"The 3+3 Program created an excellent opportunity for me to enter my intended career more quickly..."
Elizabeth Thomas RLAW'22 3+3
Elizabeth Thomas is the first student from Moravian College participating in Rutgers Law's 3+3 Program.

One evening around this time last year, I idly cleared out my email inbox when my attention was grabbed by a news article from my college. It read “Moravian College Signs Historic Agreement with Rutgers Law School”. This immediately piqued my interest, as I was a political science major entering my junior year at Moravian at the time, and I’d been drafting a list of law schools I’d be interested in applying to for the following year. Rutgers was near the top of this list. The email indicated that the agreement would create a new program that hoped to encourage applicants to Rutgers Law from Moravian. I immediately began sending emails to ask for more information from my advisors.

In the following weeks, I attended the signing ceremony for the new program, as well as multiple meetings with advisors about my prospects. I learned that the program was a 3+3 Program, which would enable eligible Moravian College students to apply to admittance at Rutgers Law during their junior years. Accepted students would then attend their first year of Rutgers Law as a substitute for their senior year at Moravian and receive their bachelor’s degrees upon completion of that year. I also learned that, as a new program, it would be aimed at current freshmen at Moravian, but I technically fulfilled all of the requirements except the requisite LSAT score. I chose to apply anyway.

Given the short notice provided by the new program, I wound up only having a month to study for the LSAT. I was consequently so thankful when I received a score within the acceptable range on the very day that my application was due. I started my education at Rutgers Law only a month after I finished my junior year as part of the Summer Jump Start program.

In all honesty, I have regularly described the 3+3 Program as a lucky experience that I happened to fall into. To be more accurate, however, I have wanted to be an attorney from a young age and I was already working to be admitted to law school the regular way. The 3+3 Program created an excellent opportunity for me to enter my intended career more quickly, and I do not regret this decision. I consider myself a person who values justice and order above all other ideals. My greatest source of frustration as a child was when anyone around me was treated in a way that I deemed to be inequitable, and I would always fight for change. This often took the form of confrontations with bullies or arguments with my parents or teachers. I have always been able to express myself verbally and through writing, so the legal field has always struck me as the place where my skills and desires would be best suited.

As of this point in my education at Rutgers Law, I feel as though I am in the right place. Admittedly, my transition into law school has been somewhat difficult as I am balancing many completely new life experiences associated with adulthood and living alone in a new state with an intense new workload. I do think that I am facing some challenges that others, particularly those with more life experience before coming to law school, are not. However, even though I threw myself into this education without hesitation at a young age, this is the first time in my life where I truly feel like I am doing what I was meant to do. As I’m sure any other 1L student would say, the law school is experience is difficult, exhausting, and all-consuming, but I am finding it fulfilling nonetheless.

I would recommend the 3+3 Program for any college students to any similarly driven college students who plan to go to law school. Despite the challenges I’m facing in my transition, I do consider this the best decision I’ve made yet in life. I cannot wait to begin my career, and being able to do so sooner rather than later means so much to me. I encourage anyone to work hard to achieve their goals, but to always be flexible to opportunities that may come your way.

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Elizabeth Thomas RLAW'22 3+3

Elizabeth Thomas RLAW'22

Elizabeth Thomas is a 1L student in the class of 2022 at Rutgers Law School in Camden. She is the first member of the 3+3 Program between Rutgers Law School and Moravian College. She grew up in Macungie, Pennsylvania and will be receiving her bachelor’s degree in political science from Moravian College in May 2020. Beth is a passionate advocate for diversity, equity, and mental health awareness, and is currently serving as a 1L Representative for OUTLaws, Rutgers Camden’s LGBTQIA+ awareness organization.