N.C.A&T and Elon Partner for Accelerated Law Degree Offering. By Cornesha Rajah

North Carolina A&T State University and Elon University School of Law have created a new Accelerated Pathway to Law School (APLS) Program partnership. The APLS program allows A&T students to earn a law degree in five and a half years by attending N.C.A&T for three years and two and a half years at Elon.

“We have enjoyed a strong relationship with North Carolina A&T over the years and were interested in building upon that connection. Each year, Elon Law has had several North Carolina A&T students enroll. A&T students have regularly visited and toured the law school, sat in on classes and participated as jurors in mock trials,” says Alan Woodlief Jr., Senior Associate Dean of the Elon University School of Law.  Participants will graduate with a Bachelors of Arts in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Pre Law from A&T and a Juris Doctorate from Elon Law.

“We are delighted to build upon the relationship with Elon University School of Law to provide expanded opportunities for North Carolina A&T graduates,” said North Carolina A&T Provost, Joe B. Whitehead Jr.

To ensure a smooth transition, activities such as “special topics and bridge-to-law courses conducted by Elon Law faculty, the facilitation of “BA to JD Pipeline Program”, and the Buddy System Peer Mentor Program,” have all been planned across both campuses. The merge between these two institutions will be a convenience for the participants.

“Students participating in the APLs program will benefit from a strategic and innovative approach in higher education that dramatically reduces the time and costs associated with becoming a lawyer, while enriching learning through recurring and immersive practical experiences,” said Andy Haile, Associate Professor of Law and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at Elon. “We look forward to deepening our partnership with N.C. A&T and continuing to welcome N.C.A&T students to the Elon Law community.”

A&T’s Dean of Students, Marc Williams, thinks the new partnership with Elon will attract more undergraduate students. “It will attract those who are not into the traditional stuff, such as engineering and teaching. A&T provides a good foundation generally and Elon significantly adds to that.” Williams expresses he feels the driving force behind the reason A&T was chosen over other schools, such as the University of North Carolina Greensboro (UNCG), because of “A&T’s quality of students and our close proximity to Elon.”

Both A&T and Elon Law have programs that greatly “complement and educationally support one another.” The Pre Law Concentration at A&T promotes the growth and development of skills designated by the American Bar Association, ideal for a “sound foundation for a legal education.” Elon University School of Law is nationally recognized for its rigorous curriculum, innovation and groundbreaking model for legal education taught by highly accomplished faculty.

 

Elon’s commitment to having a diverse student body in terms of race, gender, age, socio-economic conditions, geographic background, etc. is the diversity imperative, which made A&T a good partner. Alan Woodlief Jr., Senior Associate Dean of the Elon University School of Law reiterates, “The law school has seen significant increases in diversity, with minority representation in its entering class increasing from approximately 20 percent to closer to 30 percent in fall 2015. We are pleased to have an outstanding HBCU so near to the school and would love to be the law school of choice for A&T students.”

 

Elon’s partnership with A&T is just the beginning, and they have a similar partnership with Guilford College. Elon hopes the new partnership will serve as a model for other future collaborations. “We are talking with several local schools about collaborations and anticipate announcing additional partnerships in the future.”

 

Although the program will be conducted through partnership and mutually agreed upon stipulations, the application process will be managed through A&T’s Pre-Professional Scholars Program (PPSP) Office. Applications for Fall 2016 will be accepted until May 1st.