Caleigh Castlevetere, a junior international studies major from Elma, N.Y., is the first student from Niagara University’s pre-law advisement program admitted to law school on the accelerated 3+3 pathway, an academic option that enables qualifying students to enter law school after just three years at Niagara and earn their bachelor’s degree and their juris doctor degree in six years instead of the usual seven. Castlevetere will complete her accelerated curriculum this spring and begin her graduate studies at the University of Buffalo School of Law in the fall.
Castlevetere came to Niagara University in the fall of 2020 to pursue her pre-legal studies. Her interest in the field began when she participated in the Connections Legal Academy Program through BOCES, where she attended court proceedings and learned about the judicial system.
“I want to be an attorney because I want to create positive change in the world,” she said. “I want to be an advocate and a voice for those in need.”
At Niagara, Castlevetere has been both a scholar and a leader in a number of extracurricular organizations, including the Pre-Law Student Association, the International Legal Honor Society, Phi Delta Phi, and the Phi Sigma Sigma sorority. She also developed a fundraiser to support the purchase of LSAT study materials for the pre-law library in Niagara’s Bailo Hall.
One of her most outstanding accomplishments was re-establishing the university’s dormant mock trial team. Working with the team's faculty advisor, Judge Anthony Restaino, she assembled a group of student-litigators and built a foundation to ensure that the team will be self-sustaining.
“Caleigh's dedication to the 3+3 program—and to the pre-law program as a whole—has been nothing short of remarkable,” said Kevin Hinkley, J.D., assistant professor of political science and director of the pre-law advisement program. “She has overcome all obstacles in her path to reach this point, and I am delighted that she will be the first student from our program admitted to UB Law on the accelerated 3+3 pathway.”
“Niagara has had such an amazing impact on my life and helped me achieve things that I hoped were possible four years ago,” Castlevetere said, noting that the pre-law program, its professors and its additional advisement opportunities prepared her for the next steps in her education. “I am so thrilled to continue on the journey.”