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The Journal Gazette

Wednesday, March 07, 2018 1:00 am

Tech finds law partnerships

2 schools to help students get degrees

ASHLEY SLOBODA | The Journal Gazette

Nearly a year after shuttering its law school, Indiana Tech on Tuesday celebrated new partnerships with Ohio universities benefiting students pursuing a law degree.

Under the 3+3 program with the University of Toledo and Ohio Northern University, Indiana Tech students can achieve their law degree in six years instead of the traditional seven by spending their fourth year of college at one of the Ohio institutions for their first year of law school. The combined six years of undergraduate and graduate schooling includes two additional years at Toledo or Ohio Northern.

Indiana Tech President Karl Einolf, among others, participated in a signing ceremony formalizing the agreements in Andorfer Commons on the Fort Wayne campus.

“We're absolutely excited about this partnership and thrilled students interested in law have the opportunity to further their education at two very fine institutions,” Einolf said.

After closing Indiana Tech Law School last summer, the university wanted to give undergraduates opportunities to pursue a legal education in a six-year format, said Joshua Francis, a dean.

Indiana Tech offered a 3+3 program with its law school.

As partners, the Toledo and Ohio Northern were “natural fits” because Indiana Tech had pre-existing relationships with the schools, Francis said. He noted the partnerships are especially important because it is difficult to maintain strong pre-law programs without an affiliation with a law school.

For students, the 3+3 program offers a “substantial economic benefit,” David Crago of Ohio Northern said. Students not only save a year of tuition and housing costs, he said, but they also get into the job market sooner.

Indiana Tech sophomore Katie Smolucha, who is studying criminal justice and plans to pursue a law degree, said she will consider the 3+3 program when planning for graduate school. It is, she said, an “amazing opportunity.”