Oakland teams up with Wayne State to offer quicker law degree

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Oakland University currently offers pre-law courses, but no law degree. Realizing this, officials have teamed up with Wayne State University to offer OU students an opportunity worth seizing – a bachelor degree from OU and a law degree from Wayne State in just six years.

“We’re very happy to be working with Oakland to provide this unique opportunity to OU students,” Shawn Starkey, director of marketing and communications for Wayne State University Law School, said. 

Students who meet Wayne’s Law School’s entrance requirements can start classes at Wayne during their senior year at OU and transfer their credits back to OU for a bachelor’s, saving them a year.

“Wayne’s minimum is a GPA of 3.4 and a LSAT of 157,” David Lau, interim director of the school of integrative studies at OU, said. “The GPA and LSAT are the two things they really pay attention to.”

The GPA for law school is different than the average; it takes into account every class a student has ever taken.

“If a student has to take a class more than once, OU takes the highest grade they receive,” Lau said. “But with law, it will take into account every attempt made of said class, so it works a little differently.”

Law school also looks at every college the student has gone to. 

“At Oakland, your GPA starts the minute you start taking OU classes,” Lau said. “At law school, they look at every course you’ve ever taken at any institution.”

But if a student can maintain these requirements, they can get a jump start.

 “On average, a bachelor’s degree takes four years, and a law degree takes an additional three years, making seven years of schooling for the student,” Starkey said. “The program lets the students accepted do dual enrollment during the fourth year, which takes off a year of them having to be at a university.”

Lau also said that the point of the program is to help OU students save some time.

“The heart of this is a three plus one. Where students save time is during the first year of law school that transfers back here,” Lau said. “If they can meet the requirements, this special arrangement will greatly help them.”

Starkey mentioned that this is the first time Wayne has partnered with another university to offer an opportunity like this to students.

To contrast, Oakland has worked with other schools to make similar programs, so it is confident going into this partnership.

“We’re excited for this. Wayne has a strong law school,” Lau said.

Lau also mentioned that as far as he knows, there is nothing currently in the works to form an OU law school, which is why they want to give students somewhere to go.