Board changing John Marshall Law School to UIC Law due to namesake being slave trader

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Courtesy UIC

After 122 years, John Marshall Law School is changing its name to UIC Law due to the namesake having a history as a slave trader and owner.

The vote comes after a review by a UIC task force that garnered input from students, staff, alumni and research.

“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 task force said.

Following the task force’s report in February and its 6-1 membership recommendation to rename the school, law school faculty voted in favor of a new official name in March.

The John Marshall Law School, formerly an independent law school that was established in 1899, merged with UIC in 2019 to create UIC John Marshall Law School. 

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