BETHANY, W.Va. – Bethany College has a new opportunity for students who aspire to a legal career.

On Thursday, Sept. 12, Bethany College President Tamara Nichols Rodenberg and Provost Joseph Lane joined Elizabeth McClanahan, the new dean of the Appalachian School of Law, in signing an agreement between the two institutions.

The 3+3 Dual Degree Agreement, allows a Bethany student to receive a bachelor’s degree and a juris doctorate from Appalachian in six years instead of the traditional seven.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for students who are looking to earn a legal degree while minimizing their cost and time,” Lane said. “Appalachian School of Law, under the leadership of new Dean Justice Elizabeth McClanahan, offers a highly interactive and practical opportunity to study law for Bethany graduates.”

McClanahan was on campus Thursday to deliver Bethany’s annual Fall Convocation address. She is a recently retired justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia.

Rodenberg announced the agreement between Bethany and Appalachian, which is effective immediately, at Convocation.

To be eligible for the dual degree program, Bethany students must complete their required work in their major fields, pass their comprehensive exams, make a 153 or better on the LSAT, and earn a grade-point average of 3.0 or higher in three years, Lane said.

Appalachian School of Law, in Gundy, 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.

In addition to their 90 hours of legal coursework, students at Appalachian are required to complete 25 hours of community service each semester.

Bethany has similar agreements with two additional law schools, Ohio Northern University in Ada, Ohio, and Duquesne University in Pittsburgh.


Bethany College, founded in 1840, is the oldest private college in West Virginia. The Bethany experience focuses on academic excellence in the area of liberal arts and prepares students for a lifetime of work and a life of significance.