Two of Chicago’s hallmark institutions – Roosevelt University and The John Marshall Law School – long have been known for providing affordable and accessible educational opportunities for all who are qualified.
Now, the two institutions are working closely together to make it easier and more affordable for Roosevelt students to pursue the dream of getting a law degree through a 3+3 degree program.
Under an agreement formalized in May, the accelerated degree program allows qualified Roosevelt undergraduates entering their senior year to complete their bachelor’s degrees while attending their first year of law school at John Marshall. The two institutions have previously partnered on a joint degree program for qualified graduate students interested in getting a law degree from John Marshall and a master’s degree in public administration from Roosevelt. The program is anticipated to begin pending notification of and approval from the Higher Learning Commission, a commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. "With this arrangement we are strengthening our ties to The John Marshall Law School and we are enriching the possibilities for our students to obtain accelerated advanced degrees,” said Lynn Weiner, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Roosevelt University.
“Our institutions share common values, including a desire and willingness over many years to reach out to non-traditional students,” said Ralph Ruebner, professor of associate dean of Academic Affairs at John Marshall. “This endeavor will save time and costly tuition for Roosevelt students who want to go to law school,” added Ruebner. “We also believe it will provide many exciting opportunities for collaboration between the two institutions.”
Roosevelt political science major Larsa Khanice expects to finish her bachelor’s degree while completing her first year of law school at John Marshall during the 2011-12 academic year. She is grateful for the opportunity that the two educational institutions are providing.
“I came to Roosevelt because of this program,” said Khanice, a Skokie, Ill., resident who will receive $12,500 in John Marshall tuition waivers that she won as a member of the first-place team and Best Advocate in an intramural mock trial and as a member of the fourth-place team in the Midwest Regional Minority Undergraduate Mock Trial Competition at John Marshall. “This is a unique program that a lot of schools don’t offer and it’s a great opportunity for me to be that much further ahead in getting through law school,” she said.
As part of the agreement, 11 Roosevelt University undergraduates have been selected to participate in the Pre-Law Summer Institute at John Marshall. Covering basics about law school, careers in law and trial advocacy, the two-week program will be held July 18-29. Undergraduates from Lake Forest College, Lewis University and St. Joseph’s College in Indiana also will be participating in the summer institute and are eligible for consideration for John Marshall’s 3+3 degree program.
In addition, professors from the two institutions who teach courses dealing with political, civil and human rights have begun exchanging ideas and offering opportunities for students at both institutions.
“I definitely have a large number of students who want to go to law school, and it was exciting for some of them to be able to spend a little time at John Marshall last semester,” said Bethany Barratt, an associate professor of political science at Roosevelt.
Barratt’s Urban Human Rights class travels abroad each year. When the students were guests this spring in John Marshall’s Comparative Constitutional Law class, taught by Professor Steven Schwinn and Adjunct Professor Danielle Hirsch, they learned about the upcoming trip law students were taking to South Africa to meet with human rights advocates, top judges and government officials.
“It was great for all of us to get to hear the similarities and differences in our experiences, and particularly for my undergraduates to get a peek at the law school culture,” she said.
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