As student debt climbs and legal employment for recent grads withers, universities across the country are working on innovative ways to insure that recent graduates have jobs, or, at the very least, get their J.D.s quickly and inexpensively. New concepts include job programs and compressed course loads. Recently, Stetson University College of Law has tried to do its part to help in its partnership with the University of South Florida, by offering combined undergraduate and graduate law programs that can be completed in six years.
Stetson and USF’s new program shaves off a year from the typical four years it can take to earn a bachelor degree and three years for a juris doctor by combining courses such as graduate and undergraduate coursework in the fourth year of the students’ studies. Students enrolled in what is being called the 3+3 accelerated path will spend three years at USF and three years at Stetson. The National Jurist reports that students must be enrolled in USF’s honors program and meet additional eligibility requirements in order to participate in the program, and can qualify for a partial scholarship once they “graduate” to Stetson.
“Through our agreement with the USF Honors College, students can graduate with an undergraduate degree and a law degree in six years, save a year of tuition, and attend the top ranked advocacy program in the country – a program that blends foundational law with the legal skills necessary to succeed in today’s marketplace,” said Christopher Pietruszkiewicz, Dean of Stetson.
“The partnership between the University of South Florida and Stetson University College of Law is a great opportunity for highly-motivated and focused students to achieve their goals,” said USF System President Judy Genshaft.