More law schools offer accelerated law degrees

Graduating debt free from college and law school in six years seems like dream. For Wells Scholars at Indiana University, it is a tremendous opportunity.

Indiana University Maurer School of Law and the Indiana University Wells Scholars Program recently announced the Maurer-Wells 3+3 Program, a new accelerated J.D. program for Well Scholars at Indiana University.

It is the latest program to join a growing trend. University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law and Northern Kentucky University started similar programs earlier this summer.

Students accepted to the program will complete their first year of law school during their fourth year of undergraduate education. The students are expected to incur no college or law school tuition expense, and they will receive other financial assistance to offset the cost of their educations. The program includes a full scholarship and living stipends of more than $175,000 for Indiana residents and $300,000 for nonresidents.

"The Maurer-Wells 3+3 Program is another way for the law school to attract the best and brightest students, while enabling them to meet their educational goals at little or no expense," said Austen L. Parrish, dean and the James H. Rudy Professor of Law. "IU's Wells Scholars have honored the university with distinguished careers in nearly every profession, and we look forward to welcoming them into the law school community."

The Wells Scholarship was created in honor of the late IU Chancellor Herman B. Wells and ranks at one of the most competitive and prestigious awards offered by an American university.

No plans to attend Indiana University for undergrad? That is ok, because a handful of other schools around the country have opened up 3+3 Accelerated JD Programs in 2017.

Earlier this year, University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law announced that Murray State University students are now eligible for its 3+3 Accelerated Law Program. Murray State students can apply to Brandeis Law in their third year to enroll in law school classes for their fourth and final year of undergrad.  A similar partnership also exists between the law school and Kentucky Wesleyan College.

“We want to help students jump-start their legal education,” said former Brandeis Law Dean Susan Duncan. “We’re thrilled to have Murray State as a partner and to know we are doing our part to help college students reduce costs and begin their legal careers more quickly.”

Northern Kentucky University and the NKU Chase College of Law also created a 3+3 Accelerated Law Program. NKU undergraduates who have completed all bachelor’s degree requirements in three years can begin law school in their fourth year of study. Once students have completed their first year of law school, NKU will confer their bachelor’s degrees. 

“Student success is our paramount goal,” NKU President Geoffrey S. Mearns said. “The 3+3 Accelerated Law Program exemplifies our commitment to providing a supportive, student-centered educational environment.”

Students will work with advisors from the university and the law school to map out their schedules for completion of the academic requirements. Undergraduates participating in the program will also have the ability to interact with law school staff, faculty and student body.

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