University of Kansas to expand fast-track law degree program



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LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — The University of Kansas is extending its fast-track law degree program to undergraduates at Kansas State University.

The Lawrence school will expand the program to other Kansas Board of Regents universities, first with Kansas State. University of Kansas Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little made the announcement this month during a Regents meeting, the Lawrence Journal-World (http://bit.ly/1TobO9e ) reported.

The University of Kansas launched its Legal Education Accelerated Degree program for its undergraduates in 2012. That so-called "3+3" program allows students to earn a bachelor's and a law degree in just six years instead of the usual seven.

"It addressed directly the biggest barriers of students gaining a legal education," Gray-Little said. "That is cost and time."

The University of Kansas is the only Board of Regents university with a law school.

Steven Freedman, assistant dean for admissions at the law school, said the first Kansas State freshmen are to begin the program next fall and would enter the law school at Kansas three years later.

The number of students at the Kansas law school that come from Kansas State is second only to the University of Kansas, Freedman said.

"We wanted to start with K-State first because we do have such a good relationship with them, and they do have the second-largest pre-law program in the state," he said.

Admission to the program remains "competitive," Freedman said. Freshman must have certain minimum ACT scores and GPAs to qualify. And to be automatically admitted into the law school in their fourth year, they must meet minimum requirements for GPA and LSAT law school aptitude test scores.

"We have higher requirements for the automatic admission," Freedman said. "Because students are going to be graduating a year earlier, we want to be sure they're ready for the challenge."

Freedman said the university has seen "great results" so far with the program, with an average of about 40 undergraduates in the program per year. The first cohort will start at the law school this fall.

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Information from: Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World, http://www.ljworld.com

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The Associated Press

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