The College of Our Lady of the Elms and Western New England University’s School of Law executed a “3+3” agreement that allows students to apply for admission to the law school and begin their legal education during their senior year at Elms College. This could shorten the time for students to earn both their bachelor’s and J.D. degrees from seven years to six years.  

Elms and WNEU sign 3+3 agreement

Elms College Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Walter Breau (left) shakes hands with Western New England University School of Law Dean Eric Gouvin after signing the 3+3 agreement on June 22. The agreement gives Elms undergraduate students of all majors the opportunity to shorten the time to earn both their bachelor's and J.D. degrees from seven years to six years. (Elms College photo)

New Pathway to Law Degree

The College of Our Lady of the Elms and Western New England University’s School of Law executed a “3+3” agreement this morning that allows students to apply for admission to the law school and begin their legal education during their senior year at Elms College. This could shorten the time for students to earn both their bachelor’s and J.D. degrees from seven years to six years.

This agreement is not limited to criminal justice or legal studies majors -- any undergraduate student, regardless of major, can earn credits toward law school under this program. “This is a significant opportunity for students in all majors who are interested in attending law school,” said Assistant Professor Kurt Ward, director of criminal justice and legal studies and director of ABA paralegal education at Elms College.

The 3+3 program agreement signing was held this morning in Dean Eric Gouvin’s office at the School of Law in Springfield, Mass. Walter Breau, Ph.D., vice president of academic affairs, signed for Elms College; signing for WNEU were Provost Dr. Linda Jones and Eric Gouvin, JD, LLM, dean of the WNEU School of Law.

“At this university and at Elms College, we’re always looking for opportunities to help our students be successful, and formalizing this long-term relationship is just another great way to serve our students,” Dr. Breau said after signing the agreement.

Dean Gouvin added that the program “should be particularly attractive to certain types of students for whom time is very precious,” such as those who interrupted their studies to raise families or who recently completed active military service. “They might find that saving a year on the combined undergraduate and graduate degree makes a real difference,” he said.

The 3+3 program becomes effective beginning in the 2016-17 admission cycle for students desiring to begin law school in the fall of 2017.