July Update for Alumni

July 14, 2020

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Dear Alumni and Friends:

If you have a career and a family to support, attending law school full-time may not be feasible. That's why Seattle University School of Law's part-time JD program, which is consistently ranked among the top 25 part-time programs in the country by U.S. News and World Report, is so important. By offering the only program of its kind in the state, we've enabled students from all walks of life to fulfill their dreams of becoming lawyers through a flexible format of evening classes, spread out over three and a half years.

Over nearly five decades, the program's graduates have built successful careers as lawyers at large and small firms, judges, legal counsel for corporations, CEOs of companies, and in many other roles. We're immensely proud of this record, yet we feel we can make legal education even more accessible.

That's why I am pleased to announce an evolution of our part-time program that will provide greater access and flexibility to the next generation of part-time students. Starting in fall of 2021, the Flex JD Program will replace the existing part-time program and will be offered in an online-hybrid format. This means that most coursework can be completed virtually, with campus sessions held on a few weekends each semester. It truly is the best of both worlds, where students benefit from the flexibility of an online program — eliminating the need to battle Seattle traffic to commute to campus multiple times per week — but retain the ability to forge lasting connections with faculty and fellow students through in-person class meetings.

Please take a moment to peruse the Flex JD website, including a sample curriculum. While much of the program will be taught online, students will have access to many of the same experiences as current part-time program students, including the ability to participate in clinics, complete externships, and participate on our student-run journals.

Although the format of the part-time program has changed, our accomplished faculty's deep commitment to effective teaching and learning, social justice, and student success remains stronger than ever. The admission requirements for the Flex JD will be the same as for our full-time program, and career faculty are designing and will teach these interactive courses with the same rigor and high expectations that our students have come to expect.

You may wonder if we're creating this program as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The answer is no — Flex JD was in the works long before the pandemic hit. That said, the shift to online learning that took place in the spring — and which will continue for some courses in the fall — provided our faculty with a valuable teaching experience, which we will use to further refine the Flex JD learning experience for our students.

We're confident that these changes will make law school — and a legal career — accessible for more students in our region and beyond. This includes those in our Puget Sound community, as well as farther afield, from Spokane to Portland to Vancouver, B.C., since the format will minimize the number of required trips to campus each semester.

We need your help to spread the word about this innovative part-time program. If you have friends, colleagues, or loved ones interested in attending law school, please let them know about this exciting option to earn a JD.

Annette E. Clark, MD, JD '89

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