WVU Law Karli Celestin 3+3 Program student

First-year law student Karli Celestin is enrolled in WVU Law’s 3+3 Program, which gives qualified WVU undergraduates a path to earn their bachelor’s degree and their J.D. in six years instead of seven. Celestin has completed her required undergraduate courses and is projected to graduate with a bachelor's degree in journalism in December 2021, when she will be in the middle of her 2L year.

Why was the 3+3 Program a good fit for you?

I chose journalism as my undergraduate major because I always loved writing and wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do with my future when I stared college. The idea of law school felt like a great way to take my research and writing skills from journalism to the next level. I realized I wanted to pursue law school when I found out about the 3+3 Program halfway through my sophomore year of college. I had never considered attending law school before that, but once I saw the program it seemed like too great of an opportunity to pass up.

I pursued the program because I could add an entire legal education to my undergraduate journalism degree with only two added years, and I already had a home in Morgantown. I have always applied myself to my studies and knew that I could handle the rigors of a fast-track program.

This program opened a path to law school that was quicker, less stressful and cheaper than the ordinary route. I’m honestly not sure I would’ve gone to law school once I graduated with a 4-year degree outside of this program.

On top of shaving off an entire year of school, achieving an LSAT score that the program required came with a large scholarship, which is allowing me to attend WVU Law for even less than the cost of undergrad.

How are you adjusting to your first year of law school?

Coming directly from an undergraduate atmosphere, law school is definitely an adjustment. My favorite thing about law school so far is the challenge that comes with it. I have never felt challenged like this before in school and the new, more complex way of thinking that law school requires is pretty fun.

The amount of time that I spend studying has doubled, but I have already learned how to manage these changes and I am adjusting really well.

I am not enrolled in any undergrad courses now because, as part of the 3+3 Program, I had to complete my journalism courses before law classes started. My course schedule this year has been exactly the same as that of any other first-year law student.

What would you tell an undergrad student who is considering the 3+3 Program?

The 3+3 Program is definitely manageable as long as you apply yourself and take your studies seriously. If you are even considering law school, this program is a great opportunity to take advantage of. You just have to be self-motivated and willing to do the work.

Meet Karli Celestin

WVU Law 3+3 student Karli Celestin

Karli Celestin is from Wintersville, Ohio. At WVU Law, she is a member of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Society and Women’s Leadership Council. She also participates in the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) mentorship program, which pairs attorneys with diverse 1L students at WVU Law to provide mentorship and support as they pursue their legal studies.

Outside of law school, Celestin serves her community as an assistant at the Public Library of Steubenville and Jefferson County.