Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio

Supreme Court Approves Accelerated Path to Law Degree

Beginning July 1, law students may be able to reach their goal one year sooner if Ohio colleges and universities choose to start offering accelerated “3+3” programs.

Ohio’s law school deans asked the Supreme Court to consider allowing applicants to apply for the bar exam after graduating from a six-year joint bachelor’s/law degree program instead of the traditional seven-year program (four years of undergraduate study, plus three years of law school).

Under the recently adopted amendments to Rule I of the Supreme Court Rules for the Government of the Bar of Ohio, applicants for admission to the practice of law in Ohio would only be required to obtain a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university before admission to the practice of law rather than before admission to law school.

As it stands now, bar exam applicants who graduate from a “3+3” program must seek a waiver of the rule in order to sit for the exam, according to Lee Ann Ward, director of the Office of Bar Admissions at the Ohio Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court alerted Ohio college and university presidents to the proposal in a letter and noted that the decision whether to offer a 3+3 program lies with Ohio’s law schools, colleges, and universities. The amendments allow for the possibility of 3+3 programs in Ohio since no Ohio law school offers one currently. Creation of 3+3 programs depends on whether the educational community wants to establish such programs.

Access the amendments, which take effect July 1.

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