Franciscan enters law school pacts

STEUBENVILLE — Franciscan University of Steubenville has entered into partnerships with the Columbus School of Law of the Catholic University of America and with Ave Maria School of Law for an accelerated juris doctor program.

Instead of the traditional seven-year route to a law degree, qualified students will spend three years at Franciscan and three years in law school, saving on a full year of tuition costs.

According to a press release issued Tuesday by the university, a student must maintain a 3.7 grade-point average while at Franciscan (Franciscan’s magna cum laude requirement) and meet the law school’s LSAT minimum.

The 10 courses taken in the first year of law school will apply as electives at Franciscan, enabling the student to obtain a bachelor of arts or bachelor of science degree from Franciscan and, after two more years of law study, a juris doctorate degree.

Eligible Franciscan undergraduate programs with 10 elective courses that can double as first-year law courses are political science, history, philosophy, theology, mathematics, anthropology, modern languages and the British and American literature concentration in English.

Other Franciscan academic programs may be eligible for the 3-3 partnership program in some circumstances, officials said.

Additionally, students who complete four years at Franciscan with a 3.6 GPA and meet the other requirements will be offered direct admission to both law schools.

“As society continues on a trajectory that ignores the Catholic understanding of natural law, there is a pressing need for lawyers who can integrate faith and reason into their professional life,” said the Rev. Sean O. Sheridan, TOR, Franciscan president.

“Our core curriculum teaches students how to understand the human person from a Catholic perspective, giving an excellent foundation for any student seeking a career in the legal profession,” Sheridan added.

Within the last two years, Franciscan University has entered into similar fast-track partnership agreements with universities that offer professional degrees in pharmacy and engineering.

Information about the Franciscan University of Steubenville law school partnership program is available by contacting professor Stephen M. Krason, chairman of the department of political science, at