BETHANY, W.Va — Bethany College has an exciting new opportunity for students who aspire for a legal career.

On June 30, 2022, Bethany College President Jamie Caridi and B. Keith Faulkner, president and dean of Appalachian School of Law (ASL), signed an accelerated dual degree agreement between the two institutions.

“Bethany College is thrilled to announce an accelerated law school guarantee in partnership with Appalachian School of Law,” says Caridi. “Families today want to obtain highly marketable degrees at a great value. Students who attend Bethany College and meet program requirements will be assured of a seat at Appalachian School of Law, and will obtain both their undergraduate degree and law degree in just six years, shaving off an entire year of college expenses. I am grateful to President Faulkner for working with Bethany on this strategic partnership.”

This agreement, known as the ‘Accelerated Law School Guarantee,’ will benefit prospective law students by allowing them to earn a baccalaureate degree through Bethany College and a Juris Doctor from Appalachian School of Law in six years rather than the usual seven, saving students not only time—but money.

“When it comes to interinstitutional collaborations such as this 3+3 agreement, the benefit to students is clear — they complete their education rapidly, their student loan debt and other costs are reduced, and students are allowed an extra year to utilize their earning capacity after they graduate,” says Faulkner. “Promoting access to education for our students is at the core of our missions. Appalachian School of Law is truly honored to enter into this agreement with such a respected partner as Bethany College.”

Applications for the Accelerated Law School Guarantee must be received by January 1st of the year the student desires to enroll in the law school. Admission to ASL is guaranteed as long as the applicant meets the eligibility, character, and fitness requirements to practice law.

To be eligible, Bethany students must have completed all Bethany College core requirements, a minimum of two and a half years in residence, at least 90 credit hours at Bethany College, and passed their comprehensive examinations. They must also have permission of the undergraduate prelaw advisor to pursue accelerated study, maintain a minimum cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 3.0, and obtain an LSAT score equal to or exceeding 153.

For students who do not qualify for the DDA Program but wish to apply upon completion of their baccalaureate degree, ASL will make a review of their applications. Once eligibility requirements are met, ASL will schedule an interview with the student to assess abilities and maturity for professional study, and then make an expedited one-week decision.

Appalachian School of Law, in Grundy, Va., is fully accredited by the American Bar Association, and its graduates are eligible to take the bar exam in any U.S. state and the District of Columbia.

“This partnership with Appalachian School of Law provides our students with the opportunity to pursue graduate education for a career in the legal field,” says Bethany’s Provost Anju Ramjee. “These kinds of partnerships provide excellent opportunities for students as they graduate from Bethany. We hope to establish similar opportunities so that students can develop a path beyond their bachelor’s degree.”