MCLA joins with Western New England University to offer law degree path

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NORTH ADAMS — After a new agreement with Western New England University announced on Tuesday, the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts has positioned itself as a launch pad for students interested in a law degree.

In what is termed a "three plus three" agreement between the two schools, a qualified undergraduate student can leave MCLA after three years of coursework to attend Western New England University, where he or she will be on-track to receive a Juris Doctor Degree.

Typically, a student would receive a Juris Doctor after seven years of college education — four as an undergraduate and three in law school.

"We are pleased to sign this agreement with the Western New England University School of Law," MCLA President James Birge said. "This 3+3 arrangement will attract qualified and ambitious undergraduate students who seek a career in law. An accelerated course of study, this program will save them one year's worth of time and tuition as it maintains high academic standards and provides a challenging and comprehensive curriculum."

The program was established for students who either know they have future plans for attending law school when they get to MCLA or decide early on in their undergraduate education. Juniors will be accepted to the program if they meet a number of requirements, including a minimum 3.0 grade point average, a minimum score of 150 on the Law School Admission Test, and at least two semesters of undergraduate pre-law advisement.

The agreement was signed today by Birge, WNEU Provost Linda Jones and WNEU School of Law Dean Eric Gouvin.


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