A letter of intent recently signed by UAA and the Seattle University School of Law moves Alaskans one step closer to a new law program. The effort of cooperation is a move to expand a decade-long partnership already existing between the two universities called the “Summer Law in Alaska” program.
The details of the program are still fuzzy. But Stephanie Nichols, with the Seattle University School of Law, says the students would likely take as many courses as possible in Alaska, but spend some time in Seattle.
“Our hope and our goal is to expand what we’re already doing here, where we offer courses in the summer but really expand that into something more with opportunities for Alaskans, whether that be locally here in Anchorage or elsewhere as well as rural Alaska with the intent to reach out to those folks as well to provide them opportunities to receive a legal education,” Nichols said.
And when can you start applying?
“I think that’s the million dollar question right now,” UAA Assistant Provost Monica Kane, said. “We are looking to push this forward as quickly as we can and hoping that we can implement it as soon as possible.”
She says the joint program still needs final approval from Seattle University School of Law faculty and the American Bar Association.
Kane also says that input from those in Alaska’s legal community will be very important in the development of the program.
“The Bar Associated absolutely welcomes improving legal education opportunities for Alaska and Alaskans,” Hanna Sebold, president of the Alaska Bar Association, said. “Seattle University has already demonstrated a sound basis of promoting intern programs that enhance access to justice.”
“And it is our hope that this collaboration can serve to enhance the provision of legal services in rural Alaska.”
Kane says the Juris Doctorate awarded by the program, would be given by the Seattle University School of Law.