Muhlenberg recently announced a partnership with the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law, a 3+3 program offering eligible students the ability to go through an accelerated pre-law track for the first three years at Muhlenberg, and then switch to Villanova in their senior year for another three years.
This partnership joins an extensive list of cooperative programs already existing at Muhlenberg.
“We have been working for the past two to three years to develop new partnerships with professional schools,” says Provost Kathleen Harring. “We have developed a partnership with Boston University for medical school and Public Health and a program in the business school. We have Public Health with Penn State and American University with their business/finance Masters.”
Some other cooperative programs include partnerships with Lehigh University for a Masters in Management, and an engineering dual-degree program with Columbia University.
Among all of the cooperative programs that are offered at Muhlenberg, what makes the Villanova program unique and beneficial is its small size, Harring explains.
“You want to have those kinds of relationships with faculty, administrators and your fellow students,” adds Jack Gambino, a professor of political science. “Villanova allows that kind of connection.”
In addition to fostering connections within the Villanova community, students attending law school at Villanova will still be close to Muhlenberg, since it is located only about an hour away, so connections can be maintained here as well.
“A lot of people want to practice law in areas that are close to home,” says Gambino. “Villanova is an attractive choice because it is still close to home. It has a network in the area. Students will get a quality education, but they will also get the connections that come with good law schools. With the network that those law schools have with attorneys in the area, students can have those opportunities for internships and externships.”
While there are many benefits that come with this partnership, Gambino does emphasize that due to the extensive requirements that have to be completed, it may not be for everyone.
“For students interested in applying their junior year, they have to fulfill all of their GARs and fulfill all major requirements. It is going to take very careful advising,” explains Gambino. “It is going to be for students who are capable of planning their education, and looking to move into legal education more quickly.”
In addition to fulfilling Muhlenberg’s requirements, students must maintain specific standards that Villanova requires as well, such as meeting a 3.60 GPA requirement and particular LSAT scores.
Students must also complete their LSATS by January of their junior year. Should they choose to take a prep course, they will need to take it the summer after their sophomore year or the fall of their junior year according to Gambino.
Due to the extensive requirements and planning required to be eligible for the program, it is going to be geared more towards the incoming class of 2023 interested in pre-law.
“We advise students to be successful, to be well-rounded students, that fit that kind of Muhlenberg mission,” says Gambino. “When we send a Muhlenberg student, they know they are getting a quality student.”