Campus Life

University of West Florida and Stetson University partner to shorten time to law degree

The University of West Florida and Stetson University College of Law announced that they are partnering to offer a 3+3 program, starting in August 2015, that will allow aspiring attorneys to reduce the time they spend working toward a law degree.

The 3+3 program allows high-performing students to earn their bachelor’s and juris doctor (J.D.) degrees in six years, rather than the traditional seven years. Students will spend three years at UWF and three years at Stetson Law.

“I am delighted that UWF is partnering with Stetson University College of Law,” said UWF President Judy Bense, Ph.D. “This is a natural next step for UWF as we continue to develop seamless transitions for our students. The accelerated 3+3 model is especially advantageous and shows a real collaborative spirit between our institutions.”

“Stetson is proud to partner with the University of West Florida to offer a quality legal education to high-achieving students,” said Stetson University President Wendy B. Libby, Ph.D. “It is our mission and our privilege to create the next generation of leaders in the profession, through experiential learning opportunities, top-quality academics, access to well-respected faculty legal experts and a strong focus on personal and social responsibility. UWF values this approach as well, and we look forward to another solid partnership that prepares outstanding students for promising futures.”

“This new 3+3 program is a tremendous opportunity for UWF students to be part of Stetson University College of Law’s top-ranked advocacy and legal writing programs, which are essential tools for lawyers when they begin their law practice,” said Stetson Law Dean Christopher Pietruszkiewicz.

Students accepted into the program will be paired with a law student, faculty or alumni mentor and are eligible for scholarship consideration.

“This agreement with Stetson University College of Law is a clear example of the great opportunities talented UWF students receive as a result of their good work,” said UWF Provost Martha Saunders, Ph.D. “I look forward to a long and productive relationship.”

Charles Liberis, a Stetson graduate and prominent Pensacola attorney, was instrumental in facilitating the agreement between Stetson Law and UWF.

“This agreement makes it possible for students who attend UWF to achieve their dream of becoming attorneys in less time, for less tuition outlay, while receiving degrees from two outstanding schools,” said Liberis. “I am very proud to have played a part in bringing these two great schools together.”

The UWF Pre-Law Advisory Committee advises students who are interested in the 3+3 program and will work with applicants to ensure they meet the eligibility requirements.

UWF and Stetson Law also signed an agreement for a 4+3 Direct Admissions program, which allows UWF students to gain admission to Stetson Law by meeting eligibility requirements.

In April, Stetson Law also announced a similar accelerated 3+3 program with the University of South Florida.

Stetson University College of Law is a long-time partner of the University of West Florida and is sponsoring the 3rd Annual UWF Argo Invitational Mock Trial Tournament, which will take place in January at the UWF Mock Trial Courtroom.