Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law have entered into an agreement that will allow qualified students to earn both an undergraduate degree and a law degree in six years, saving a full year of time and costs.
Pitt’s Accelerated Law Admissions Program (ALAP) will allow BU students who have earned at least ninety (90) credits and have completed all major and all Bloomsburg University general education requirements by the end of their junior year, to apply for law school admission, as if it was their final year of undergraduate study.
Pitt Law will assess those students as if they were ordinary applicants, except that it will waive the usual requirement to have completed a bachelor’s degree before admission. After successfully completing their 1L year of law school, they will have also earned a degree from Bloomsburg University. It is expected that one to five eligible students each year will enroll in Pitt Law following their junior year at BU.
This program is born out of the newly created Diehl Center for Law School Preparation at Bloomsburg University. The ALAP program will assist BU in the recruitment and retention of outstanding undergraduate students who have a desire to continue on to law school. The mission of the Diehl Center is to provide information and assistance to students about careers in law, the law school experience and how to prepare for it, and the application process. The center is open to all majors.
“This agreement will benefit our students who are interested in attending law school, giving them a path to save both time and money,” said Diana Rogers-Adkinson, Bloomsburg University provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs. “The University of Pittsburgh School of Law is one of the most respected law schools in the country and has many notable alumni, including the Honorable Mary Jane Bowes, Judge of the Pennsylvania Superior Court and Chair of BU’s Council of Trustees. We are honored to be able to join with the Pitt School of Law in this program.”
Pitt Law’s Dean Amy Wildermuth is equally excited about the new partnership: “We have had several excellent Bloomsburg graduates as students at Pitt Law and this program will strengthen the terrific pipeline between our two schools. Most importantly, both Bloomsburg and Pitt are eager to find ways to help students reduce their overall debt. By decreasing the number of years a student spends in school, this program will have a significant and meaningful impact.”
Pitt Law already offers its ALAP to students at the University’s Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences and its College of Business Administration. The program is also available at Washington and Jefferson College and Carlow University.
(Information from Tom McGuire, Bloomsburg University, and Sharon Blake, University of Pittsburgh )