DANVILLE, Va. (WFXR) — In order to help students working toward a law degree complete their education more quickly, Averett University and Appalachian School of Law (ASL) decided to team up for their first formal agreement.
The two institutions made the partnership official at a signing event at Averett University on Wednesday, May 26, where retired Justice Elizabeth A. McClanahan, president and dean of ASL, and Averett President Dr. Tiffany M. Franks ceremoniously inked the agreements in front of school representatives and special guests.
According to Averett University, the partnership consists of two pathways: a three-plus-three dual-degree option and a four-plus-three traditional pathway.
“We are thrilled to partner with Appalachian School of Law to bring a structured, seamless path to our students who want to pursue their law degree,” said Franks. “This partnership is a shining example of how two student-centered institutions are working together to fulfill workforce needs and demands, including those in rural communities, as well as provide upward mobility to diverse students through financial assistance and clear pathways for progress.”
In the three-plus-three dual-degree program, Averett pre-law students who meet certain qualifications will spend three years as an undergraduate at Averett, receive their baccalaureate degree when they complete the first year of law school, and graduate from ASL with a law degree two years later.
By allowing students to complete both degrees in six years rather than seven, not only will this partnership save students a year’s tuition, but school officials say it will also prepare them for their entire law career.
In addition, the agreement includes a four-plus-three arrangement with preferred admission.
“There is no small amount of existential angst among young people these days,” McClanahan said. “Indecision, doubt and even fear often creep into their thoughts about the future. The very structure of the three-plus-three and four-plus-three models, however, work against those destructive emotions by providing a clearly marked path forward. The expectations of the program, as well as its clearly stated goals, provide Averett students with an aspirational architecture for constructing their own futures. ASL looks forward to welcoming these students and helping them do just that.”
School officials say the agreement includes scholarship packages that will make the path to law degree even more affordable for students. In fact, two of the highest level scholarships – each totaling $144,000 in student aid over the course of their time at ASL – will be reserved for Averett students in the three-plus-three program, but students in the four-plus-three program can also apply.
Additional merit scholarships will available for qualifying students in either program, as well.