In addition to its traditional J.D. and LL.M. programs, the school offers three joint degree programs: a J.D./M.B.A. program with the School of Business, a J.D./M.S.W. (Master of Social Work) program with Springfield College, and a J.D./M.R.P. (Master of Regional Planning) program with the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Undergraduate students at the main campus are also offered the opportunity to complete their undergraduate and J.D. programs in a six-year program known as the 3+3 Law Program. Most majors are allowed to complete both bachelor's and J.D. work within a six-year time frame with three years allotted for each degree.
Additionally, a new, similarly structured program was implemented in the fall of 2007 which coordinates biomedical study with a career in law
: the six-year Biomedical Engineering/Law Program allows students to earn an undergraduate biomedical engineering degree and a J.D. in six years. Separate admission to each program is required.
In terms of LL.M. opportunities, one of the school's unique offerings is its LL.M. Program in Estate Planning and Elder Law, the only program of its kind in the Northeast and one of the few in the nation offering this specialty. This program is only offered on a part-time basis.
The school also operates five clinics as well as the Law and Business Center for Advancing Entrepreneurship. This center provides practical experience for business and law students to work and consult with local entrepreneurs who are expanding and building new businesses. Likewise, the Small Business Clinic matches students from the business and law schools together to provide services and consulting to local business owners. The clinic is considered the most important program at the Law and Business Center and, through its students, offers advice on matters such as corporate and commercial law, marketing, human resources, and competitive analysis.
Current enrollment at the school is 580, with 39 full-time faculty members and 35 adjunct faculty members. The current student-to-faculty ratio stands at 16:1. For the fall 2007 class, the median LSAT score was 154, with the 25th percentile coming in at 150 and the 75th percentile at 156. The median GPA was 3.14. The average age of students was 25, although students ranged in age from 20 to 45. Minority students comprised 12% of the total class population.
According to the school's most recent profile in the Princeton Review
, the pass rate for graduates taking the bar exam for the first time is 76%, and the average starting salary is $51,664. Tuition in 2007 ran to $31,048 for full-time students and $23,286 for part-time students. 40% of students are granted institutional scholarships, including full-tuition scholarships. Out-of-state tuition totals about $29,456, and the average loan amount in 2007 was $30,273. Room and board fees total $11,578.
Western New England College's full-time law program began in 1973, though the building currently housing the law school, the S. Prestley Blake Law Center, did not open until 1978. It was named after S. Prestley Blake, president and co-founder of Friendly's Ice Cream, who donated $250,000 for the construction of the building. The school is also home to three publications: the Western New England Law Review
, the school's scholarly legal journal; Lex Brevis
, a student-run newspaper; and Lytae
, the law school's yearbook and journal of record.
In 2001, the school's ABA Negotiation Team won the National Negotiation Competition out of nearly 200 competing law schools. The following year, the team placed fourth in the national competition.
A number of influential and high-profile local and state figures have graduated from Western New England College School of Law, including Massachusetts state representatives and senators Stephen Buoniconti and Gale D. Candaras, Connecticut State Representative Lawrence Cafero, Connecticut State Representative Michael Christ, Massachusetts State Representative Cheryl A. Coakley-Rivera, U.S. Marine Corps Lawyer Michael Mori, current Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts and former Mayor of Worcester, Massachusetts, Tim Murray, former NBA Commissioner Larry O'Brien and former Springfield City Councilor Angelo Puppolo.
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