Worcester State University, WNEU School of Law Forge Partnership
SPRINGFIELD — Worcester State University (WSU) and Western New England University (WNEU) School of Law have signed a 3+3 articulation agreement that allows undergraduate students attending Worcester State University to apply for admission to the private law school and begin their legal education during their senior year. The agreement shortens the time required for students to earn both a bachelor’s and law degree from seven years to six years.
“Every student considering a career in law should seriously consider starting their undergraduate studies at Worcester State University,” said WSU President Barry Maloney. “This agreement can save students time and money while earning degrees from two outstanding universities.”
WNEU President Anthony Caprio, who codified the agreement on behalf of Western New England University at the signing ceremony, noted that “this collaborative arrangement with Worcester State University will open doors for more students to access high-caliber legal education with our special brand of individualized student attention.”
The agreement means qualified Worcester State University students who successfully complete their major requirements in three years, leaving them with only free electives, will have a seamless transition to Western New England University’s law school during what would be their senior year. Credits earned during the first year of law school will count towards the completion of a bachelor’s degree. Three academic departments at Worcester State will offer an academic gateway into the program: Criminal Justice, History and Political Science, and Philosophy. Upon completion of three years of law school, students earn a juris doctor (JD) from WNEU.
“Western New England University School of Law looks forward to strengthening our relationship with Worcester State through this 3+3 agreement,” said Sudha Setty, dean of the School of Law. “This agreement reflects the strong commitment of both institutions to furthering the educational goals of our students while being sensitive to the costs of higher and professional education.”
Russ Pottle, dean of WSU’s School of Humanities and Social Sciences, added that “this public-private partnership between Worcester State and Western New England University’s School of Law opens an important educational pathway for qualified and motivated students. Western New England Law’s focus on experiential education matches Worcester State’s commitment to active learning, and the partnership is a real opportunity for students in Central and Western Massachusetts to pursue a 3+3 program in their immediate areas.”
With an emphasis on practical lawyering skills, Western New England University’s juris doctor program combines rigorous coursework covering the theory and practical application of the law with extensive experiential opportunities in legal clinics and externships. A variety of concentrations allows individual students to customize their legal education to gain added experience in specific practice areas.
“As a Springfield native myself, I recognize that this 3+3 pathway to a law degree offers the further advantage of being within commuting distance to both universities for those from Western Massachusetts,” Maloney said. “It’s a great deal for students looking for the most affordable pathways to a law degree.”