New Program in Law School Creates Opportunity for Undergrads

For the past year and a half, the Boston College Law School has been engineering a program in tandem with the Bellarime Law Society designed to save law students both time and money.

Traditionally, students looking to pursue a career in law are expected to complete both a four year undergraduate degree in addition to three years of law school. However, the new BC Law Accelerated Admissions Program is designed to expedite one’s law degree. The new program is available to all current Arts and Sciences freshmen and sophomores who are on track to fulfill the requirements for an MCAS degree (120 credit hours), who have fulfilled the university core, and language requirement. Simply put, the new “3+3” program is three years of undergraduate study coupled with three years of law school, with the end result being an Arts and Sciences degree and Law School degree over the span of six years, rather than the traditional seven.

If accepted to the program, formal law school will start upon completion of one’s junior year at BC. Associate Dean for Administration and Finance at BC Law, John Stachniewicz stressed, that “We are here trying to make expensive legal education more attainable for students,” the program aims to lessen both student debt amassed, and length of time spent at school, looking to propel graduates into the workforce a year ahead of traditional law school scheduling.

While this new program might sound like a no-brainer for any aspiring lawyer, students must keep in mind that it is a highly focused and specialized program. BC Law only anticipates finding 3-5 students who are mature and dedicated enough to be the right fit for this program.

“The lack of one year should not be detrimental because [students] should be mature enough to demonstrate their law competency,” said BC Law Associate Dean West.

The application to the 3+3 program, it is not simply a school transfer application or additional program, but rather the application is identical to that of the BC Law program, plus a supplemental interview. Students should plan ahead to complete all requirements and plan to take the LSAT no later than October of their junior year. The application must be completed by January of junior year and must include the following criteria:

  • Academic record
  • Faculty recommendations
  • LSAT score (with a target score of 162-164)
  • Personal statement
  • Admissions interview

The admissions interview is a critical point in the application process, for BC Law faculty need to be able to ascertain how this program will fit for potential applicants. Associate Dean for External Relations, Diversity and Inclusion at BC Law, Tracy West, could not stress the importance of the first year of law school enough at the information session, “Your first year of law school is in many ways your most significant, you have to have the drive, dedication and maturity to recognize the significance of this [3+3] program.” The interview will help faculty members gauge the maturity of applicants, for they really want to ensure the students are a good fit for the program and that they will be successful in the law school program and in occupation.

Applicants must also keep in mind that while there are obvious advantages to this program, it  does not come without its compromises. While students are a whole year ahead of other prospective law students their age and saving an entire year of undergraduate tuition, there are some components of the program that might not be for everyone.

In this program, your fourth year at BC is by definition your first year as a law student. With that, the condition of your citizenship here on campus changes. You are no longer living on campus or going to class with your senior friends and former classmates. Moreover, you are no longer eligible for undergraduate housing or financial aid. However, you can still walk with your graduating class year at commencement.

Financial aid is still available for 3+3 program law students, but it is subject to change from your undergraduate financial aid package. According to Joan Horgan, the Associate Director for Financial Aid at BC Law, “Everyone admitted to BC Law is already considered for scholarship,” and over 70% of freshmen BC Law students have some form of scholarship with the median scholarship awarded being $20,000. There are other programs students rely on to help make law school more affordable, including federal Stafford Loans awarding up to $20,500/year and the Grad Plus Loan program which students use primarily for living expenses. Moreover, in your second and third year as a law student, you are eligible for the Undergraduate Resident Assistant program to help with living expenses while still at school.

Potential applicants to the 3+3 program are encouraged to reach out with questions and start a conversation with Amy Brunswick, the pre-law advisor to undergraduates at


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