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Pre-Law @ MCLA

Is a career in the law for you? Why go to law school at all? Can a Juris Doctor (i.e., a J.D., or law degree) be beneficial to your career aspirations even if you do not practice law? These are some of the questions you may be asking as you consider your path post-MCLA. This is the homepage for MCLA Pre-Law Advising. This is where you will find helpful information about law schools, careers in the law, and paths for careers where a J.D. would be helpful. If you would like more personalized, one-on-one advising, please contact our Pre-Law Adviser, Professor Samantha Pettey.  MCLA has agreements with both the University of Massachusetts School of Law (which recently received full accreditation from the American Bar Association) and the Western New England University School of Law, permitting qualified students to enroll after only three years of undergraduate work (see below). 


Typical time-frame for the application process to either 3+3 program

 September – October of junior year:

o     Student assesses academic performance to date to ensure that the GPA requirement has been met and 50% of required baccalaureate credits have been earned;

o     Student prepares for the LSAT;

 October – December of junior year:

o     Student consults faculty advisor to plan course selection for spring semester of junior year to ensure that all requirements for the baccalaureate degree, other than courses to be taken in the first year of law school, will be fulfilled;

o     Student takes either October or December administration of the LSAT;

 November – January of junior year:

o     Student receives LSAT score and determines if eligible to submit application;

o     Student submits transcripts, including fall semester junior year grades, to Credential Assembly                  Service (CAS);

o     Student submits application materials to the School of Law, including:

▪      Application form;

▪      CAS report (includes undergraduate transcript and LSAT scores);

▪      Two letters of recommendation;

▪      Resume

▪      Personal statement;

▪      Letter of eligibility for 3+3 program from faculty advisor; 

January – March of junior year:

o     Student requests interview after application materials have been submitted.

o     Student sits for February LSAT if necessary. 


Program checklist for 3 + 3 agreements with UMASS and WNEU 

  • In compliance with American Bar Association Standard 502(a), successful completion by the end of the junior year of three-quarters (i.e., no fewer than 90 credits) of the work acceptable for the bachelor’s degree at the College.
  • Minimum of 45 credits earned in residence at the College.
  •  Successful completion of all university, college and major requirements for the bachelor’s degree, other than free electives and requirements for which a first-year Law School course is a substitute acceptable to the student’s major and college.
  • A favorable decision by joint committee (comprised of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and WNEU Law School) which includes an interview during the applicant’s sophomore year.
  • A cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better for UMASS and 3.3 or better for WNEU.
  • A minimum score of 150 on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT).
  • Submission with the application for admission to the Law School and written recommendation from the College members of the Joint Programs Committee.
  • Fulfillment of all other admissions requirements normally imposed by the Law School.
  • At least two semesters of undergraduate pre-law advisement.
  • Demonstration of character and fitness appropriate for admission to the American Bar Association.

Contact for Pre-Law Advising: 

Samantha Pettey, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, History, Political Science and Public Policy
(P) 413.662.5551 | (E) S.Pettey@mcla.edu