UAA program allows students to enter law school early

A new program will allow UAA undergraduates with three years of credits to begin law school at Willamette University in Oregon.

The "3+3" partnership is meant to make law school more accessible and affordable to Alaska students, said Deb Periman, the legal studies program coordinator at the UAA Justice Center.

UAA students in any major who have earned 90 credits can apply to Willamette University's College of Law, in Salem, Ore.

Though students don't receive any admissions preference, if accepted they can start law school without yet having graduated with their bachelor's degree. The students would then graduate from UAA after completing their first year at Willamette law school.

The hope is that one year less of spending on undergraduate tuition and living expenses will encourage more lower- and middle-income students to apply, Periman said.

In part, UAA chose Willamette for its first "3+3" law program because the two states -- and their legal communities -- are closely connected, Periman said.

Alaska remains the only state without a law school.

For more information on the "3+3" program visit

Anchorage Daily News/