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JCSU, Law School Team Up For Dual Degree

Johnson C. Smith University doesn't have a law school, but it's teaming up with one. JSCU and the Charlotte School of Law have created a six-year program in which students earn their bachelor's and law degrees. It usually takes at least seven years to get both degrees. In what's billed as a "Three-plus-Three" program, JCSU students will earn their bachelor's in three years and then move on to the law school. Charlotte School of Law interim dean Denise Spriggs says the program provides many benefits, cost among them. "We are always talking about how we need to reduce student debt and this is absolutely a way for a student to graduate with an undergraduate degree and a law degree with a minimal amount of debt because they are able to complete the program in a shorter period of time," she said. The campuses are about two miles apart. JCSU's Zenobia Edwards says the undergraduate portion of the program will still have a law school component. "To have the guest lectures, the mock courts - our students who are in this program will be exposed early on, and it will encourage them to stay the course because they will see the end in sight of what they will be actually doing once they are in law school," Edwards said. The schools expect to have 15 students enrolled in the program next fall.