“3+3” degree program offers students the fast-track to a law degree

Back to Article
Back to Article

“3+3” degree program offers students the fast-track to a law degree

courtesy of UDM School of Law

courtesy of UDM School of Law

courtesy of UDM School of Law

Laurel Kraus, Managing Editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

While law school certainly isn’t the breeze it’s made up to be in “Legally Blonde,” there are options that can provide students with a bit of relief.

Oakland University recently partnered with the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law to create the “3+3” degree program, which will give students a way to graduate with both a bachelor’s degree and law degree in only six years as opposed to seven.

“The ‘3+3’ programs are becoming increasingly popular, and I believe that we have about 90 other law schools that have these arrangements,” said Jennifer Rumschlag, associate dean of enrollment management at the UDM School of Law. “It’s really a way for law schools to partner with strong undergraduate universities and help students who are committed to a legal profession fast-track their career.”

Any undergraduate major is eligible for this program, and it will work by allowing the fourth year to double count as the senior year of the bachelor degree as well as the first year of law school.

Students will spend their senior year in law classes at Detroit Mercy, while OU will accept 30 of those credits toward the 124 as long as the undergraduate major requirements are met. This could leave electives or college exploratory credits to be filled with the law classes.

“One thing we don’t have as a stand alone program here at Oakland is a law program,” OU Provost Dr. James Lentini said. “There are a lot of programs out there for law and rather than start one on your own, there are a lot of programs that we can work together with universities that have them to benefit students.”

A minimum of 75 credits, a cumulative GPA of 3.5 and successful completion of the LSATs are required in order to apply by the February 1 admission deadline.

Since the February deadline has already passed, students can begin the “3+3” program at the UDM School of Law in the fall of 2019.

“We get a significant number of our JD incoming students from Oakland University through the years,” Rumschlag said. “It is one of the universities that we get the largest number of graduates from, so we really value the partnership that we have.”

The “3+3” degree program can also create room for error in case a student doesn’t make it into law school on his or her first try.

“A student may not get into law school, it’s a selective process,” said Robert B. Stewart, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at OU. “So if that happens, you forget about the ‘3+3’ and finish out your fourth year here at Oakland, and then you can apply to any law school anywhere in the country.”

An additional “3+3” partnership already exists between OU and the Wayne State University Law School, and according to Lentini, the possibility exists of OU exploring a similar program with further law schools in the future.

“I think these kind of collaborations are really important for higher education and especially with these kinds of professional programs,” he said. “Our goal here at OU is to make every opportunity available for students to pursue their desires and dreams.”

Interested students are encouraged to speak with their first year adviser or college advising office to explore options.