Obama thinks law school should be two years. The British think it should be one. http://t.co/c1KbT5wKuM – 1L Scare u, 2L Work u, 3L bore u
— LSAT PREParation (@LSATPreparation) September 25, 2013
Very interesting article referenced in the above tweet. Excerpts include:
… President Obama was a part-time lecturer at the University of Chicago’s law school. But that side of him made a rare appearance Friday in a speech at Binghamton University, when he suggested that law school shouldn’t be three years long:
This is probably controversial to say, but what the heck, I’m in my second term so I can say it. (Laughter.) I believe, for example, that law schools would probably be wise to think about being two years instead of three years — because by the third year — in the first two years young people are learning in the classroom. The third year they’d be better off clerking or practicing in a firm, even if they weren’t getting paid that much. But that step alone would reduce the cost for the student.
Now, the question is can law schools maintain quality and keep good professors and sustain themselves without that third year. My suspicion is, is that if they thought creatively about it, they probably could. Now, if that’s true at a graduate level, there are probably some things that we could do at the undergraduate level as well.
This idea isn’t original to Obama. Samuel Estreicher at NYU Law is probably the most vocal advocate for the plan, and Washington University in St. Louis’s Brian Tamanaha endorsed it in his book, Failing Law Schools.
Food for thought.