Summary: Fitchburg State University signs agreement of articulation with UMass Law to ensure Fitchburg students can earn bachelor’s and law degrees in six years with guaranteed admission to UMass Law School.
Fitchburg State University announced on Wednesday that it has signed an articulation agreement with the University of Massachusetts Law School by which Fitchburg students will have the opportunity to earn their bachelor’s and law degrees in just six years, starting this fall.
The agreement was signed on Aug. 20 by Fitchburg State President Robert V. Antonucci and UMass Law School Dean Mary Lu Bilek. Under the agreement qualifying students of Fitchburg State University:
• Will be able to complete three undergraduate years at Fitchburg State before proceeding directly to UMass Law for a three-year juris doctor program
• Will complete their bachelor’s degrees while on the UMass Law campus
• Will be guaranteed admission to the law school.
Fitchburg State University announced in its press release that the agreement is the first of its kind between the law school and a state university.
Fitchburg’s president Antonucci said, “This agreement is about institutional collaboration that puts students first … We are opening doors that will bring affordable, high-quality law degrees within reach of our students.”
Mary Bilek, the Dean of UMass Law School said, “We want students from this region to know we have a public school law school … A person who gets on a path and stays on a path has the qualities that a good lawyer needs.”
Under the articulation agreement, qualified Fitchburg State undergraduates will be permitted to substitute the first year law school for the senior year at the university, thus earning the bachelor’s degree and the juris doctor degree in six years instead of the normal seven. The program is aimed primarily at students who enter the university with a strong interest in law already formed, or who develop such an interest early on, and whose career goals and legal education needs can be well served by UMass Law.
UMass Law was established at the UMass Dartmouth campus in 2010 as the state’s only public law school. The institution, which has its roots in the Southern New England School of Law, is committed to providing access to students who might not otherwise have the opportunity to study law. It has very well organized career resources for law students and alumni.