The Accelerated two-year law program at Gonzaga University School of Law provides a full six-term, ABA-accredited legal education with industry-leading experiential learning and legal research and writing components, all while reducing the opportunity costs associated with the study of law.
Students admitted to the accelerated program are given the option of completing their legal degree in 2 years instead of the traditional 3. Two-year students will receive their degree in May of their second year, and are able to sit for the bar as early as that July.
The accelerated JD includes a required 12 credit hours of experiential learning and can include up to 15 credits (1 full term) to ensure that students get as much of a chance as their three-year track peers to gain the kind of experience that puts theory into practice and leads to jobs.
The accelerated program is pursuing justice, while finding solutions to the current challenges facing law students.
What to Expect
The 2 year J.D. program allows students to earn a law degree in two years (24 calendar months). The program requires the same number of credits as the traditional 3-year program but instead of taking a break from studies during the summers, students in the 2-year program take a full load of classes in the summers. Courses throughout the Accelerated program are taught by the same faculty who teach in the traditional 3-year program.
Students who earn a J.D. degree in two years are able to sit for the bar examination and enter the workforce a year earlier than their counterparts in the 3-year program. This significantly reduces the lost opportunity costs associated with a three year program. In other words, while the two programs cost the same in terms of tuition and books, students in the 2-year program are able to work as a lawyer and earn income a year earlier.
Admission to the Program
The 2-year program is designed for students who are self-motivated, diligent, and industrious. Applicants to the program should be able to demonstrate those traits. The application process requires the same information and uses the same online LSAC form as admission to the 3-year program. The only additional requirements for admission to the 2-year program are:
- Checking the appropriate box on your application to indicate your interest in the accelerated program.
- Applicants to the 2 year program may be selected for a 10 to 15 minute personal interview. This interview will be conducted either in-person for local applicants, or via video chat for distance applicants.
Application & Admission Timeline
Students seeking admission to the accelerated program must apply before February 1st. Applicants will receive a decision on their applications by March 1. Applicants not accepted into the 2-year program who also expressed interest in the traditional 3-year program will be considered separately for the 3-year program.
- October 1: Applications to all Gonzaga Law programs opens
- December: Last administration of the LSAT test that will return scores in time for admission to the program.
- February 1: Deadline for 2-year program applications
- After application submission: Some applicants to the program may be selected for a 10-15 minute interview via video chat or in-person. This will be done on a rolling basis and applicants will be notified of their interview via e-mail.
- By February 15: Applicants admitted to the program will be notified.
- By March 1: Tuition deposit due to hold a seat in the 2-year class.
- Early June: Orientation and classes for accelerated program students begin.
Costs & Financial Aid
The accelerated program is a full, six term program. Therefore, the cost of tuition and books is equal to that of the three-year program. Since students will be in law school for 24 calendar months, the living expenses associated with attending law school may be less than attending for three years.
Students in the accelerated JD program are eligible to apply for financial aid. 95 percent of students in the 2012-2013 school year took advantage of at least one scholarship.
Term 1, Year 1 Early June to Mid-August
Term 2, Year 1 Early September to Mid-December
Term 3, Year 1 Mid-January to Late April
Term 4, Year 2 Early June to Mid-August
Term 5, Year 2 Early September to Mid-December
Term 6, Year 2 Mid-January to Late April
Exam periods run for approximately 7 days following the end of each academic term.
Graduation for Law School students is generally held in early May.
The Washington State bar examination is administered in July of each year, as it is in most states. The examination is also offered in February.
The Gonzaga Law accelerated program curriculum requires 12 credits of internship or externship experiential learning, with the option of completing 15 credits (1 full term’s worth). The curriculum also includes 15 credits of skills training, including 8 credits of Legal Research and Writing.
The experiential learning requirement can be completed as a distance or local Externship, or in our legal clinic as an internship. Accelerated program students have a more extensive practical experience requirement. This is to ensure that even without the summer break that some three year students use to gain practical experience, accelerated program students get comparable real world training.
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