(from left) WNEU President Anthony S. Caprio, President Maloney and Russ Pottle at the agreement signing in Springfield at the Blake Law Center at WNEU Dec. 14.

Worcester State and WNEU School of Law Forge New Partnership

December 18, 2018
By: Nancy Sheehan

Worcester State University and Western New England University School of Law in Springfield have signed a 3+3 articulation agreement that allows undergraduate students attending Worcester State 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.

“Western New England has an outstanding reputation, not only here in the Pioneer Valley but throughout New England as one of the best law schools in the region,” President Barry M. Maloney said at a formal signing ceremony at WNEU’s Blake Law Center recently. “This partnership will be a great complement to the quality undergraduate education students receive at Worcester State. “

The agreement will save students time and money while earning degrees from two outstanding universities, Maloney said. Working with a Worcester State faculty advisor, students can complete the general education program and undergraduate major requirements in three years of study. Students who maintain a 3.3 GPA and meet the School of Law’s entrance requirements can matriculate as first-year law students and have credits earned during that first year count toward the completion of a bachelor’s degree from Worcester State. Upon
completion of three years of law school, the student would also earn a juris doctor (JD) from Western New England.

Three academic departments at Worcester State will offer a gateway into the program: Criminal Justice, History and Political Science, and Philosophy, which offers a philosophy and law minor.

“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,” said Russ Pottle, dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, who also was one of the agreement signatories. “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.”

The agreement also was signed by WNEU President Anthony S. Caprio and Sudha N. Setty, dean of the School of Law. “Western New England University School of Law looks forward to strengthening our relationship with Worcester State through this 3+3 agreement,” Setty said. “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.”

President Maloney added, “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. It’s a great deal for students looking for the most affordable pathways to a law degree.”

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