News 2021: UMass Law and Springfield College launch accelerated law degree program
UMass Law and Springfield College launch accelerated law degree program

New 3+3 agreement between institutions to create innovative pipeline for law students

UMass Law Springfield College

The University of Massachusetts School of Law – Dartmouth and Springfield College have finalized a 3+3 agreement that will create new, accelerated opportunities for Springfield College students to attain a law degree.

Pre-law students will spend three years working toward their undergraduate degree at Springfield College before matriculating at UMass Law, where they will begin taking law courses that fulfill their remaining undergraduate requirements while kickstarting their legal education. Students will earn their Bachelor’s and Juris Doctorate degrees in six years rather than the traditional seven. These accelerated degree programs allow students to apply credits earned during their first year of law school to their final year of college, saving students thousands of dollars in tuition payments and living expenses.

“For UMass Law, it is important that we partner with undergraduate institutions to provide access to an affordable, high-quality legal education,” said UMass Law Dean Eric Mitnick. “Springfield’s support of legal education through their pre-law program and commitment to the region is a natural pairing for UMass Law that will lead to student success and community impact.”

“We are delighted and honored to partner with an important institution whose mission is so aligned with ours,” said Springfield College School of Arts and Sciences Dean Rachel Rubinstein. “As the only public law school in Massachusetts, UMass Law is committed to providing an accessible and excellent legal education that prepares lawyers to advance justice through service and leadership. We can't imagine a better fit for our students considering or planning careers in the law, whether they study history, criminal justice, business, or any number of related fields.”

“As the Pre-Law program on our campus continues to expand, including the creation of a Mock Trial Club this year, we welcome this new partnership with UMass Law,” said Springfield College Professor of History and Pre-Law Advisor Thomas Carty. “Springfield College has made a commitment to providing more opportunities for undergraduate students to explore the legal field. This commitment stays consistent with our mission of service and leadership to others."

Springfield College is the thirteenth institution to collaborate on a 3+3 program with UMass Law. Others include Anna Maria College, Assumption University, Fitchburg State University, Framingham State University, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, Regis College, Salem State University, UMass Boston, UMass Dartmouth, UMass Lowell, Westfield State University, and Worcester State University.

Over the past five years, UMass Law ranks second in the nation, among nearly 200 ABA-accredited law schools, for enrollment growth, while maintaining the smallest first-year doctrinal course sizes among all Massachusetts law schools. UMass Law’s most recent ABA Standard 316 “ultimate” (two-year) bar pass rate is 92 percent across all jurisdictions. UMass Law has twice been ranked among the best law schools in the country for its program of practical training. The law school also ranks second among all fifteen law schools in New England for the percentage of students entering public service. UMass Law’s focus on public and community service has resulted in more than 150,000 hours of pro bono legal services provided to the community since 2010.