An artist's rendering of the proposed new home of the UC College of Law. If approved by the Board of Trustees, UC will spend $40 million to renovate the Carl H. Lindner Hall beginning in 2019. 

UC unveils plans for new College of Law home

A sweeping $40 million renovation of Carl. H. Lindner Hall
will provide the top-ranked UC College of Law with an expansive,
state-of-the-art facility in the heart of UC’s campus that more than meets the needs of a 21st century law school.



By Rachel Richardson


Sept. 21, 2017

The University of Cincinnati today unveiled plans for the proposed future home of the UC College of Law on the university’s Uptown campus.

The plan, which would involve a sweeping $40 million renovation of Carl H. Lindner Hall, will go before the UC Board of Trustees for approval Oct. 24.

If approved, work to overhaul the six-story building into a cutting-edge facility would begin in the fall of 2019, following the opening of the new Lindner College of Business building, and complete in 2021.

“This plan exemplifies the upward trajectory of our law school,” said Verna Williams, interim dean of the College of Law. “The proposed plan will create a state-of-the art facility in the heart of UC’s Uptown campus that will meet the innovative needs of our students for years to come, and supports the interdisciplinary study and expertise that the field of law requires.”



“If approved, this new building likely will set the standard for law schools for years to come.”

‒ Verna Williams, interim dean of the UC College of Law


A ‘Revitalized Building’ in the Heart of Campus

The proposal follows a multi-year investigation into potential options for the College of Law, including a possible move to The Banks downtown, renovation of the college’s existing home or new construction.

Last year, the university’s Board of Trustees authorized a $1 million design study related to constructing a new home for the college on campus. The study, which spent just $39,600 of those funds, indicated renovation of Lindner Hall to be the best option, said Mary Beth McGrew, UC architect and senior associate vice president of planning, design and construction.

“One of our goals is always to make the best use of what resources we have before we tear a building down,” she said. “Totally reinventing a building is much more sustainable than tearing down and starting over. We wouldn’t do it if it were not a good fit, but this is a good fit.”


Artist's rendering of new faculty offices in the UC College of Law.

An artist's rendering of the proposed new UC College of Law home includes plenty of office space for faculty and staff, along with meetings rooms and areas for students.

Rendering of a proposed new lecture hall at the new UC College of Law.

The $40 million renovation of Lindner Hall would enlarge classrooms and include state-of-the-art technology.



The renovation will completely transform Lindner Hall, which was built in 1986 several years before UC embarked on an ambitious master plan to transform its campus. Designed then to accommodate 1,800 students, the 84,443-square-foot facility offers more than ample space for the College of Law’s close-knit community of fewer than 400 students.

Plans call to retain the building’s brick façade, but replace its tinted windows with clear glass to allow for more natural light. Classrooms will be enlarged, with spaces carved out for faculty and students to gather and study, a large auditorium to host community events, law library and plenty of office space for faculty and staff.

The new location will allow for shared classrooms to better promote interdisciplinary studies and degree programs with the nearby College of Engineering and Applied Science, Lindner College of Business and UC’s medical campus, among others.

All of the building’s mechanical and electrical systems will be replaced, with the goal of earning Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, a point-based rating system for evaluating new construction developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. Since 2004, UC has completed six LEED-certified buildings.  

A glass-enclosed addition would also be built, offering an expansive, high-ceilinged space for students and student organizations to meet, gather and study.

“It will very much be a revitalized building,” said McGrew. “It’s a gateway structure in the northeast corner of UC’s campus. They’ll be in the heart of campus.”



Rendering of a new foyer at the UC College of Law.

A new high-ceilinged addition to Lindner Hall would provide a bright and airy space for the UC Law community to meet, gather and study. 


A 21st Century Law School

Williams said the building’s location along Martin Luther King Drive offers the college a myriad of advantages, including the ability for students to work with professionals in other disciplines, heightened visibility and better access to parking.

“We are an increasingly interdisciplinary university, and lawyers operate in an interdisciplinary world,” explained Williams. “The new location will facilitate our existing cross-campus collaborations and increase opportunities for more on-campus partnerships — without diminishing our ongoing connections to Downtown and Greater Cincinnati.”

The new home will also better promote student enrollment for the college, which broke records last fall with its largest first-year enrollment since 2010. The college, ranked among the top 50 public law schools in the nation, is widely acclaimed for its affordability, employment outcomes and specialty programs.   

“We have a treasure trove of excellent students right here in our backyard,” said Williams. “We stand a much better chance of recruiting them if we stay on campus so they can come to classes and events and get to know just how terrific this law school is.”


Rendering of a new classroom in the UC College of Law.

The proposed $40 million renovation of Lindner Hall for the UC College of Law would see expanded classrooms.

Rendering of a new study and gathering space in the UC College of Law.

UC College of Law students will find ample space to meet, gather and hold events in the proposed $40 million renovation of Lindner Hall.


For several years the College of Law has discussed the possibility of renovating or building a new structure to replace its current structure on Clifton Ave., originally constructed in 1925 with additions in the 1960s and 1980s.

Renovation of the nearly century-old facility simply isn’t feasible due to its age and structure, which include differing floor heights, construction types and layouts, said McGrew.

“It’s very important to students today that we’re careful stewards of our resources,” said McGrew. “In looking at the fit of this facility to the needs of today’s learning environment, we found that the numbers, types and arrangements of spaces don’t really match today’s needs.”

If approved by the UC Board of Trustees, McGrew said the university plans to line up a design firm by 2018, with an 18-month construction set to begin in the fall of 2019. 

The university continues to study the future of the Calhoun Corridor, which includes the existing College of Law building, as part of a campus-wide master-planning process.

“We’re looking forward to working with the university architect and her team in configuring a building that works best for a law school of the 21st century,” said Williams. “If approved, this new building likely will set the standard for law schools for years to come.”




Exterior shot of the UC College of Law

The current home of the UC College of Law was originally constructed in
1925 with additions in the 1960s and 1980s. UC Creative Services

Brick exterior of UC College of Business building

Plans call for a $40 million renovation of Lindner Hall to transform it into the
new home of the UC College of Law.  UC Creative Services


About the University of Cincinnati College of Law
As the fourth oldest continuously operating law school in the country, UC’s College of Law has a rich history of educating and inspiring leaders who pursue justice and advance the role of law in society. Its ranks include many distinguished alumni, including a U.S. president, a Nobel Peace Prize winner and six governors. The College cultivates an intimate learning experience with a9:1 student to faculty ratio and offers a wealth of resources, such as more than 40 student organizations, five journals and seven centers and institutes. For more information, please visit .