Catalogue 2012 - 2013

Pre-Law and 3+3 Law Program

Western New England University has offered legal education for nearly a century, and the Western New England University School of Law provides an excellent opportunity for those who wish to pursue the graduate professional degree in law.

Preparation for law school is not a matter of taking prescribed courses or majors. Law schools customarily do not encourage undergraduates to major in any particular subject. Students are generally successful in law school if they succeed in any major that develops skills in reading, writing, and critical thinking, and if they do well on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT).

Pre-law students may choose any major including the pre-law curriculum within Integrated Liberal Studies. Students considering a legal education should pursue their individual interests through those courses that are most likely to foster success in American law schools (courses that improve written and oral communication, provide readings about a wide range of human experience, and develop reasoning skills).

Qualified Western New England University students who want to attend Western New England University School of Law can earn their bachelor’s and Juris Doctor degrees in just six years instead of seven in the 3+3 Law program. To qualify for this program, students must have a minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.3 and score above the median LSAT for the previous year’s School of Law matriculants. Students who qualify can enter the School of Law in the fall of their fourth full-time undergraduate year and receive their bachelor’s degrees at its end. They are eligible to obtain their Juris Doctor degrees after two more years of study.

It is not possible, however, for all majors to qualify for the 3+3 Law program. Chemistry, Computer Science, Mathematics, Social Work, and most engineering programs require too much sequential work in those disciplines to allow completion in three years. Biology majors would require some summer course work in order to complete this program.

In order to apply for this program, transfer students must successfully complete at least 45 credit hours of undergraduate studies at Western New England University. Students considering a career in law are eligible for membership in the Pre-Law Society, which provides cocurricular activities for pre-law students. Among the society’s activities are workshops on selecting and applying to law schools; field trips to observe law classes; mock trials; and films, lectures, and discussions designed to clarify the responsibilities and privileges of the profession of law.

The office of the pre-law advisor maintains files of reference materials on law schools, the Law School Admissions Test, and other subjects of interest to pre-law students. Regardless of major, students thinking about attending law school should consult with the pre-law advisor, Associate Professor Peter Fairman, Department of History and Political Science, at the earliest opportunity.