You Can Now Earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Law School
Law schools are now offering undergraduate degrees for students to get a head start on their legal careers.
The University of Southern California Gould School of Law, Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law, and Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad College of Law have all announced plans to launch undergraduate degree programs.
The undergraduate degrees wouldn’t allow students to sit for the bar exam and actually practice law, but they will be helpful in laying the foundation for law-related careers and a JD education, Reuters reports.
“This is not law school-lite,” USC law professor Bob Rasmussen says. “This is general knowledge for what you would want a smart, educated person to know about the law.”
THE FIRST LAW SCHOOL TO OFFER AN UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE
Back in 2014, the University of Arizona’s James E. Rogers College of Law was the first to offer a bachelor’s degree. In 2019, the State University of New York at Buffalo Law School became the second law school to do so.
Arizona’s program currently has 1,600 undergraduates in both its in-person and online tracks, while Buffalo’s in-person only program consists of 200 students. Roughly 40% of Arizona’s undergraduates enroll in law school within two years.
USC Gould’s new undergraduate program will require students to complete core undergraduate courses such as: Law and the U.S. Constitution in Global History, Law and Society, Introduction to Criminal Law, Fundamentals of the U.S. Legal System and Current Court Cases.
Students can choose from four tracks: regulatory state, public law, private law, and general legal studies.
Experts say the law school undergraduate degrees can help students land JD-advantage jobs without the cost of a law degree.
“The law is a good way of teaching the reasoning and reading skills that make someone a good professional, period,” Kyle McEntee, founder of the advocacy group Law School Transparency, says.
Next Page: Is a law degree worth it?