New Law Degree Program Options for Averett Students through Partnership with Appalachian School of Law

Posted on May 26th, 2021 by Cassie Jones

Averett University and Appalachian School of Law (ASL) are teaming up to help students seeking a law degree complete their education sooner.

The new partnership agreement between the two institutions, made official at today’s signing event at Averett University in Danville, Va., consists of two pathways: a three-plus-three dual-degree option and a four-plus-three traditional pathway. Justice (ret.) Elizabeth A. McClanahan, president and dean of ASL, and Averett President Dr. Tiffany M. Franks ceremoniously inked the agreements in front of representatives from both institutions and special guests at Averett’s Violet T. Frith Fine Arts Center.

Pictured: Dr. Annie P. Wimbish ‘81, first vice-chairperson, Averett board of trustees; Dr. Tiffany M. Franks, president of Averett University; Justice (ret.) Elizabeth A. McClanahan, president and dean of ASL; and Dr. Timothy E. Fulop, Averett vice president for academic affairs and student success

“We are thrilled to partner with Appalachian School of Law to bring a structured, seamless path to our students who want to pursue their law degree,” said Franks. “This partnership is a shining example of how two student-centered institutions are working together to fulfill workforce needs and demands, including those in rural communities, as well as provide upward mobility to diverse students through financial assistance and clear pathways for progress.”

In the three-plus-three dual-degree program, Averett pre-law students who meet certain qualifications will spend three years at Averett in undergraduate study, and receive their baccalaureate degree upon completing the first year of law school. Two years later, they will graduate from ASL with a law degree. Completing both degrees in six years as opposed to seven will save a year’s tuition while preparing them for their entire career in law. A four-plus-three arrangement with preferred admission is also part of the agreement.

“There is no small amount of existential angst among young people these days,” McClanahan said.  “Indecision, doubt and even fear often creep into their thoughts about the future. The very structure of the three-plus-three and four-plus-three models, however, work against those destructive emotions by providing a clearly marked path forward. The expectations of the program, as well as its clearly stated goals, provide Averett students with an aspirational architecture for constructing their own futures.  ASL looks forward to welcoming these students and helping them do just that.”

The agreements include some very generous scholarship packages, making the path to earning a law degree even more affordable for students. Two of the highest level scholarships – each totaling $144,000 in student aid over the course of their time at ASL – will be reserved for Averett students in the three-plus-three program, and students in the four-plus-three can also apply. Additional merit scholarships are also available for qualifying students in either program.

This is the first formal agreement between the two institutions.