May 20, 2018
The primary mission of the major is to focus on skills to prepare men and women for the challenges of law school or related fields. In fulfillment, the Legal Studies Major has two options: completion of the major with a minor to complete a degree to prepare for related fields or associated graduate work outside of law school, or a “3+3” program designed for possible early matriculation into Belmont’s College of Law.
Students pursuing early admission to the Belmont College of Law through the 3+3 program participate in the Belmont University College of Law’s mission to prepare qualified students with an excellent understanding of the law that will equip them to become professional counselors, advocates, and judges; researchers, teachers, and philosophers of the law; entrepreneurs; and thoughtful citizens. Belmont University College of Law is committed to the Christian tradition. We believe that instilling the highest standards of personal and professional conduct is our ethical and communal responsibility. Meeting Belmont mission, vision and values, we seek to ensure that the knowledge and values that we transmit to our students serve the ends of justice.
To provide a way for qualified Belmont students seeking a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree at Belmont to save tuition costs by completing a bachelor’s degree and a law degree in as little as six years. Through a unique arrangement with the Belmont College of Law, the 3+3 Law Program allows students to begin their first year of law school during their fourth year of undergraduate study (a minimum of 98 credits earned by completing the major and Gen Ed). For students not electing to pursue the 3+3 program the major offers skills that may be applied to the legal field or related disciplines.
The Belmont 3+3 Option
Belmont’s 3+3 (B.A. / B.S. to J.D. program) is designed to allow qualified students who complete the major in Legal Studies their respective General Education, plus any free electives to meet a minimum of 98 credits in undergraduate studies, and if accepted through application, the ability to matriculate to Belmont’s College of Law. Upon successful completion of the first year of law school, the student will earn the undergraduate degree (B.A. or B.S.), and upon completion of the College of Law’s degree requirements in the College of Law earn the Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree.1 Students electing to take this major but not seek early entry into Belmont’s College of Law will follow the course of study provided to the completion of the bachelor degree, as either a BA or BS in Legal Studies.
General Education Core Requirements (B.A. or B.S.): 59-65 Hours
Technical Requirements (count in Gen Ed):
Legal Studies Major: 30 Hours
Major Electives: 6 Hours
(choose two courses from the following)
Legal Studies Major (3+3 option)
Sub total of Gen Ed plus major above = 89 - 95 credit hours. If pursuing the 3+3 option student must take 3 to 9 additional free elective hours to equal 98 earned hours prior to ability to matriculation to College of Law.
Legal Studies Major (Non 3+3 option)
Students electing to pursue the Legal Studies Major but not seeking early entry into Belmont’s College of Law, or students leaving the Law School and returning to complete the undergraduate degree.
Minor Requirements: 18 Hours
(may not be in Legal Studies)
Total Required for the Program: 128 Hours
1 Should a student in the 3+3 program decide to withdraw from the college of law after matriculation, or fail to successfully complete law courses such that the student is not eligible to continue toward the J.D. at Belmont, the student may be readmitted to Belmont University in the undergraduate program to complete the remaining undergraduate credits needed to graduate, (if the earning of the B.A. or B.S. degree has not already occurred).
Up to the first 31 hours of LAW courses (primarily year one of law school) in the Belmont College of Law will be listed as undergraduate LST (Legal Studies) courses. For example: LAW 6100, Contract and Sales (4) will be listed to an undergraduate rubric LST 4100, Contract and Sales (4). This provides accurate monitoring and auditing of the progress toward the undergraduate degree and ensures the student has a valid undergraduate transcript showing allowed course work in a “plus” program, with degree.
Legal Studies majors seeking early admission through the 3+3 program should consult the Legal Studies advisor and the Belmont College of Law for admissions criteria. The list below is provided as a guideline for Admissions to the Belmont College of Law:
- Admission into Belmont’s graduate law program (J.D.) is competitive. Participation in the Legal Studies 3+3 is not a guarantee of admission to the Belmont College of Law J.D. program. Students interested in the program should work closely with the undergraduate law school advisor to ensure that they are meeting requirements and their GPA is competitive for graduate studies.
- Students may apply to the Belmont graduate program after successfully completing a minimum of 98 semester credit hours as given in the curriculum matrix above.
- Finish major requirements in the Major of Legal Studies
- Finish general education requirements (B.A. or B.S.)
- Create an account with the Law School Admissions Council’s Credential Assembly Service (LSAC CAS) early in your junior year and apply for a need-based fee waiver from LSAC (if relevant)
- Provide information to the Director of Legal Studies for the assessment letter, including information on academic honors and awards, work experience, public service, significant achievements in extracurricular activities
- Complete personal statement for law school application
- Complete resume for law school application
- Complete financial aid application (if relevant) for law school application and also research other scholarship/financial aid options
- Contact the College of Law’s Admission Coordinator and complete law school application
- An applicant must present a satisfactory score on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). If taken multiple times, the highest score will be used.
- Be in good standing with the university and “academic good standing.”
Students will be advised to take these additional calendared steps to prepare for the LSAT:
- Take an LSAT prep course in August, November, or January of the Junior year
- Take the LSAT exam in September, December, or February of the Junior year
- Submit law school application online via the LSAC CAS on or before March 1st