Students who pursue a liberal arts degree are often considered prime candidates for a career in law. Delving into the study of history, literature, and philosophy equips Arts undergraduates with an impressive range of skills that are well-matched for the academic demands of law school. They’re already used to reading in large volumes, grappling with complex concepts, synthesizing ideas and generating commentary – in short, much of what constitutes preliminary legal training.
But for some students, tacking an additional three years of law school onto their undergraduate degree is simply undoable. They’re anxious to apply those finely honed academic skills and find their professional footing. So, with an expedited professional path in mind, Shimer has collaborated with the Chicago-Kent College of Law and Vermont Law School to offer its legal-minded students a unique fast track option. The accelerated B.A. to J.D. Great Books + Law Program shaves one entire year off law school, allowing successful students to graduate with both a B.A. and a law degree in only six years.
Life On The Accelerated Path
Students pursuing Shimer’s B.A. to J.D. accelerated path fulfill the requirements of a B.A. in the Social Sciences – but their last 30 electives substitute for their first year of law school. Applications to the program are made during the sophomore or junior year, and we suggest consulting with an academic advisor to ensure that the liberal arts courses are taken in the right sequence to prepare for the legal fast-track. Students are still required to complete all comprehensive examinations and a senior thesis while on the accelerated path, in addition to upholding specific academic standards.
Are You A Good Match For The Program?
In order to determine whether the B.A. to J.D. path is right for you, consider the academic entrance requirements set forth by our partner institutions - the Chicago-Kent College of Law and Vermont Law School. Chicago Kent College requires a minimum GPA of 3.4, and Vermont a minimum of 3.3. Third year students in the program must also take the LSAT exam. Chicago Kent will not accept students with scores lower than 150, and Vermont’s cut-off is 155. Both schools will consider your character record along with your academic performance, so applicants will need to follow the straight and narrow during their time at Shimer.
If you’ve always dreamed of law school but shied away from traditional 3 year training programs, the accelerated B.A. to J.D. Great Books + Law Program could make all the difference as you look ahead to life after graduation. Our liberal arts program is uniquely designed to give you an academic edge - and the skills you need to jumpstart a challenging, rewarding legal career.