In an effort to prepare the next generation of attorneys for positions that need to be filled in Aroostook County, officials with the University of Maine School of Law and the University of Maine at Presque Isle signed an agreement on May 3 providing an Accelerated Law Pathway for UMPI students.

As part of this unique 3+3 law degree program, students in specific majors can study at UMPI for 3 years, and then apply for admission to the Juris Doctor program at the University of Maine School of Law. If accepted, they can transfer to the Portland campus to finish their final year from UMPI at the same time that they complete their first year of law school. Right now, this opportunity is available to students in UMPI’s Business program, but is expected to expand to other programs soon.

“We are so pleased to be partnering with the University of Maine School of Law on this seamless pathway from a Bachelor’s degree to a law degree,” UMPI President Ray Rice said. “Not only does it open new doors for our students to careers in law, it also works to address the need for more attorneys practicing in rural Maine and right here in Aroostook County.”

The 3+3 Program allows students with a strong interest in law to save significant time and money in their pursuit of a Maine law degree. Students will save a year of undergraduate tuition and complete both an undergraduate and law degree in six years instead of seven. It also provides an opportunity for the law school to talk to local students in more depth about law careers—law school officials will visit campus during upcoming semesters to share presentations on law as well as address specific subject areas, including non-traditional uses for a J.D. and the need for attorneys in rural practice.

“Our alumni are leaders throughout the State of Maine as well as community innovators,” Caroline Wilshusen, Associate Dean for Admissions at Maine Law, said. “Our goal is to remove barriers to a law degree with the hope that students will return to their communities to serve.”

As part of the program, students need to take the LSAT and complete their application to the Law School during their junior year. In addition to the traditional application, students will submit letters of reference from their advisor.

For more information about the 3+3 Accelerated Law Pathway, contact UMPI’s Admissions Office at 207-768-9532 or umpi-admissions@maine.edu or the University of Maine School of Law at (207) 780-4341 or lawadmissions@maine.edu.

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