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Academics

RMU Early Law School Admission Program (ELSAP) FAQ’s

What is the advantage of the Early Law School Admission Program (ELSAP)?

The Early Law School Admission Program (ELSAP) is a special program for well-qualified students who are positive that they want a legal education and are mature enough to handle the pressures of the law school environment. A student can earn both a bachelor’s degree and a J.D. (Juris Doctorate) degree in six years rather than the traditional seven years. Through this program, students complete three years of full-time undergraduate study, use law school courses to meet the balance of required undergraduate credits, and receive the bachelor’s degree after successful completion of the first year of law school. This program may save both time and money and mean an early start down a student’s chosen career path.

What are the disadvantages of the Early Law School Admission Program (ELSAP)?

One disadvantage is that you will miss your senior year at RMU. For many, this means trading your best year at RMU for your hardest year of law school. Having one less year at RMU may make it harder for you to do things like participate in study abroad, attain leadership in extra curricular activities, or do internships. All of these can be extremely beneficial for you in getting the most out of your RMU experience.

Starting law school early may also mean you feel rushed into an important career decision, rather than giving yourself the time and experience you need to make the best choice for you. Indeed, many people these days are opting to get some work experience for a few years before they pursue a legal education.

Unlike undergraduate school, law school classes are not made up of students who are all the same age. Sometimes it can be intimidating to be younger and less experienced than your classmates, who may have held a variety of jobs and been out on their own for quite a while.

Who are RMU’s ELSAP Law School Partners?

  • Duquesne University Law School
  • Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law
  • The University of Akron School of Law

Is the Early Law School Admission Program (ELSAP) available to all RMU students?

No. Not all degree programs are able to participate in ELSAP. The program is available ONLY to students in all majors in the School of Business (SBUS), students in all majors in the Department of Social Sciences within the School of Education and Social Sciences (SESS), and students in certain designated majors in the School of Communication and Information Systems (SCIS).

What are the requirements to become a candidate in this program?

Only full-time, on-ground students who have completed their freshman year are eligible to apply to become a candidate for ELSAP. Transfer students are not eligible. The program is open to applications from students who have:

Am I guaranteed admission to law school by being a candidate in this program?

No. This is an early admission program, NOT a guaranteed admission program.There is NO guarantee of law school admission. Students are accepted into ELSAP only as candidates. To remain in the program and be eligible for admission to a RMU Law School partner, there are challenging requirements and course maps specific to the School of Business (SBUS), the Department of Social Sciences, in the School of Education and Social Sciences (SESS) and the School of Communication and Information Systems (SCIS). Candidates must also demonstrate the character, fitness and capability to satisfactorily complete a demanding, rigorous, and challenging law school curriculum.

NOTE: Specific information regarding the requirements for admission to each of the RMU Law School Partners may be obtained by contacting the Coordinator of the RMU Pre-Law Advisory Program.

Is there an extra fee to apply?

There is no additional fee to apply to ELSAP.

When can I join ELSAP?

Students interested in ELSAP should notify the ELSAP representative for their School and the Coordinator of the RMU Pre-Law Advisory Program. At the beginning of the first semester following the completion of the first year at RMU, an interested student should meet with the Coordinator of the RMU Pre-Law Advisory Program. Students who meet the criteria may apply to become a candidate in the program no later than October 1 of the fall term after the successful completion of their first year of studies. Interested students may apply to the program by completing an application form prescribed by the Coordinator of the RMU Pre-Law Advisory Program.

Is it difficult to remain a candidate in ELSAP?

Candidates in ELSAP must (a) take the required curriculum and maintain a GPA required by the RMU Law School partners, (b) be a member of the RMU Pre-Law Society, and (c) receive academic advisement and, (d) receive mentoring and advise from the Coordinator of the RMU Pre-Law Advisory Program.

What happens if a student goes through three (3) years at RMU as a candidate of ELSAP and does not get accepted to Law School or does not successfully complete the first year of law school?

Candidates who are not admitted to law school must complete their undergraduate degree at RMU by taking the necessary courses to be granted a bachelor’s degree. Similarly, if students do not successfully complete the course work in the first year of law school, they must complete their undergraduate degree at RMU by taking the necessary courses to be granted a bachelor’s degree.

After three years at RMU, if a candidate of the ELSAP has not met the requirements to be admitted to a RMU Law School partner, does that mean the candidate should not bother to apply to law school?

NO. The ELSAP is designed for only a small number of applicants. Not meeting the requirements for admission to a RMU Law School partner in the program does not preclude, nor should it discourage, a student from applying to a law school as a traditional applicant after completion of the curriculum necessary to be granted a bachelor’s degree at RMU. A student who remains interested in law school should fully discuss this option with the Coordinator of the RMU Pre-Law Advisory Program.

During the fourth year, while attending Law School will the student be considered a RMU student or a Law School student?

For the fourth year of the program, students enroll in law school. They are categorized as undergraduate students there, even though they are law students. They also remain active students as far as RMU is concerned, retaining their RMU email and library privileges.

Will the grades I receive in my first year at Law School count towards my undergraduate degree?

NO. Only credits will be counted. Law School courses will appear as transfer credits on the undergraduate transcript with a grade of “P”.

During my fourth year, while attending Law School, do I pay RMU tuition or Law School tuition?

For the fourth year of study, students will pay regular Law School tuition and fees.

Am I eligible for financial aid?

When a student applies to a RMU Law School partner, the student may apply for financial aid and scholarships through the law school. In general, tuition, scholarship and financial aid programs for undergraduate students are administered separately from those for law school. So, a student should not expect to necessarily continue to receive the same scholarship or financial aid package once the student is enrolled in the law school. The student may receive graduate financial aid and scholarships that they may qualify for as a law student. NOTE: The requirements of individual scholarships and financial aid packages may vary, so a student should talk with the financial aid counselor at RMU about the student’s specific situation and may contact the RMU Law School partners concerning this matter. The student may also discuss this matter with the Coordinator of the RMU Pre-Law Advisory Program.

What if I drop out of the first year of law school or decide I don’t want to be in law school anymore?

Students who do not finish their first year of law school may return for their final year at Robert Morris to finish in their degree program. Any credits earned in law school will count towards their degree. Their RMU scholarship may be awarded back for them to complete up to two more semesters at RMU. Students who are out of RMU for more than one year would not receive their freshman merit scholarship any longer.

If you finish the first year of law school successfully, but decide not to continue into the second year, those courses from the first year of law school will be used toward your undergraduate degree.

When do I get my bachelor's degree?

After a student’s first year of law school is successfully completed and grades are available, a student will get an undergraduate bachelor’s degree. They walk with their class at commencement.