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What Does 3+3 Equal?

For Some UAlbany Students, It’s a Law Degree

Marina Chu, Albany Law class of 2019, Rachel Schmitt ’19, and Daniel Lei ’18.

ALBANY, N.Y. (Feb. 10, 2017) — During the 2012 Romney/Obama election, UAlbany student Rachel Schmitt, then a sophomore, discovered she enjoyed the analytical thinking associated with constructing arguments she used to debate her classmates on the election’s social issues. It turned her attention to pursuing a law degree.

Marina Chu came to the University to be a history teacher. “But as I got older and learned how the legal process worked, I decided I wanted to be a lawyer,” she said.

Daniel Lei knew before he came to UAlbany that he wanted to be a lawyer.

What do these students have in common? They all benefit from UAlbany’s 3+3 program, made possible by the University’s affiliation with Albany Law School. The program allows UAlbany students to combine their bachelor’s degree and Albany Law School law degree, ultimately saving them time and money on their educational journey.

The 3+3 program allows students to spend their fourth year of undergrad at Albany Law School. Once the students complete their first year of law school, they receive their Bachelor’s degree from UAlbany and attend graduation with their peers. They then have the remaining two years of law school to complete — for a total of three years at UAlbany and three at Albany Law.

“Once I knew I had the required GPA and LSAT scores, a lot of the pressure was taken off because I knew I had a spot at Albany Law when I graduated,” Chu said. “That’s one of the best parts of the 3+3 program.”

Once a student elects to participate in the 3+3 program, he or she is assured a spot at Albany Law School after fulfilling undergraduate requirements through the junior year and achieving the law school’s required GPA and Law School Admission Test scores.

Schmitt and Chu are both 20, making them two of the youngest members of their law class.

Schmitt entered Albany Law School at age 19. The 3+3 program turned into a 2+3 program as a result of her accelerated progress through UAlbany, where she majored in philosophy and minored in English.

Schmitt said she found her calling in Biomedical Ethics, inspired by the UAlbany class “Moral Problems in Medicine.”

“I want to take part in a landmark case, similar to that of Roe v. Wade, to grant rights to a group of people who do not currently have them,” she said. Her plan is to work for the grades needed to enter Clarkson University’s dual degree program with Albany Law School. She plans to earn her J.D. and M.S. in Bioethics by the time she is 22.

For Lei, knowing early on that he wanted to pursue law made the program an easy choice. “Once you sign on, it takes off a lot of pressure about attending law school,” he said. “At the same time, you still have a choice when the time comes.”

Lei considered staying at UAlbany his senior year and applying to other law schools, but ultimately decided Albany Law was the best move for him.

“For starters, we were guaranteed a $17,000 scholarship every year,” he noted, referring to the SUNY Fellowship Albany Law School offers all UAlbany undergraduate students.

Chu still makes time to go back to UAlbany to visit her friends who are finishing up their undergrad programs and she plays violin with a quartet she has been a part of since her freshman year. Having her friends and the quartet close by provides Chu a relaxing break from studying.

“Our law class is broken into six sections of about 30 people,” said Chu. “I have every class with this group so we all go through the same experiences together. We freak out about getting our memos in on time and are relieved together once we finish a big assignment. I remember running up five flights of stairs to hand in an assignment at the last minute and seeing other people from my section doing the same thing. It helps to know other people are going through the same things.”

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A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, business, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.