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A Law Degree, No Snap, Made Snappy

UAlbany alumnus and future Albany Law graduate Daniel Lei, at Albany Law School. 

ALBANY, N.Y. (Nov. 13, 2017) — Studying for the law takes time and money — for some, too much of both. A collaboration between UAlbany and Albany Law School, however, can give students the opportunity to shave a year off their college career through the 3+3 Law Program.

One of these students is Daniel Lei.

“The professors at Albany Law School have a really great reputation,” Lei said. “Since I spent a lot of time in Albany, it felt like a second home to me.”

Lei came to UAlbany in 2012 after getting a jump on a legal education at an early age in his Queens high school.

“I’m from New York City, and we had to apply to high school the way most people apply to colleges, so I ended up getting into a law program at Francis Lewis High School,” he explained. “While there, I joined the moot court program, which is very similar to a mock trial program. I ended up doing quite well, so I thought I might have a knack for this field and it ended up being my career path.”

While Lei was yet unsure about pursuing a career as a lawyer, the 3+3 program allowed him the opportunity to study economics while still having the option to attend Albany Law School post-graduation.

“The 3+3 Program at UAlbany is completely at-will, so it’s non-binding and you don’t need to know that you want to be a lawyer your senior year of high school,” he said. “I personally chose to be an economics major during undergrad because I was not sure I wanted to be a lawyer at such a young age.”

Through an affiliation with Albany Law, 3+3 allows students to combine their fourth year as an undergrad with their first year of law school. After completing that year, students receive a bachelor’s degree and then can complete two more years at Albany Law. Altogether, students spend three years at UAlbany and three at Albany Law.

In order to participate in the program, however, students must attain at least a 3.3 cumulative grade point average and a minimum of 30 graduation credits in each of their first three years of undergraduate study. They also must receive a one-time or average score on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) that is no lower than the median LSAT score for the prior year's entering class at Albany Law.

Lei, currently in his last year at Albany Law, is gearing up to graduate in 2018. He noted how the 3+3 program has developed over the years and prepared him for a successful career in the future as a litigation lawyer.

“They gave us opportunities to visit open houses at the law school, sit in on classes and meet with faculty. One of the things I was involved in was called Discover Law, hosted by the Law School Admissions Council. Basically, the program is an initiative that allows undergraduate students to experience law school, but in a summer boot-camp style. It solidified my decision to pursue a legal career.”

Lei’s advice to other would-be law students?

“I would definitely say work hard, but don’t burn yourself out. Law school is a lot of work, and although everyone knows this, it is something that you might not be able to truly understand until you are experiencing it. It’s almost like running a marathon. Make time for yourself, personal and mental health are also really important.”

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About the University at Albany
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.