Eight Iowa colleges partner with UI College of Law for accelerated law degree
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The University of Iowa College of Law is now partnering with eight undergraduate institutions throughout Iowa for a program that allows students to earn their bachelor’s and law degrees in six years.
First announced in November 2013, the 3+3 program will allow qualified undergraduates from those partner schools admission to the College of Law after the conclusion of their junior year. The credits earned during their first year of law school will also apply to their undergraduate degree.
The College of Law’s first eight partner institutions include: University of Dubuque in Dubuque; Clarke University in Dubuque; Coe College in Cedar Rapids; Wartburg College in Waverly; Buena Vista University in Storm Lake; Morningside College in Sioux City; the Iowa State University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; and the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
“The College of Law and our partner institutions are trying to make the choice to come to law school easier for those who aspire to become lawyers and are truly motivated to study law,” says Gail Agrawal, dean of the College of Law. “This new program will help talented undergraduates who want to stay in Iowa to study law here and help our state grow while keeping their student debt load more manageable.”
Agrawal says the program will allow qualified Iowa college students the opportunity to receive their bachelor’s and JD degrees after six years instead of seven, combining their senior undergraduate with their first year of law school and saving a year of tuition and other costs. Not only does it reduce student debt, she says it also gives those students a one year head start on their professional careers.
“This is not a program for every student, but for the right student,” says Agrawal. “In the three years following their matriculation in law school in what would have been their senior year, an undergraduate student can earn a bachelors and a JD, and with an additional year a dual degree in another discipline, like business or public health.”
Qualified students from partner schools can apply after Sept. 1 for admission to the law school in fall 2015. Because some undergraduate students might prefer to take the LSAT after the completion of their junior year, the law school plans a special admission cycle for June LSAT takers.
Agrawal says the law school has had discussions with other undergraduate institutions in Iowa and would like to come to similar agreements with other interested schools soon.
“Students who might be a good fit for the program include those who are highly motivated and certain that law is the path for them,” says Agrawal. “For instance, in addition to highly academically qualified undergraduates, nontraditional students who might have begun undergraduate studies after the military, or those who have worked for awhile before beginning undergraduate studies and are certain that a legal education is consistent with their long term career goals would be good candidates for the 3+3 program.”