Law Schools

William Mitchell launches new law school hybrid, welcomes 85 students for 1 week of on-campus class

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A unique legal education experiment began Monday at William Mitchell College of Law.

Under a special variance from the American Bar Association, the school welcomed a group of students for a four-year part-time juris doctor degree program. It will require only one week of class attendance per semester at the law school’s brick-and-mortar campus in St. Paul, Minnesota, the Star Tribune reports.

Most of the time, participants in the hybrid part-time law school program will attend class online.

The one-of-a-kind program began Monday, with 85 students whose average age is 38. A third already have graduate degrees in other fields, according to the newspaper and a law school press release.

Annual tuition, which is currently $27,770, will be the same as the tuition for the law school’s traditional part-time program, the newspaper notes.

Among those who jumped at the chance to attend the hybrid law school program was Brian Kennedy, 59.

“I was accepted to William Mitchell in 1981 and life got in the way,” he told the Star Tribune, explaining that he had been sidetracked by an entertainment-industry career. Not going to law school was his one regret, he said, but no more. “I’m starting a new career. It just took me a while to get here.”

Others plan to continue with their current careers while also attending law school.

Vershawn Young, 41, a communications professor at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, said he was similarly sidetracked by a career and chose William Mitchell because it was the only way he could keep his current job.

“I’m ecstatic about it,” he said of the chance to attend law school. “I do expect to experience something phenomenal.”

Related coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Law school’s online-hybrid degree program gets first-ever approval from ABA”

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