What is the benefit of enrolling in LawStart as an undergraduate student?
Students in the LawStart program can ultimately save the equivalent of up to one year of undergraduate tuition and up to one year in time to dual degrees if admitted to Wayne Law by the end of their junior year. Because an undergraduate degree at Wayne State requires a minimum of 120 credits, this can amount to as much as a 25 percent tuition reduction for the bachelor’s degree.
Who are LawStart students?
Wayne State's LawStart program may be especially suited for students studying the social sciences or humanities in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences – fields within which the undergraduate requirements can accommodate up to 30 credits of elective coursework (that could be fulfilled by law school coursework) and fields within which undergraduates are often interested in legal and/or social issues.
However, students planning careers in law sometimes choose majors in a wider range of liberal arts and sciences disciplines than one might imagine. For instance, a chemistry major interested in patents and patent law may be as interested in LawStart as a philosophy, political science, or criminal justice major. Thus, we encourage students from any major in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to apply to the program.
Who is eligible to apply for LawStart?
To qualify for admission to the LawStart program, students must first meet a cumulative GPA requirement of 3.5 or better in college-level coursework after completion of at least 24 credits, but no more than 64 credits, at Wayne State University. The student’s major advisor must also confirm that the student is able to finish their major, college, and general education requirements by the end of their third full-time year (or, approximately 90 – 100 credits).
Are transfer students eligible to apply to LawStart?
Yes, transfer students are eligible to apply once they are enrolled at Wayne State and have completed at least 24 credits of coursework at Wayne State.
Can students be automatically admitted to the LawStart program upon entry to Wayne State?
No. There will be a call for applications to LawStart every fall semester. Undergraduate students already enrolled at Wayne State will be eligible to apply for the LawStart Program in their sophomore year, or upon completion of at least two full-time semesters and at least 24 but no more than 64 undergraduate credits.
How many students will be accepted to LawStart each year?
LawStart is a highly competitive program. Only 10 – 15 students will be accepted into the program each year.
When are decisions made about acceptance to LawStart?
Decisions are made approximately 6 – 8 weeks after the application deadline.
Does enrollment in LawStart mean automatic acceptance to Wayne Law?
No. Admission to LawStart does not guarantee eventual acceptance by Wayne Law, which requires a separate application during the junior year of college. Thus, admission to the LawStart program is not a guarantee of admission to Wayne State's Law School. LawStart students must take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and meet the minimum requirements that the Wayne Law admissions committee establishes for incoming law students, as well as other admissions requirements before they will be admitted to the Law School.
What if a LawStart student is not admitted to Wayne Law by the end of their junior year?
If a LawStart student is denied admission to Wayne Law, he or she can still finish their bachelor’s degree and reapply to law school the next year.
What does the curriculum look like in a LawStart student’s fourth year (i.e., the first year of law school)?
The curriculum that would double-count for the student’s remaining elective credits of undergraduate coursework (up to a maximum total of 30 credits) and the first year of law school is the Law School Year One curriculum (“L1”).
Required first year (L1) law courses
- Civil Procedure A: 3 semester credits
- Civil Procedure B: 3 semester credits
- Constitutional Law I: 3 semester credits
- Contracts A and B: 6 semester credits
- Criminal Law: 3 semester credits
- Legal Research and Writing: 4 semester credits
- Property: 4 semester credits
- Torts: 4 semester credits
Can all majors in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences be finished within three academic years?
Most majors in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences can be finished within three academic years without any extra work, but the ability to complete some majors in three years will depend on students' placement into courses required for the major. Additionally, students may have to commit to a full-time spring/summer semester to finish all requirements.
Can students start Wayne Law with unfinished major, college or general education requirements?
No. All major, college or general education requirements must be completed prior to starting at Wayne Law.
What if a student starts the LawStart program but decides not to go to law school?
Undergraduate students can remove themselves from the LawStart track and simply finish their undergraduate degrees if they desire to do so. Any credit hours earned through the Wayne Law (for which students earned a passing grade) will be applied to the student’s undergraduate degree. If they do finish their undergraduate requirements in an accelerated period of time, students who decide not to go to law school may be eligible for other AGRADE (accelerated M.A./M.S.) programs in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
What defines satisfactory progress in the LawStart program?
To receive a satisfactory annual review by the LawStart committee, students must stay on pace to complete their undergraduate coursework in three years (plus spring/summer semesters, depending on the students' major selection). LawStart students must also maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5 on a 4.0 scale. LawStart students must take the LSAT no later than midway through their final year of solely undergraduate study and apply for Wayne Law admission by the winter semester of their junior year. They must also participate in LawStart enrichment activities on a regular basis.
What if a LawStart student fails to make satisfactory progress in the program?
Any student failing to meet the program requirements specified above may be removed from the LawStart program at the discretion of the LawStart selection committee. Any student removed or withdrawn from the program will be required to complete all of their remaining requirements for graduation within the school/major in order to attain their bachelor’s degree.
Who administers the LawStart program?
The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) is responsible for administering the LawStart program. CLAS works closely with the Honors College, Wayne Law, and individual departments to select and advise LawStart students. LawStart enrichment activities may be organized by other schools and colleges at times.
Will scholarships be available for LawStart students?
Most likely. We are currently working toward creating scholarship opportunities.
How will LawStart students be coded for financial aid purposes?
During their three undergraduate years in Wayne State's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, LawStart students will pay tuition and fees to Wayne State at the undergraduate rate. Starting with the fourth year, upon admission to law school and when students begin courses at Wayne Law, students will pay tuition and fees at the Law School rate. Beginning with the fourth year, financial aid will be calculated in accordance with the Law School’s then-current student eligibility policies.