McGeorge School of Law

Frequently Asked Questions

If I apply to the Accelerated Honors Program and I am not admitted, will I automatically be considered for the traditional JD program?

Definitely! Any Accelerated Honors Program applicant who is not admitted to that program will be given full consideration for the traditional JD program.

Can I enroll in the Accelerated Honors Program after my first year is completed?

No. Unfortunately, we have structured the curriculum to start in the spring semester of the Accelerated Honors Students' first year.

Am I eligible to participate in study abroad programs as an Accelerated Honors Program student?

Participating in a study abroad program is possible if you coordinate and plan accordingly to ensure you are meeting all of the requirements including the honors externship. To stay on track with the accelerated program, you will need to earn externship credits either during the year or in your two other summers. You can fulfill the regular experiential requirement of two capstone experiences over the course of your second and third year, but will need to make up the 7 units from the first summer with a combination of summer coursework or additional units during intersession or during the remaining semesters.

Is my tuition covered during my summer honors externship?

Yes, you are eligible for seven credit hours of free summer tuition. This can be used for the externship or for summer courses if you opt to study abroad after your first year.

What GPA do I need to have to remain in the Accelerated Honors Program and how is it calculated?

You must maintain a 3.00 GPA. GPA is calculated the same for AHP and regular JD students. For the first year, GPA is calculated based on the fall and spring semesters. For the second year, GPA is calculated based on any course taken during the summer before the second year and the fall and spring semesters of the second year. AHP students stay with the same entering cohort (of both regular JD and AHP students) throughout their time at McGeorge for GPA calculations and ranking.

If your GPA falls below 3.0, you will need to meet with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs or the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs to discuss your academic planning. If you improve your GPA during your second year and continue your progress towards completion of your JD a semester early, you may still graduate with AHP recognition as long as your final GPA exceeds 3.0. You may also be advised to discontinue the acceleration of your JD pursuit and graduate without the AHP designation.

Where do most of your student's extern?

Most students in the accelerated honors program will participate in an externship during the first summer after they commence law school. Externships will be full time for 10 weeks, and students will earn seven (7) credits. Example of externship placements include:

  • Trial and Appellate Judges (state and federal)
  • California Attorney General's Office (various divisions)
  • Fair Political Practice Commission
  • Franchise Tax Board
  • District Attorney's Office
  • Public Defender's Office
  • California Environmental Protection Agency – State Water Resources Control Board
  • California Department of Human Resources
  • Children's Law Center
  • California Department of Managed Health Care

Other externship placements at non-profit and governmental agencies and organizations are also available and each student will be individually placed with consideration given to her or his area of interest.

What is the benefit of participating in the Accelerated Honors Program?

  • Accelerated Honors students will obtain their law licenses and be eligible to start practicing while their peers are preparing for the bar exam and therefore will begin working as attorneys or policy makers six months ahead of their peers in traditional three-year full-time programs.
  • Because students in the Accelerated Honors Program participate in a free summer externship as part of the program, students in McGeorge's unique program save thousands of dollars.

The most accurate way to compare the cost of attending McGeorge's Accelerated Honors Program is to discount the total cost of attendance by the free summer externship and the six months of income students will earn while their peers are studying for and taking the bar exam and waiting for their results.

What is the purpose of the interview requirement?

The interview provides an opportunity for both parties to ensure that your participation in this program will provide you all the opportunities for success available. Your application allows us to ascertain certain things about you, but an interview gives us an opportunity to talk with you about your experiences and determine whether the accelerated honors program is likely to be a good fit for you.

Can I participate in mock trial, moot court, law review if I am a member of the Accelerated Honors Program?

Like all McGeorge students, you will have the opportunity to earn a spot on our competition teams and/or law review. Our teams are nationally recognized and participating in them brings many opportunities to hone your craft and prepare you for your legal career. Because Mock Trial and Moot Court are designed to be year-long experiences, participation in these activities in your third year may be somewhat restricted.

What if I start in the Accelerated Honors Program and change my mind?

No problem. Depending on when you decide, you will be able to take a lighter load of classes.

What are the eligibility requirements?

Competitive students will have excellent academic credentials and distinctive life experiences to support successful completion of an accelerated JD degree. Students with a 157 LSAT score and a 3.3 or better undergraduate grade point average (UGPA) or a 156 and 3.5 or better UGPA presumptively will qualify for an interview. Students whose entrance credentials do not meet these prerequisites may qualify for an interview if their LSAT score and UGPAs are similar to these requirements and other aspects of their application justify further evaluation of their candidacy for the program.

How does the Accelerated Honors Program give me a competitive advantage in the legal employment market?

It helps in two ways. First, it puts you in the legal market sooner at a time when many other legal graduates are not job-searching. Second, your designation as an Accelerated Honors graduate is a mark of distinction that is likely to be impressive to future employers.

How will potential employers know that I've completed the Accelerated Honors JD Program?

As a new program, many employees will likely be unfamiliar with what it required to complete your degree faster than average. Placing this on your resume will undoubtedly open the door for you to discuss the nuances of the program and your ability to perform at such a rigorous academic level. You will also receive a certificate upon graduation and a designation on the commencement program. Will I select my own summer honors externship or will one be assigned to me? McGeorge will provide a list of opportunities, and the Director of Externships will work with you personally to find the best fit for you. We have a wide range of approved externship sites and will be able to find an experience to align with your interests and experiences.

If I do not maintain the required GPA for the Accelerated Honors JD Program, how will I be integrated into the traditional JD program?

Your integration with the three-year program will be seamless. You will have been taking classes with students in the three-year curriculum all along, and you will continue to do so if you end up in the traditional program.