Sunday, April 12, 2015

Another call to drop the third year of law school

Above the Law's David Lat is adding his vote to the several others (here, here\Phere and here) who've said we should drop the third year of law school including President Obama. (But see hererohere and here). Mr. Lat's argument appears in The Washington Post and here's an excerpt:

. . . .


Cutting a year of classroom instruction would get students into the workforce sooner, with less debt. Getting a law degree can cost $250,000 or more these days, pushing many graduates into lucrative corporate law rather than public-interest or government careers. Cutting the price by a third would also help the more than 40 percent of law school graduates who don't have a full-time law job nine months after graduation.


Defenders of 3L year cite the large and growing body of law to be learned. As Justice Antonin Scalia put it, "To say you are a lawyer is to say you are learned in the law, and . . . you can't do that in two years." But by their third year, law students have generally taken all required courses, filling their schedules with esoteric electives instead. Fun, but hardly essential.

. . . .

Continue reading here.


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Nonsense. If they are concentrating in an area (essential for practice areas such as securities regulation, health care law, tax, wills and trusts, etc) they have NOT taken all their required courses after four semesters. After two years of law school they have less to offer prospective employers, who have been complaining about their need to accommodate law students graduating after THREE years, so how is cutting back on education going to make law graduates more attractive to employers? The higher cost of law school is the consequence of increases in the size of administrations and the expansion of law faculty (and the resulting decrease in courses taught per faculty member) in order to generate "scholarship" in a usually-fruitless attempt to rack up peer scores in the US News game.

Posted by: James Edward Maule | Apr 13, 2015 6:18:29 AM

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