The University of Iowa College of Law and the University of California Hastings College of the Law have entered into the accelerate program field, according to The National Law Journal. The programs let law students earn undergraduate and juris doctor degrees in six years instead of seven.
The program at Iowa has partnerships with six universities and colleges within the state. Any students admitted using the 3+3 program will be able to apply credits earned during year one of law school toward the final year of an undergraduate degree. This helps students eliminate one year of courses.
Hastings will work in conjunction with the University of California, Santa Cruz for their program. This will be the very first 3+3 program offered by the U.C. system, which boasts law schools at Irvine, Berkeley, Los Angeles and Davis.
The most recent count shows some 30 law schools offer a form of the concept. Iowa is one of the highest law schools ranked on the U.S. News & World Report’s list of top law schools to offer the program. It is ranked at number 27. Hastings hits the list at number 54.
U.C. Santa Cruz students who are in their freshman or early sophomore years can state their intention to enroll in the 3+3 program and apply for law school at Hastings. This all would happen one year earlier than normal.
Once the students take the Law School Admissions Test and pass, they will be admitted to Hastings. They can begin taking classes in what would have been their senior year of their undergraduate degree. Any credits earned in their first year will be counted double; towards their J.D. and undergraduate degrees.
“We share an important common value of diversity and inclusion with [U.C. Santa Cruz], and this program will enhance and accelerate opportunities for top students,” Hastings dean Frank Wu said.
Iowa has partnered with the University of Iowa, Iowa State, Coe College, Buena Vista University, University of Dubuque and Clarke University.
“This is not a program for every student, but for the right student,” law dean Gail Agrawal said. “Students who might be a good fit for the program include those who are highly motivated and certain that law is the right path for them.”
Law schools creating programs such as this one are hoping to use them as recruiting tools in an effort to increase applications submitted to the schools each year.
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