receiving a Bodley Fellow from Merton College, Oxford in 2020 and being recognized as a visionary by the National Journal-Legal Times. He has also served on the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Government Affairs, as well as its Task Force on Lobbying Reform, and he chairs the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on the Law Library of Congress.

Although classes are expected to begin this fall without accreditation, JU hopes to reach the standard in 2023, anticipating a participatory pool of more than 150 students by then. The College of Law marks JU’s 5th academic department and indicates further growth for the school in the coming years.

The university is committed to creating a pathway to a career in law that is both affordable and accessible, also announcing that all applicants will automatically be considered for merit-based scholarships and grants, creating an alternative choice among more expensive programs from larger schools in Florida like the University of Florida at the University of Miami.

“Jacksonville University believes in creating connections, not barriers,” Cost said. “We will encourage students to link their law education with course concentrations in a strong selection of areas in demand across our university. With 10% of Fortune 500 CEOs holding a JD degree, we believe Jacksonville University College of Law graduates will be prepared and positioned to lead global businesses in the future. »

Jon J. Epps