Accelerated Graduate Pathways to Law
USM's Accelerated Graduate Pathways to Law 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 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. Eligible majors are English, History, Linguistics, Philosophy, Political Science, Sociology, Economics, Geography-Anthropology, Criminology, Liberal Studies-Humanities, and Social and Behavioral Sciences.
- 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 (also posted on the Maine Law website), 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 through the Accelerated Law Pathway.
Required Course Progression
Sample pathways through the approved undergraduate majors listed above are available from the Advising Office. For 1L coursework to transfer to USM, a student must earn a grade of C- or better (please refer to Maine Law website to find 1L curriculum). 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.
University of Maine School of Law Tuition
For all Law course work, students are charged the Maine School of Law per credit tuition rate. While the credits serve as both the final credits of the undergraduate degree and the first year of the Law curriculum, students are only paying the one tuition rate. Students may be able to retain their undergraduate merit aid for use during the fourth year of study (1L coursework), but it is imperative that a student meet with a Financial Aid Counselor to confirm retention of undergraduate merit aid.
How to Apply:
- On the Common App, select your preferred choice of major. You will then see the following option: “Please indicate your interest in one of the following accelerated pathway options at the University of Southern Maine” from which you can select a Pathway.
- In the University of Maine System application, select your First Choice Major and then you will see the following drop-down menu: Accelerated Graduate Degree Pathway (First Choice Major), from which you can select a Pathway.
- If you are a Transfer or Continuing Student, please contact the University of Southern Maine Advising Office to meet with an academic advisor who can review your previous coursework and determine your eligibility for entering an Accelerated Graduate Pathway. Please call (207) 780-4040 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.