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, 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,” says Alan Woodlief Jr., Senior Associate Dean of the Elon University School of Law. 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.”
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,” says North Carolina A&T Provost Joe B. Whitehead Jr.”
Activities including “special topics and bridge-to-law courses conducted by Elon Law faculty, a “BA to JD Pipeline Program,” and the Buddy System Peer Mentor Program” are planned across both campuses to ensure smooth transition for students.
“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, says 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 Dean of Students Marc Williams expresses he feels the driving force behind the reason A&T was chose over other schools such as the University of North Carolina Greensboro (UNCG) because of “A&T’s quality of students and our proximity to Elon.”
“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.”
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 to having a diverse student body in terms of race, gender, age, socio-economic conditions, geographic background, etc. is the diversity imperative that made A&T a good partner.
“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,” says Woodlief.
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 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 with be managed through A&T’s Pre-Professional Scholars Program (PPSP) Office.
Fall 2016 semester applications will be accepted until May 1.