Syracuse Law to start "Third Year Away" program

The city of Syracuse is lovely. Located in upstate New York, it's home to the Erie Canal Museum, so, obviously, attractions abound. However, in the winter, it does get cold. It averages more than 120 inches of snow per year.

So if you go to Syracuse University College of Law, here's some good news, particularly if you're prone to frostbite. In your third year, thanks to a new program called "Third Year Away," you can go to, say, Atlanta. It's much warmer there. 

Starting with the Class of 2023, students in the  residential J.D. program will have the option of spending their third year entirely off-campus while still taking courses from Syracuse Law faculty.

Specifically, students in good standing will have the option to enroll in the "Third Year Away" program, which will allow them to satisfy their remaining requirements for graduation by completing a supervised externship in a legal practice setting and by taking up to 12 credits of interactive online courses. 

“Syracuse prides itself on a robust and innovative curriculum,” says College of Law Dean Craig M. Boise. “The College is now adding a new option for incoming students that will enhance our ability to provide them with both the doctrinal knowledge and the practical and professional skills necessary to succeed in the 21st-century legal profession.” 

It becomes at least the second law school to have such a program. Washburn University School of Law in Topeka, Kan., has a program called "Third Year Anywhere." It's designed so students can increase their practice-readiness by externing where they hope to practice after graduation. 

The Third Year Away Program builds on Syracuse Law's Externship Program, which features placements and accompanying seminars in London, New York City, Philadelphia, Atlanta, San Francisco, and Washington, DC — with plans to add more locations throughout the United States and beyond.

The new option also capitalizes on the College of Law’s JDinteractive (JDi) program, the nation’s first ABA-accredited, fully interactive, online J.D. program. As part of the JDi program, the College of Law already offers an array of online courses in addition to intensive residential courses.

Each online course consists of live class sessions and self-paced class sessions taught by the College of Law's faculty. The JDi infrastructure, which allows the College to teach and support JDi students around the world, will allow the College’s residential J.D. students enrolled in the Third Year Away Program to participate in the academic, intellectual, and social life of the College when off-campus.

Prospective students who wish to learn more about Third Year Away should contact the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid by phone at 315.443.1962 or by email at

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