Seton Hall finds new law program has business twist

Dean Kathleen Boozang. (File photo)

Seton Hall University’s law school, which launched a weekend degree option during the fall semester, is finding success with the part-time program, it told ROI-NJ recently. And not necessarily from aspiring lawyers.

The school said part-time applications rose 41 percent in 2017, in part due to the new program, from 222 in the 2016 year to 314 in the 2017 year. The 2018 academic cycle has also seen a near doubling in application volume, the school added.

“Interestingly, we find that a fair proportion of the students in the Weekend Program do not currently plan to practice law, with alternative pathways including advancement at their current company, compliance, politics, lobbying and business more generally,” Dean Kathleen M. Boozang told ROI-NJ.

“This confirms our intuition that a growing segment of law school applicants perceive that the J.D. is a degree that offers advancement in a business career, suggesting that the J.D. is an appropriate alternative, at least for some professionals, to an MBA.”

Seton Hall Law told ROI-NJ that, in addition to the increase in number of applicants, the 2017 applicants offered stronger credentials than in past years — a trend that has continued in the current cycle. Those include higher average GPAs and LSAT scores.

“The faculty report that the hybrid model ensures a high level of student preparation and engagement,” Boozang said. “The diversity of professional backgrounds contributes to a high-level classroom conversation that is grounded in reality.”

The program, which enables students to attend classes on eight alternating weekends per semester and includes an online component, lasts about four years, but can be completed in a shorter timeframe, the school said. Students are able to participate in co-curricular activities such as law journals and mock trials.

“Seton Hall Law has long been committed to access to a legal education, and this weekend offering continues that tradition,” Boozang previously said in a prepared statement. “Students in our new part-time Weekend Program will enjoy a fully immersive law school experience with flexibility better suited to their busy lives. They will be taught by the same outstanding professors who teach in the Law School’s full-time division, using a combination of traditional classroom learning and technology-driven distance learning.”