Students at Iowa State University will be able to earn their undergraduate and law degrees in six, rather than seven, years under an innovative new partnership between Iowa State and the Drake Law School. Developed and managed by the ISU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the program allows students to enter Law School in their fourth year and use the credits earned in their first year of Law School to complete their undergraduate studies.
“We were pleased with the very positive response when we approached Iowa State with this proposal,” said Drake Law 3+3 Program Director Professor Miguel Schor. “Dean Beate Schmittmann and Associate Dean Amy Slagell of their College of Liberal Arts & Sciences deserve much of the credit for this innovative new initiative.”
The 3+3 initiative with Iowa State also includes a class, Introduction to American Law, taught at the Law School by Professor Schor, which will be open to Iowa State undergraduates for Iowa State credit, without cost. The 3+3 initiative also contemplates increased contacts between the faculties of the two schools.
“Iowa State professors such as Kathleen Waggoner – who is a graduate of the Drake Law School – do a superb job of preparing their students for law school,” said Professor Schor. “This initiative should enhance that tradition.”
While participation in the 3+3 Program at Iowa State does not guarantee acceptance to the Law School, ISU students who enter the Law School through the 3+3 program will receive a renewable $5,000 scholarship for each of their three years of law school.
“The combination of saving a year of undergraduate tuition, getting a $5,000 scholarship for each year of Law School, and getting into practice a year early,” Dean Vestal observed, “will help students significantly reduce their overall student debt.”
Both Iowa State and Drake believe that this reduction in student debt will allow more Law School graduates to serve rural Iowa communities and other under-served communities.
“We know that many of our law graduates find it difficult to practice in rural communities or in public service because of the amount of student debt they incur,” said Dean Vestal. “If we can help lighten that debt through this partnership, graduates will have more opportunities and we’ll help grow a new generation of lawyers for Iowa’s rural communities and public service positions.”