Accelerated Law Pathways
USM's Accelerated Law Pathways are for students who wish to complete both a Bachelor's and a J.D. degree in six years rather than the usual seven. These detailed plans (links appear below) save students one academic year of undergraduate education, as well as one year's worth of undergraduate fees, tuition, and expenses. Students, who meet the requirements, avoid the considerable time and expense attached to preparing multiple law school applications. The chance to enter their chosen professional field a year early gives them an experiential advantage and has a beneficial impact upon earning potential as well.
In order to be considered for guaranteed admission, a student must:
- Successfully complete all but 30 credit hours of an approved Bachelor's degree pathway at the University of Southern Maine by the end of their junior status,
- Maintain an undergraduate GPA of 3.5,
- Achieve a Law School Admission Test (LSAT) score that is no lower than the current median LSAT posted on the Maine Law website,
- Complete all required Law School application materials, including compliance with all other Law School admission requirements by April 1 of the year in which the applicant would begin law school,
- Be in good academic and disciplinary standing at the University of Southern Maine at the time of acceptance to the Law School,
- Meet the standards for the Character and fitness portion of the Law School application,
- Submit a letter of reference from a USM faculty member familiar with the student's maturity, motivation, and academic ability to study law, and which details the student's qualifications and abilities in each area.
Students who do not meet these criteria are still eligible to apply for admission to the Law School, but will not be considered as part of the Guaranteed Admission Agreement between USM and Maine Law.
Required Course Progression
Required pathways through select undergraduate majors are detailed in the links below. For 1L coursework to transfer to USM, a student must earn a grade of C- or better. As stated in the USM Residency Requirement, thirty of the last forty-five credits of a student's baccalaureate course load must be completed at USM. The institution works with students on a case-by-case basis through advising and at the departmental level to realize the full benefit of the campus community and resources while final coursework is completed.
The pathways above provide you with a template for charting a course through required classes in your major and the core. The timeline available here gives you an idea of the other steps you need to take throughout your undergraduate years in order to take advantage of the accelerated pathway in Law.
Still have questions? Perhaps our FAQ page can help.