If there was a way to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science on top of getting a Juris Doctor at Suffolk Law School in six years instead of seven, would it be worth it? Say hello to the “Three-Three” program, a University option that will shave a full year from a student’s journey to and through law school.
“This is a mechanism for students committed to going to law school,” said Gail Ellis, the dean of admissions at Suffolk Law School. “What it does is it allows students to complete their undergrad studies in three years.” Students then go straight to Suffolk Law after their junior year, said Ellis.
The program, which has “been around for quite some time,” according to Ellis, is a difficult one, requiring students to retain a 3.4 GPA or higher throughout their undergrad studies. They also must complete all the requirements of their undergraduate degree before they can start working on their law degree, said Ellis.
“There aren’t that many people who do it,” said Ellis, who was been at the law school for 20 years, “It’s a very demanding proposition and it requires students to maintain a very high GPA.”
Although the path is difficult and not for everyone, Ellis urges those interested in a future in law.
“I would encourage students who want to pursue a legal occupation. They should investigate the program if they’re interested,” she said.
The “Three-Three” program is not major specific. Anyone at Suffolk may apply, but they should be working with a pre-law advisor to help develop the necessary skills for law school, according to Ellis.
Students who are looking into the program must enter the university as a freshmen and “must complete 96 semester hours toward the bachelor’s degree” they are pursuing, according to the University website. “This credit must include all required courses for the particular degree and major that the student selects, with the exception that the first full year of law study is substituted for major courses and electives that are normally taken in the senior year,” continued the release.
A student must also take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and meet Suffolk Law’s median, which tends to change each year. If interested, students should contact the law school to inquire the median as well as let the department chair know of their intention by the end of their sophomore year.
Although accelerated and intense, the “Three-Three” program saves participants a full year, both in time and tuition. If students feel they can handle the heat, they’re encouraged to go for it.
The pre-law advising at Suffolk has recently been re-vamped as well, according to Ellis. It is specifically designed to help guide students for the three years that they are working on their undergraduate studies.
The advisors will help craft a plan for specific courses that students should take to better prepare themselves for their law studies, she said.
“We welcome [students] to come visit the law school to schedule and talk about the application process, how it works and what we expect,” said Ellis. “They can even sit in on classes as long as it’s pre-arranged.”