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Wayne State offering fast track to bachelor's plus law degree

June 27, 2016

DETROIT – Wayne State University students will be able to earn a bachelor's degree and a law degree in six years through a new LawStart program.

WSU's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Honors College and Law School have joined forces to create the accelerated degree program for high-performing students. The program was approved Friday, June 24, by the university's Board of Governors.

Traditionally, earning a bachelor's degree followed by a law degree would total seven years. Through this agreement, students would enter the Law School during their fourth year of undergraduate education. Credits earned during the first year of law school will double-count to fulfill students' remaining undergraduate elective credit requirements.

Through LawStart, WSU students can save the equivalent of up to a year of undergraduate tuition.

Students in any College of Liberal Arts and Sciences program will be eligible to apply for LawStart during their sophomore year, or upon the completion of at least two full-time semesters and at least 24 undergraduate credits. LawStart students will be admitted to Wayne Law after they apply and meet all admission criteria, including taking the Law School Admission Test. Students selected for LawStart will take part in pre-law enrichment activities and receive specialized advising during their undergraduate years to ensure their preparedness for law school.

"This program will be a game-changer for our students," said Wayne M. Raskind, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. "Not only will it create a clear and more cost-efficient path to a law career, but it will allow WSU's most talented undergraduates to join the workforce a year earlier."

Wayne Law Dean Jocelyn Benson said, "We are thrilled to be able to offer another unique opportunity allowing students an accelerated path to begin making a difference as legal professionals." Wayne Law announced a similar partnership in October with Oakland University to begin in fall 2016.

LawStart also will launch during the fall 2016 semester. WSU students may apply for the program during the 2016-17 academic year.

For more information about LawStart, contact Heather Dillaway at (313)-577-2520 or lawstart@wayne.edu.

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