A Noble Calling

At Franciscan University of Steubenville, we believe the legal profession remains one of the most noble and critical callings in our society and culture.

The world needs more Catholic lawyers and students of the law—men and women capable of articulating and defending the natural law tradition that underlies the American legal system and our political institutions. We need believers committed to the social teachings of the Church—advocates for the unborn, voices of reason and moral authority in our courtrooms, legislatures, and corporate boardrooms.

If you are law-school bound, Franciscan University can prepare you well for the rigors of law school and the legal profession through our emphasis on natural law, critical thinking, and philosophy. We can also help you achieve your professional goal more quickly.

Accelerated Juris Doctor Program

Franciscan University’s 3+3 Dual Degree Law Partnerships set you up for success in your future career by:

  • grounding you in Franciscan’s excellent core curriculum;
  • offering direct admission into either CUA Law, St. Thomas Law, Ave Maria Law, or Duquesne Law;
  • allowing you to complete both a bachelor’s and law degree in six years instead of seven;
  • saving you a full year on tuition costs.

In your first three years, you will gain a firm foundation in reason and faith in Franciscan University’s Catholic learning community, increasing your love of knowledge, appreciation for the unity of all truth, and courage to live an authentic Christian life. Then, you will finish your advanced legal education at one of our outstanding Catholic law school partners:

  • The Catholic University of America School of Law in Washington, D.C.,
  • the University of St. Thomas Law School in Minneapolis, Minnesota,
  • Ave Maria Law School in Naples, Florida,
  • or Duquesne University School of Law in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Program Structure

You must make a decision early in your undergraduate career at Franciscan University to pursue the 3+3 Dual Degree Law Program and should regularly consult with the program advisor to maintain appropriate progress.

During your three years at Franciscan, you’ll major one of the following disciplines: political science, history, philosophy, theology, mathematics, anthropology, modern languages (French, German, or Spanish), and English (British and American literature concentration). Other Franciscan academic programs may also be eligible for the 3-3 Law Program, but these majors are optimal because each includes 10 electives that will be used for the first-year law courses.

Created for self-motivated, mature students, our 3+3 Law Program requires that you complete a minimum of 75 credits at Franciscan (94 credit hours total) and maintain an overall 3.7 cumulative grade point average, take the Law School Admission Test in your third year and meet the minimum LSAT scores (66th percentile for CUA Law/44th percentile for Ave Maria Law/60th percentile
for Duquesne/none specified for St. Thomas Law), and meet the character and fitness requirements specified by each law school. Duquesne also requires the applicant to have an in-person interview with their dean of Admissions.

Upon successful completion of the first year at your law school, you will receive your bachelor’s degree from Franciscan. (The 10 first-year law school courses count for credit both toward the JD and for your remaining 30 credits toward your bachelor’s degree.) Then, you will complete your remaining two years of law school.

If you want to attend one of our law school partners, but do not have the minimum of a 3.7 GPA or do not wish to start law school after three years of undergraduate study, you can still apply and be offered direct admission to CUA Law or Ave Maria Law in their regular program, if you have maintained a 3.6 GPA overall through four years of undergraduate study (you must complete a minimum of 94 credit hours at Franciscan and meet the other requirements above).

Our Law School Partners

Located in Washington, D.C., and founded in 1897, The Catholic University of America School of Law summarizes its approach to legal education as practical, focused, and connected. This, combined with a strong sense of service and being located in the nation’s capital, make CUA Law a legal education experience that allows you to grow both professionally and as an individual.

Founded in 1999, the University of St. Thomas School of Law in downtown Minneapolis, Minn., offers an innovative curriculum that emphasizes professional formation and the education of the whole person. It strives to help each student develop the professional and ethical values vital to success in the legal profession, enabling you to become a lawyer who leads your community by serving it.

Ave Maria School of Law, established in 1999 in Naples, Florida, focuses on the law as a vocation and the inextricable link between the law, morality, and the common good, giving you a true understanding of the harmony of faith and reason. Ave Maria Law School provides a unique sense of community unified in faith allowing you to not only strive for your greatest success in law school, but also become the best person you can be on a personal level.

Duquesne University School of Law, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is a Catholic law school founded in 1911. It is located near the center of Pittsburgh’s legal community in the downtown area. Its motto is “The welfare of the people is the highest law.” Duquesne Law offers full-time and part-time JD programs, joint degree programs, and several optional concentrations that give its students the opportunity for community service while developing their legal skills.

  • Constitutional Law
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Health Care Law
  • International Law
  • Legal Writing
  • Environmental Law
  • Contract Law
  • Intellectual Property Law
  • Trial Advocacy
  • Tax Law

If your future holds a law career, Franciscan University can set you on an accelerated path toward your juris doctor degree.

For more information contact Dr. Stephen M. Krason, Chairman, Department of Political Science, Faculty Advisor for the 3+3 Program:

Egan Hall, Room 203
Phone: 740-284-5377
[email protected]

Academic Catalog

View the Law School Preparation Program on the Undergraduate Catalog

Inquire For More Information

Alumni Profiles
Beyond the Classroom
Austrian Semester Abroad

Grow, develop, and be formed into a more mature student by spending a semester in Franciscan’s Austrian program. You’ll expand your major in unbelievable ways by traveling to places such as Rome and the holy sites of Christendom, and through courses taught at a 14th-century monastery that also serves as your home.

Department Faculty
Dr. Anne Hendershott

Dr. Anne Hendershott


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Dr. Caleb Henry

Professor of Political Science

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Dr. Daniel Kempton

Dr. Daniel Kempton

Professor Emeritus

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Dr. Stephen M. Krason

Department Chair

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Dr. John Pilsner

Assistant Professor

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