Drake Law develops innovative partnerships to reduce student debt
Students at Iowa State University and Simpson College will be able to earn their undergraduate and law degrees in six, rather than seven, years under innovative new partnerships between Drake Law School and the other two schools. The 3+3 program allows students to enter Law School in their fourth year and use the credits earned in their first year of Law School to complete their undergraduate studies. Drake undergraduates have had access to the 3+3 program for many years.
“We were pleased with the very positive response when we approached Iowa State and Simpson with this proposal,” said Drake Law 3+3 Program Director Professor Miguel Schor.
The 3+3 initiative also includes a class, Introduction to American Law, taught at the Law School by Professor Schor, which will be open to Drake, Simpson, and Iowa State undergraduates for credit at their undergraduate schools, without cost. The 3+3 initiative also contemplates increased contacts between the faculties of the schools.
“Professors at our partner schools - some of whom are graduates of Drake Law School – do a superb job of preparing their students for law school,” said Professor Schor. “This initiative should enhance that tradition.”
While participation in the 3+3 Program does not guarantee acceptance to the Law School, students who enter the Law School through these 3+3 programs will receive a renewable $5,000 scholarship for each of their three years of law school.
“The combination of saving a year of undergraduate tuition, getting a $5,000 scholarship for each year of Law School, and getting into practice a year early,” Dean Vestal observed, “will help students significantly reduce their overall student debt.”
Both Drake and its partner institutions believe that this reduction in student debt will allow more Law School graduates to serve rural Iowa communities and other under-served communities.
“We know that many of our law graduates find it difficult to practice in rural communities or in public service because of the amount of student debt they incur,” said Dean Allan Vestal. “If we can help lighten that debt through this partnership, graduates will have more opportunities and we’ll help grow a new generation of lawyers for Iowa’s rural communities and public service positions.”