Local Law School Prepares To Move Into New Home

Thomas Jefferson School Of Law Relocated From Old Town To East Village In Jan. 2011

One of San Diego's oldest law schools will have a new home beginning next year, and it could prove to be a shot in the arm for the downtown economy.

The Thomas Jefferson School of Law will begin its fall Semester in a new $90 million, eight-story campus located in the East Village on January 18, 2011. The school has been located near Old Town since 1983.

The new building is 273,000 square feet -- more than triple the size of the 76,000-square-foot Old Town location.

The East Village building will have a bigger library, state-of-the-art classrooms, mock courtrooms and more study rooms and offices. The increased space will also allow the school to increase enrollment from 850 students to 1,050.

10News was given exclusive access to the new facility along with Danielle Mor, a third-year law student who spent most of her time at the Old Town campus but will graduate from the new building.

"This is going to be the new, up-and-coming school," Mor said as she stood in the spacious new library.

Downtown businesses are also looking forward to the influx of foot traffic and residents.

"It brings thousands of students down who are going to patronize the businesses down here and generate the tax dollars that will spin back into the local economy," said Centre City Development Corporation spokesman Derek Danziger.

The Thomas Jefferson School of Law's new building first made headlines when crews were digging the foundation. That's when the skeletal remains of a prehistoric mammoth were discovered. The mammoth was found in what is now the second sub-level of the school's parking garage, and the bones are now at the Museum of Natural History in Balboa Park.