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Officials question unauthorized 'law school' set to open in 2015

Commission on Postsecondary Education sends cease and desist letter

Posted: August 10, 2014 - 12:12am

ANCHORAGE — The Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education has asked state attorneys to draft a cease and desist letter for a woman who says she is creating Alaska’s first law school.

The commission is targeting the “Alaska Law School, In God We Trust,” which says on a website it will open in March 2015, the Alaska Dispatch News reported.

The school has not applied to the commission to operate and must do so before it advertises or enrolls students, the commission announced.

The school website seeks an $85 fee to apply to the law school. The website gives information on school staffing, tuition rates and academic offerings, including a Juris Doctor program at a cost of $43,000 annually.

The site lists Daun DeVore as founder and dean. DeVore did not return calls and emails.

Joann Rieselbach, the commission’s school relations manager, spoke to DeVore by phone last week and told her to remove wording that implied the school was enrolling students or delivering education. The wording remained on the website Friday.

Marygold Melli, a professor emerita at University of Wisconsin Law School, was listed as a member of the Alaska school’s Board of Overseers but said the position was “news to me.”

“I have nothing to do with an Alaskan law school,” she said.

The school website listed Richard Field as editor-in-chief of its Alaska Law Journal. Field is a former chairman of the section of science and technology law and the editor-in-chief of International Law News, an American Bar Association publication.

From his home in Cliffside Park, New Jersey, Field said the Alaska school is not a scam.

“A woman named Daun DeVore has been working for some time trying to figure out how to set up a school,” he said. I haven’t been in touch with her for a little while, but I had in the past. I was helping where I could.”

The Alaska Law School has not begun the accreditation process through American Bar Association, according to a note posted last week on the Alaska Bar Association home page.

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