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New partnership expands law education opportunities for UAA students

Updated: Jun. 6, 2021 at 6:56 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Current and future students interested in a law degree now have an option for a clear path to law school after graduating from UAA thanks to a new partnership with Willamette University.

The direct admission program guarantees admission to Willamette College of Law’s J.D. program for qualified UAA students and alumni who meet certain academic requirements.

“Our goal is to get our students where they want to go, and because Alaska doesn’t have a law school, it’s been a bit of a challenge,” said Denise Runge, UAA provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs. “And now we have a really clear path that we can offer to our students. We can tell them exactly what they need to do, and so for UAA, it really gives us a way to help our students move on to whatever they want to do with their law career.”

The program also comes with scholarship benefits. Admitted students will receive a $10,000 renewable scholarship for each year they are attending Willamette Law School and remain in good academic standing.

“Alaskans have long gone to Willamette,” said Runge. “A number of prominent Alaskans actually got their law degree there, but what’s great about this is that it really solidifies the way that students can make that path and make that transition. In addition, it may be possible for students to do a small amount of the work here in Alaska, though the American Bar Association doesn’t allow law schools to operate via distance fully.”

The direct-admit law program is also offered at the University of Alaska Southeast.

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