Dayton School of Law Offers 3+2 JD

Angela Morris:

Plenty of law schools have rolled out programs designed to shave a year off the traditional path to a J.D. But on Friday, the University of Dayton School of Law became just the second school to offer a way to slice two years off the typical seven year undergrad-J.D. combo. Dayton, like other schools offering shorter tracks, is eager to attract stronger candidates as the overall applicant pool remains shallow. While many schools have 3+3 programs or accelerated two-year J.D. programs, so far only Dayton and Vermont Law School offer a way to become a lawyer in five years total.

“This is definitely for the best students,” said Paul Schlottman, Dayton’s director of strategic initiatives, who helped launch the 3+2 program. “These are for people who are very academically and otherwise gifted.”

The way it works is that students complete three years of courses in a partner undergraduate institution, and then transfer to Dayton, where their first year of law school counts towards their fourth year of undergraduate studies. In law school, students take courses—the same ones as traditional law students—in the summer, fall and spring semesters, which allows them to graduate in two years instead of three. However, if a law student at some point decides life is too hectic, she can always slow down and do the normal three-year J.D. program.