Below, from left, MCLA Interim President James C. Clemmer signs the 3+3 articulation agreement on Monday, as Political Science Assistant Professor J. Benjamin Taylor, Ph.D., Philosophy Professor Matthew Silliman, Ph.D., and U-MASS Dean Mary Lu Bilek look on.

Agreement Creates Faster Track to Law Degree


C:\fakepath\3+3 signing.jpgMCLA students who desire to become attorneys will save both time and money, thanks to an agreement signed with the University of Massachusetts School of Law on Monday, that established a joint program allowing them to substitute their first year of law school for their senior year at the College.

As a result, these students will earn their bachelor’s degree and their Juris Doctor degree in six years instead of seven in this 3+3 program.

Interim President James C. Clemmer said MCLA was pleased to enter into this partnership with U-MASS.

“The arrangement offers qualified, ambitious and motivated undergraduate students who aspire to a career in law an accelerated course of study that maintains high academic standards while it saves them one year’s worth of tuition and time,” Clemmer said.

According to Dr. Cynthia Brown, vice president of academic affairs, MCLA’s undergraduate population typically includes those who are interested in a career in law. This new 3+3 program, she said, allows them to move more quickly, and on a clearly defined plan, to achieve their Juris Doctor degree.

The program is intended for MCLA students with a strong interest in law – or who develop an interest early in their undergraduate education – and whose career goals and legal education needs can be well served by the University of Massachusetts School of Law.

Qualified students will be admitted to the program during their junior year, based on a number of criteria, which includes a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better, and a minimum score of 150 on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT).

Successful applicants also must receive recommendations from the College members of the Joint Programs Committee, fulfill all admissions requirements normally imposed by the Law School, and complete at least two semesters of undergraduate pre-law advisement.

According to Brown, with the agreement now signed, freshmen, sophomores – and even some juniors – immediately could pursue this newest 3+3 career path option. The articulation agreement is the latest in a series of agreements MCLA has made with partnering institutions over recent years.

This includes a 3+2 engineering program with the University of Massachusetts, which students may earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in physics from MCLA and a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering from UMASS, as well as a collaboration with the Sage Colleges of New York, which prepares MCLA graduates to pursue master’s degrees in occupational therapy or nutrition, or doctorates in physical therapy.