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UIC renaming John Marshall Law School

The school is dropping the U.S. Supreme Court justice’s name because of his role as a slave trader and slave owner.

The UIC John Marshall Law School is getting a new name, beginning July 1, when it will be known as the University of Illinois Chicago Law School. | Pat Nabong, Chicago Sun-Times.
The UIC John Marshall Law School is getting a new name July 1.
Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

The John Marshall Law School is no more — its name, at least.

Beginning July 1, the 122-year-old institution will be known as the University of Illinois Chicago School of Law. The U. of I. board of trustees approved the change this week.

A university task force, in a months-long review, decided that “despite Chief Justice Marshall’s legacy as one of the nation’s most significant U.S. Supreme Court justices, the newly discovered research regarding his role as a slave trader, slave owner of hundreds of slaves, pro-slavery jurisprudence and racist views render him a highly inappropriate namesake for the law school.”

The name change came after a “thorough and carefully studied process that included input from all corners of the institution and beyond, considered issues of racial injustice and aimed to ensure that our university continues to be a place where diversity, inclusion and equal opportunity are supported and advanced,” UIC Chancellor Michael Amiridis said in a written statement.

The law school was established in 1899 and merged with UIC in 2019, creating the UIC John Marshall Law School.

“The name of the school has changed, but it doesn’t erase its proud history or the impact of its faculty, alumni and students,” Darby Dickerson, dean of the law school, said in a statement. “As Chicago’s first and only public law school, our mission continues to center on academic excellence, diversity, student success and bettering the lives of the people of Chicago and beyond.”