Thanks to its new accelerated degree programs, Regent University's School of Law is at the front of the pack when it comes to making a law degree more affordable. Beginning in June 2013, students can enroll in a two-year Accelerated Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree program, shaving a year off of a traditional program.
The financial burden associated with the traditional three-year option can be daunting for some. "We are seeking to provide students with options that help them manage the cost of law school," said Dean Jeffrey Brauch. "Students in the two-year program save time and living expenses. They also enter the job market a year earlier than they otherwise would."
While the approach is untraditional (Regent is one of just a handful of law schools offering this option), Brauch believes it will be particularly appealing to older students looking to enhance or change their career. "The cost and time savings may be particularly attractive to applicants with families or those already employed," he said. "It of course might be attractive to many others who value the savings as well."
The accelerated nature of the program will not compromise the quality of education received in the classroom. Accelerated program students will follow the traditional ninety-hour J.D. course requirements, simply in a compressed format. Whereas traditional first-year law students would begin their course of study in August, the accelerated students would begin in June. After the first summer, accelerated program students are integrated into the same classes as all other law students, studying the same curriculum under the same professors as enjoyed by students in the traditional three-year program.
Accelerated degree students will also be required to complete a law-practice externship as a part of the accelerated program.
Because of the accelerated format, the application requirements are rigorous. Applicants must have at least a 152 LSAT, a 3.0 cumulative undergraduate GPA, and other indicators of high academic promise.
"This is part of our commitment to provide flexibility for our applicants to choose the program that fits them best," Brauch explained.
In addition to the two-year option, applicants may also choose a program that lasts two and a half years, a traditional three-year program, or a part-time option for those who wish to work full-time while attending law school. The part-time option lasts four or five years.
"We want applicants to know that we understand law school is a challenging and expensive proposition," Brauch said. "We are at the forefront of making law school more flexible and affordable."
The application period for the accelerated J.D. is now underway. Learn more about the program.
By Rachel Bender
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