The University of Massachusetts School of Law – Dartmouth (UMass Law) and Johnson & Wales University (JWU) in Providence, RI have finalized an agreement for a joint 3+3 program that will enable JWU students to earn an undergraduate and law degree in six rather than seven years.
Undergraduate students will take classes and earn credit toward their undergraduate degree at JWU during the first three years of the accelerated program. In the fourth year, they will matriculate at UMass Law as first-year law students, where they will begin taking law courses that will fulfill their remaining undergraduate requirements while simultaneously beginning their legal education.
The accelerated degree program allows students to apply credits earned during the first year of law school to their final year of college, thereby saving thousands of dollars in tuition and living expenses.
“Our 3+3 programs serve our core mission of expanding access to justice by significantly reducing the cost of receiving an undergraduate and legal education and increasing the pathways to the profession,” said UMass Law Dean Eric Mitnick. “We are particularly excited to partner with Johnson & Wales, our first partner outside of Massachusetts, because it is an institution that values the sort of deep engagement and experiential education that will prepare students to succeed in law school and make a difference in their communities.”
"All of us at JWU are pleased to partner with UMass Law on this exciting new 3+3 Law program, as our institutions share a common commitment to broadening access and lowering barriers to higher education,” said JWU College of Arts & Sciences Dean Michael Fein, Ph.D. “Opening this pathway means that exceptional JWU students who see law school as part of their academic journey will have a tremendous opportunity to reduce their tuition costs while accelerating their progress, and we look forward to sending talented JWU students to UMass Law to jump start their legal careers a year ahead of schedule."
"I am especially excited about this partnership as both institutions share a strong commitment to experientially based learning,” JWU Provost Richard Wiscott, Ph.D. added. “JWU students will be ready to hit the ground running as they begin their law studies."
UMass Law currently ranks third in the nation, among nearly 200 ABA-accredited law schools, for enrollment growth while maintaining the smallest average, first-year doctrinal course sizes among all Massachusetts law schools for the last two years combined. UMass Law has ranked among the best law schools in the country for its program of practical training for three of the last four years and is currently ranked second in Massachusetts and fourth in New England, according to the most recent data. Students at UMass Law are 100% guaranteed a clinic or internship placement.
The law school also ranks second among all 15 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.
Johnson & Wales University is the fourteenth institution to collaborate on a 3+3 program with UMass Law, and the first in Rhode Island. Other partners include Anna Maria College, Assumption University, Fitchburg State University, Framingham State University, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, Regis College, Salem State University, Springfield College, UMass Boston, UMass Dartmouth, UMass Lowell, Westfield State University, and Worcester State University.
Founded in 1914, Johnson & Wales University is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution with more than 9,000 graduate, undergraduate and online students at its campuses in Providence, Rhode Island and Charlotte, North Carolina. JWU’s unique model provides students with the personalized attention, academic expertise and industry connections that inspire professional success and personal growth. The university’s impact is global, with alumni in 125 countries pursuing careers worldwide.