HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Akron Univ. School of Law

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Thursday, August 25, 2005

Third Year of Law School

Students have complained for some time that the third year of law school is unnecessary and that they are ready to go out and practice after two years.  Well, someone heard them.  The University of Dayton is offering a two-year law degree.  I am not sure if this will catch on but I thought some of you would find it of interest.  From the University's Press Release,

Julius Carter enrolled at the University of Dayton's School of Law this fall because ''it offered a way for me to become a lawyer quicker."

The 42-year-old former computer analyst is part of the first class at the School of Law with the option to graduate in five semesters, instead of the traditional six. The University of Dayton is the first in the country to take advantage of new American Bar Association rules that allow students who start classes in the summer to finish their law degrees in two years.

The accelerated curriculum has attracted national media attention and helped to trigger the highest application volume in a dozen years and the best entering test scores since 1994. The School of Law received 2,116 applications--a 13.7 percent surge over last year. Nationally, law school applications are down 1.4 percent, according to the Law School Admission Council.

''The five-semester option was a big draw,'' said Carter, father of four from Trotwood, Ohio.

Lisa Kloppenberg, dean of the School of Law, says the revamped curriculum is targeted to mid-level professionals like Carter and ''the millennial generation that likes to multi-task and move quickly. These highly motivated students want to graduate earlier and begin earning faster. They can save a year of living expenses while completing the same law school curriculum requirements.

''We think other law schools will soon follow suit and give students the opportunity to eliminate the third year of law school," said Kloppenberg, who's been interviewed by the Associated Press, CNN Radio, National Public Radio, Bloomberg, Fox News and the nation's legal press, among other media outlets.

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