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The Who, What, and How of 3+3 Law Programs

Published April 24, 2019

Who should take a 3+3 JD Program? What are the advantages?

If you have dreams of practicing law from an early age, then you may want to consider 3+3 BA/JD programs. Such programs offer students the opportunity to begin their legal education after just three years of undergraduate study.

This comes from many law schools recognizing high achieving undergraduate students who can accelerate their course of study by completing their Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctor in just six years of full-time study, saving a full year’s worth of time and tuition. 

How does it work?

Law schools offering 3+3 programs allow undergraduate students from their home or partner institutions to matriculate into first year (1L) law courses during what would otherwise be their final year of undergraduate studies. Upon successful completion of 1L courses, 3+3 students transfer their law school credits back to their undergraduate school to complete the bachelor’s degree.

Financial Note: Successful 3+3 candidates will pay three years of undergraduate tuition and three years of law school tuition. This is in accordance with American Bar Association standards.

What are the 3+3 eligibility requirements?

3+3 BA/JD program admission requirements are generally set high, requiring candidates to earn stronger cumulative undergraduate GPAs than that of the law school’s entering class and standardized test scores at or above the school’s publicized median.

Why is this? Accelerated 3+3 students are expected to demonstrate an advanced readiness for the study of law. After all, they are hoping to start law school prior to earning their undergraduate degree. Additionally, some law schools offer guaranteed admission to 3+3 applicants who meet their set criteria.

Do Your Research! Law schools generally restrict 3+3 enrollment to students in specific undergraduate institutions and/or majors. Some schools will not consider transfer students for their 3+3 programs.

What should you consider before pursuing a 3+3 BA/JD program?

Pursuing a law degree is a major time and financial commitment, so you should be 100% certain the practice of law is for you. Consider a legal internship, shadowing a current law student, and researching the legal job market and career lifestyle. Finally, be sure you have a sound reply to the age old question: What do you want to do with your life?

The Good News:  3+3 programs are typically non-binding, meaning students can opt out during or after junior year, and complete their bachelor’s degree in the traditional four years, if they change their minds.

If you aspire to study law and want to get started as soon as possible, then a 3+3 law program could be a perfect fit. With a little extra study time and dedication to meet the requirements, you can end up saving time and money—not to mention gaining the ability to enter your law career that much sooner!

Discover the University at Buffalo School of Law’s 3+3 Accelerated BA/JD program.

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Guest blogger Lindsay Gladney is the Vice Dean for Admissions at UB School of Law.


Office of Admissions
University at Buffalo School of Law
309 O'Brian Hall, Buffalo, NY 14260