UT Martin offers new options for law school hopefuls

Students hoping to attend the University of Tennessee College of Law in Knoxville now have two new pathways through the University of Tennessee at Martin’s 3+3 legal studies concentrations. These programs, designed for majors in either English or political science, allow qualified UT Martin students to begin law school during their senior year of undergraduate school and complete both undergraduate and juris doctor degrees in six years.

“We’re proud to offer these new options to our students and hope they will make use of the opportunity to finish two degrees in a shorter amount of time,” said Dr. Philip Acree Cavalier, UT Martin provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs.

Beginning with the fall 2019 semester, UT Martin students choosing to major in English or political science (on the Bachelor of Arts degree path) can add a concentration in legal studies through their respective departments. This path will include three years of general education and upper-division courses before students take the law school admissions test in their junior year.

Those who meet admissions criteria for the UT College of Law will transfer to complete their fourth year of undergraduate school and begin their juris doctor degrees. They would then complete two additional years of law school study. Any student who does not qualify for early admission to the UT College of Law can complete a different concentration and reapply to law school after finishing their traditional four-year degree.

“We look forward to this expansion of our 3+3 program helping us attract really talented students from Martin and paving the way for enhanced educational opportunities for students who live in West Tennessee,” said Melanie Wilson, dean of the UT College of Law. “Our 3+3 partnership with Martin is the first with another UT campus and reflects our great relationship with UT Martin Chancellor Keith Carver.”

Students who participate in the 3+3 program will still earn a UT Martin undergraduate degree  and be considered UT Martin alumni even though undergraduate degree hours will be completed at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

While law school hopefuls are often political science or history majors, this new path will also benefit English majors who can apply their writing and communications education to the legal profession.

“Law school has always been an attractive option for English majors at UT Martin, but the new legal studies option places them on a more direct path from here to a top law school in the state,” said Dr. David Carithers, associate professor and chair of the UT Martin Department of English and Modern Foreign Languages. “(UT) Knoxville has a program like this on their campus, but it is only for Bachelor of Science degrees. Ours is unique in its basis in the humanities.”

For more information on legal studies within the English major, contact Dr. David Carithers, chair of the Department of English and Modern Foreign Languages, at 731-881-7300 or dcarithers@utm.edu. For more information on legal studies within the political science major, contact Dr. Chris Baxter, chair of the Department of Accounting, Finance, Economics, and Political Science, at 731-881-7367 or cbaxter@utm.edu.



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