Student Life in the Two-year Accelerated JD Program
Student Life in the Two-year Accelerated JD Program

On May 10, 13 students began Creighton University School of Law’s accelerated JD (AJD) program. Nearly twice as many students are enrolled in this program as this time a year ago.

“Today you begin your legal career,” former dean Paul E. McGreal, JD, LLM, told the students in a welcoming address. In his opening words, McGreal emphasized the importance of forming solid academic, professional and personal foundations from the start.

David P. Weber, JD, professor of law, spoke to the group about rules and guidelines expected of students in the AJD program. Because this group of students finishes law school in two years instead of the traditional three, Weber also encouraged people to rely on one another for help. He also stressed the importance of balance and staying true to oneself.

“Maybe balance to you is your faith. Maybe it’s reading a book or binging on your favorite Netflix show,” Weber said.  “Or maybe it’s working out at the gym. Whatever it is for you, keep doing it,” Weber continued. “Law school is a marathon, not a sprint.”

Barbara Vargo, a second-year law student from Rapid City, SD, who is on the AJD track, couldn’t agree more with Weber’s advice. “Don’t try to get through law school on your own – professors are willing to help and classmates are too. These conversations really go a long way in helping with comprehension and memorization,” Vargo said.

With three semesters already under her belt, Vargo also advises this year’s group of AJD students to be diligent every day. “The summer session moves so quickly that you cannot afford to get behind – even getting a day behind is a challenge,” she said. “After each class, look over your notes and the reading again to make sure you have distilled the rule of law that you need to know and how to apply it. This is particularly helpful when it’s time to study for midterms and finals.”

Vargo, a non-traditional student with a husband and family back home, chose the AJD program because she wanted a concentrated legal program that would allow her to return to work and to her family as quickly as possible.

Anthony Schneider, a native of Dillingham, Alaska, is a first-year law student on the AJD program. Like Vargo, he also wanted an accelerated program and having summers off was not a priority for him.

The 2017 University of Nebraska at Omaha graduate with a degree in history says that he sees himself as a conduit between his legal studies and a person in need. “The closest way between A and B is a straight line and I feel I have found that mode in the AJD program,” Schneider said.

“I’m excited to be here,” Schneider continued. “I’ve arrived at Creighton from a steady stream of state schools. At each school, I have been able to find one or two professors with whom I felt I meshed well and I stuck to them like glue. These professors are hard to find [yet] during Accepted Students Day and also during the first week of AJD orientation, I noted the names of the professors I felt would fill this role here,” he added.

“I figured out pretty quickly that essentially every professor I was meeting is someone I felt a connection with and had an intense desire to learn from,” Schneider continued. “I know law school is going to be hard work, but I am convinced it will provide me with the opportunity to become a better person and allow me to help others and that I will have supportive guides along the way.”