The Franklin Pierce Law Center (Pierce Law or FPLC) is a private, nonprofit, American Bar Association-accredited law school located in Concord, New Hampshire. The school is named after the 14th President of the United States and New Hampshire native Franklin Pierce and is the only law school in New Hampshire. It was founded in 1973 by Robert H. Rines.
The school also holds several summer programs in the law that are open to students from other schools, including: the China Intellectual Property Summer Institute in cooperation with Tsinghua University Law School in Beijing; the eLaw Summer Institute in collaboration with the University College Cork Faculty of Law in Cork, Ireland; the Intellectual Property Summer Institute, hosted at Pierce Law's main campus; and the Advanced Topics in International Criminal Law and Justice Seminar in Washington, D.C.
In 2005, the New Hampshire Supreme Court launched an alternative bar licensing process at the state's only law school, Franklin Pierce Law Center. The Daniel Webster Scholar Honors Program, a collaboration of the Court, Pierce Law, the New Hampshire Board of Bar Examiners, and the New Hampshire Bar Association, is an intensive practice-based honors program that encompasses the last two years of law school. Students apply to the program during the spring of their 1L (first) year. Enrollment in the program is limited to 15 students.
Once accepted to the program, students go through a rigorous program of clinical experiences under the supervision of judges, lawyers, and bar examiners, and compile a portfolio of work. Graduates of the program must pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination and meet character and fitness requirements to be admitted to the New Hampshire bar, but are exempt from taking the state's bar examination. Webster Scholar graduates may still qualify to sit for the bar examination in any other U.S. jurisdiction.
The first class of Webster Scholars will graduate in 2008.
Students at Pierce Law run a variety of professional and cultural organizations, including the Student Bar Association (SBA) which serves as the student government. Students participate in two law journals -- IDEA: The Intellectual Property Law Review, and the Pierce Law Review -- and send Moot Court teams to competitions around the United States. Other active organizations include:
Students from around the world attend Pierce Law, and the school celebrates the traditions and cultures of its many international students throughout the year. The school hosts events such as Lunar New Year, the Indian "festival of lights" or Diwali, an Afro-Caribbean Night and a Christmas party. During the spring semester, international students present "Brown Bag Lunch" programs where they present interesting brief lectures on the culture and traditions of their home country, and offer samples of native dishes.
Each summer, Pierce Law also holds the Intellectual Property Summer Institute and the Advanced Licensing Institute, during which barbecues have become a tradition on evenings during summer.