Law School Discussion

Law Students => Pursuing an LLM => Topic started by: barprephero on May 13, 2014, 07:47:32 PM

Title: we should replace the JD with an LLM.
Post by: barprephero on May 13, 2014, 07:47:32 PM
Half of law school is electives anyways. Why waste peoples time with that an internships?
Just make it a condensed masters degree instead and add a mandatory year practicing under senior attorneys after the bar the way that medics have to do.
It would no doubt make better attorneys and save people time/money.
Title: Re: we should replace the JD with an LLM.
Post by: legalpractitioner on May 16, 2014, 09:35:43 PM
The real way not to waste time and money is award a BA in law like England and quit pretending that a JD is the equivalent of a MA or PhD when it simply is professional training.
Title: Re: we should replace the JD with an LLM.
Post by: barprephero on May 16, 2014, 11:00:44 PM
The real way not to waste time and money is award a BA in law like England and quit pretending that a JD is the equivalent of a MA or PhD when it simply is professional training.

I'm not sure you understand how an LLB actually works.
It requires to first have an undergrad in prelaw and then get  a "second bachelors" in law
Same idea with the Bachelors of Medicine to be their version of an MD

Start of the 1900's here in the states it was an Associates Degree in America and before that just on the job training for people with less than an 8th grade education (Lincoln types) But I doubt we'd ever go to back to any of that on an ABA level, even if some states allow it (to an extent with restrictions)
Title: Re: we should replace the JD with an LLM.
Post by: legalpractitioner on May 17, 2014, 06:50:58 AM
No, only in Canada does the LLB require prior college; in the UK and elsewhere you go straight into the LLB from secondary school (high school).  A much better way option IMO than the JD which forces you to shell out for 7 years of college!  However to become a solicitor in England, you must usually complete a training contract which is also a good idea considering most new lawyers in the US learn on the job.
Title: Re: we should replace the JD with an LLM.
Post by: Maintain FL 350 on May 17, 2014, 09:54:19 AM
I'm not sure you understand how an LLB actually works.
It requires to first have an undergrad in prelaw and then get  a "second bachelors" in law

I love it when people speak authoritatively, yet are completely wrong.

An LL.B does not require a preceeding Bachelor's degree. The LL.B is usually completed in four years, followed by supervised on the job training. This is how it works in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and the Caribbean.

I'm currently preparing for the UK exams, and have several friends and family who are UK solicitors. Trust me, this is how it works.

I believe that Jon Levy is also a licensed UK solicitor?

In civil law jurisdictions the law diploma has various iterations. Sometimes it's a doctorate, sometimes not. It can be completed in four to six years depending. Admission to both LL.B and civil law diploma programs is usually quite competitive, and universities will strictly limit the number of entrants. 

Half of law school is electives anyways. Why waste peoples time with that an internships?


I agree. Electives at the graduate/professional level are an absurd waste of time. Just a way to get more tuition. Most students would be far better served spending that time learning how to draft a will or living trust, review a contract, or filing a motion. Our legal education is almost entirely academic, and needs more practical training.   
Title: Re: we should replace the JD with an LLM.
Post by: barprephero on May 17, 2014, 03:06:08 PM
No, only in Canada does the LLB require prior college; in the UK and elsewhere you go straight into the LLB from secondary school (high school).  A much better way option IMO than the JD which forces you to shell out for 7 years of college!  However to become a solicitor in England, you must usually complete a training contract which is also a good idea considering most new lawyers in the US learn on the job.
There may be some places that have it that way, but its not "just Canada" it is that way in the carribean law schools too (I know, I looked into it at one point when I forgot how easily I burn in the sun)
Title: Re: we should replace the JD with an LLM.
Post by: barprephero on May 17, 2014, 03:07:48 PM
I'm not sure you understand how an LLB actually works.
It requires to first have an undergrad in prelaw and then get  a "second bachelors" in law

I love it when people speak authoritatively, yet are completely wrong.

An LL.B does not require a preceeding Bachelor's degree. The LL.B is usually completed in four years, followed by supervised on the job training. This is how it works in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and the Caribbean.

I'm currently preparing for the UK exams, and have several friends and family who are UK solicitors. Trust me, this is how it works.

I believe that Jon Levy is also a licensed UK solicitor?

In civil law jurisdictions the law diploma has various iterations. Sometimes it's a doctorate, sometimes not. It can be completed in four to six years depending. Admission to both LL.B and civil law diploma programs is usually quite competitive, and universities will strictly limit the number of entrants. 

Half of law school is electives anyways. Why waste peoples time with that an internships?


I agree. Electives at the graduate/professional level are an absurd waste of time. Just a way to get more tuition. Most students would be far better served spending that time learning how to draft a will or living trust, review a contract, or filing a motion. Our legal education is almost entirely academic, and needs more practical training.
"You are completely wrong...................I agree with you"
great job
Title: Re: we should replace the JD with an LLM.
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on June 10, 2014, 05:49:09 AM
I've long thought that there needs to be a change in legal education.  At a minimum, I think most agree that the 3rd year of law school should require students to take on an apprenticeship with an attorney actually learning the practice of law. 

The problem with education reform today is that not many schools are willing to part ways with the tuition dollars provided by 3Ls.
Title: Re: we should replace the JD with an LLM.
Post by: barprephero on June 10, 2014, 12:50:29 PM
I've long thought that there needs to be a change in legal education.  At a minimum, I think most agree that the 3rd year of law school should require students to take on an apprenticeship with an attorney actually learning the practice of law. 

The problem with education reform today is that not many schools are willing to part ways with the tuition dollars provided by 3Ls.

Many do that (in a sense) with required internships. The schools still make their money by making you basically just buy credits from them while working for free for someone else.

IMHO its the biggest scam of all. They invest almost no time or resources at all into it, and make the same as they would paying a prof to lecture in a room full of students all semester.
Title: Re: we should replace the JD with an LLM.
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on June 10, 2014, 06:03:16 PM
Oh forgedaboudit! Law School is the biggest racket ever created.  Think about how much money is increasingly made every year off of rising student tuition costs while schools with the same classrooms in the same building with the same professors continue to give the same lectures.  Very few industries are able to pull off a similar hustle.
Title: Re: we should replace the JD with an LLM.
Post by: Citylaw on June 10, 2014, 06:24:37 PM
True.

I think one of the best ideas I heard to change legal education is to allow students to sit for the bar after 2L and if they are able to obtain a license they can spend their third year as licensed attorneys and complete an apprenticeship program to complete 3L.

If a student is unable to pass the bar during 2L summer they can spend their third year taking a number of bar prep courses etc to prepare them for the second go around.

I realistically took a number of bar study courses during 3L that I probably did not need, but you tend to overprepare for the exam.

The current problem with the bar structure now is that students are basically thrown to the wolves after graduation and once they take the bar they have to wait four months before they find out if they pass or not. They are not enrolled in school and a sedentary four months ensues and many employers are not hiring graduates waiting for bar results it is not economical to do so, which leaves the student in limbo for several months and if they do not pass the first time around they are in limbo for over a year.

This alternative system would allow first time passers to not have the long wait period and be able to go straight work. For students with extra assistance they will not just fail the bar and have nowhere to turn instead they can be around faculty etc during 3L and work on their weak spots and pass after 3L and be able to go straight to the workforce.
Title: Re: we should replace the JD with an LLM.
Post by: barprephero on June 10, 2014, 08:54:37 PM
I thought I heard that AZ(or perhaps someone else) started doing that a few years ago, or was it only for students getting ready to deploy with JAG?
Title: Re: we should replace the JD with an LLM.
Post by: legalpractitioner on August 03, 2014, 11:12:02 AM
I still think a training contract in which a wage is paid is the way to go.  The government could soak up a lot of those contracts IMO.

http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/careers/becoming-a-solicitor/training-contracts/

Title: Re: we should replace the JD with an LLM.
Post by: Groundhog on August 04, 2014, 07:17:52 PM
I agree. Electives at the graduate/professional level are an absurd waste of time. Just a way to get more tuition. Most students would be far better served spending that time learning how to draft a will or living trust, review a contract, or filing a motion. Our legal education is almost entirely academic, and needs more practical training.

To play devil's advocate here...you mean electives like Gifts/Wills/Trusts, Community Property (if applicable), Evidence, more Constitutional law? All of those are on the California bar exam and while my classes weren't bar prep, it certainly helped taking them. On the other hand, some people might consider their elective in secured transactions essential to their career, but I didn't take it and it'll never come up.
Title: Re: we should replace the JD with an LLM.
Post by: Maintain FL 350 on August 04, 2014, 09:38:56 PM
At my school all of those classes (Evidence, Con Law, Wills & Trusts) were required. They added Community Property as a requirement in my last year.

The electives tended to be stuff like Water Law, Animal Rights, Women and the Law, Capital Punishment, etc. Not that those are meaningless, they're not. They do have value. I just question whether their value is greater than learning how to draft a review a contract or draft a prenuptial agreement. Most lawyers are far more likely to encounter those types of things in their practice.
Title: Re: we should replace the JD with an LLM.
Post by: barprephero on August 05, 2014, 11:25:08 AM
At my school all of those classes (Evidence, Con Law, Wills & Trusts) were required. They added Community Property as a requirement in my last year.

The electives tended to be stuff like Water Law, Animal Rights, Women and the Law, Capital Punishment, etc. Not that those are meaningless, they're not. They do have value. I just question whether their value is greater than learning how to draft a review a contract or draft a prenuptial agreement. Most lawyers are far more likely to encounter those types of things in their practice.
electives are ok, but shouldn't be required is the point. If its not on the bar, fudge it. I think voluntary extra certificates in subjects (short of an LLM) should be an option, but requiring ALL to take electives that are not bar topics? That is just a waste of time and money to pretend that "look they went an extra year they must be more qualified" as a shield for "did we rape their wallets?"
Title: Re: we should replace the JD with an LLM.
Post by: Groundhog on August 05, 2014, 01:54:16 PM
Water law seems pretty essential these days in California...but I digress.  :-X

My 1L year consisted of the following:
Torts
Civ Pro
Contracts
Law & Ethics
Legal Writing & Research
Crim
Con Law I
Property
Professional Responsibility
Legal Writing & Research

Adding all the CA bar subjects but skipping Cal Courts/Procedures as you can learn that in a couple days, you'd add Con Law II, Remedies, Gifts/Wills/Trusts(may be more than one class), Evidence, Community Property, Business Associations(I forgot I took that!). That's pretty close to a full second year and it doesn't include any specialized classes like finance, securities or real estate that one can take as early as first semester of 2L year.

I also see the benefit to the profession and student to having a 2nd summer that isn't dedicated to studying for the bar that can be used for internships. Rising 3Ls are much more knowledgeable about the law than people who just finished 1L year and have had a chance to take electives that might be much more relevant to where they're working.

Perhaps reducing the requirement to 2 1/2 years and allowing students to sit for the February bar exam would be a reasonable compromise. That way, you get to take electives, do a 2nd(or 1st) internship, still get out of school and take the bar six months earlier. Thoughts?
Title: Re: we should replace the JD with an LLM.
Post by: barprephero on August 05, 2014, 04:08:52 PM
I know some states let them graduate in two years (if they lie on paper and say it was 3 years due to going through summers)

Honestly, I think undergrad is a joke for law school. With no prereqs or required major other than between an AA to a BA (depending on the state) its just stupid. I say go back to having the whole thing be the equivalent of an Associates Degree. Keep the LSAT, but look to High School GPA if you need a GPA. Why waste time with undergrad at all?