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Stetson, USF Sarasota-Manatee Ease Path To Law Degree

Stetson University College of Law

Stetson University College of Law and the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee are a little over thirty miles apart. But under a new admissions agreement reached between the two schools, they’re closer than ever.

Students wanting to pursue a law degree can now enroll at USF Sarasota-Manatee, take classes there and then have the admissions process into Stetson streamlined – as well as maybe receive a scholarship for the Gulfport law school.

Officials from both schools shared their thoughts on the new agreement with WUSF's University Beat.

Stetson University College of Law Dean Christopher Pietruskiewicz:
"It creates a wonderful pathway for students at USF Sarasota-Manatee to come to Stetson on a streamlined basis. We make sure that the admissions process is an easy one - it's more efficient - and it allows some great students to be able to come to Stetson and have a pathway from the time that they initially enroll at USFSM."

"Instead of waiting until their senior year and then deciding that they want to think about law school, it is more helpful in their freshman or certainly their sophomore year to be able to get those things in place that are lined up so that they can make an easy transition to Stetson."

"Students would still have to take the LSAT (Law School Admission Test), submit their transcripts to us through the Law School Admission Council. But the idea is that we make the process a little bit more streamlined, and for those students that meet certain objective criteria through LSAT scores and grade point averages, we offer them a substantial scholarship, so that I think is one of the biggest benefits of the program."

USF Sarasota-Manatee Director of Admissions and Financial Aid Andy Telatovich:
"We feel that our students are going to be the biggest benefitters of the program - it gives them a pathway to law school and creates a seamless transition for them. We feel that, for the university, it's going to help attract high-achieving students looking to pursue a career in law."

"I think it's very important for us to grow as a campus, but also for the community, we hope that programs like these will help keep our students local after they graduate and keep them from leaving the area after their bachelor's program."

"There isn't one major that's the best predictor for law school admission, but we do have some great programs at the undergrad level that will help lead students to this pathway. We have English, history, an interdisciplinary social science program, as well as criminology that we think will be majors that we see students at the undergrad level looking towards this program."

According to USFSM, to get into the law program, undergraduates must complete at least 90 semester hours of coursework, including at least 30 of them at USFSM.

In addition, they must complete all requirements for a bachelor’s degree and have a minimum 3.3 GPA in USFSM courses, as well as earn a score on the LSAT of no less than the 50th percentile of the most recent class.

Applications will be accepted Oct. 1 through May 1 in the academic year before the student wants to attend Stetson.

For more information, contact the Stetson Law Office of Admissions and Student Financial Planning at lawadmit@law.stetson.edu.

Mark Schreiner is the assistant news director and intern coordinator for WUSF News.
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