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Author Topic: In risky new plan, W&L scraps 3L year  (Read 5522 times)

donwario

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Re: In risky new plan, W&L scraps 3L year
« Reply #20 on: March 25, 2008, 07:48:37 PM »
So, getting back to some of the original points, the school will be hiring the same kinds of professors who will be able to engage in the traditional scholarship on their area of expertise, as well as maybe some new stuff.

I doubt it. Unless they leave the third year teaching in the hands of adjuncts, the new focus on professionalism and practice will require that they hire a whole new set of "practice-oriented" professors. Either way, this will turn off elite faculty. It will also turn off elite faculty that they can only teach law electives to 2L's. As odd as it sounds, the most influential law professors are generally not interested in or familiar with "practice". They care about scholarship and academia.

This is very true. If anything, this move by W&L goes away from what top law schools are doing. Interdisciplinary studies, economics and the law, and PhD/JD programs are what top schools have been focusing on and also what attracts the best faculty. While the top 6 schools rule the roost in these areas, you can see efforts by the top 25 schools (especially at Vanderbilt, WUSTL, UCLA, and Illinois) to compete.

What W&L is doing parallels more with the kind of practical legal instruction being offered at schools like Northeastern and Drexel. Lesser schools have used legal practice to distinguish themselves in competitive markets, but W&L sould not need to do this. I find it very odd and perilous that a school of W&Lís stature is doing this. 


Very good points, but I do think W&L might be taking this approach in part due to necessity. The location of Lexington has made it difficult for the school to attract great professors as of late. In the last year or two, the school has lost some of its best people (Dean Partlett, Krotosynski, Johnson, Brown, Morant, Gallanis) in most cases losing them to less prestigious law schools. Part of it no doubt has to do with wealthier schools buying away professors and the remoteness of W&L pushing others away. With this in mind, it may simply be that W&L has decided that they cannot compete anymore for elite faculty, so they are taking a radical new approach to differentiate themselves. It took a lot of courage by W&L to set this program up, but it does seem like a huge gamble though.

whartonn

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Re: In risky new plan, W&L scraps 3L year
« Reply #21 on: March 26, 2008, 11:49:08 PM »
Does this plan allow 3L's to opt-out if they wish and take regular electives as a 3L?

Avicenna

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Re: In risky new plan, W&L scraps 3L year
« Reply #22 on: March 27, 2008, 12:32:57 AM »
Does this plan allow 3L's to opt-out if they wish and take regular electives as a 3L?

Yes.
You can opt out if you want.
However, it is believed that students will choose the practicum track.

jeffreydane

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Re: In risky new plan, W&L scraps 3L year
« Reply #23 on: March 27, 2008, 12:53:32 PM »
Does this plan allow 3L's to opt-out if they wish and take regular electives as a 3L?

Yes.
You can opt out if you want.
However, it is believed that students will choose the practicum track.


Acutally, It will only allow students the option to opt out over the next three years, entering 1Ls will have no choice.

wiseowl

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Re: In risky new plan, W&L scraps 3L year
« Reply #24 on: March 28, 2008, 07:25:44 AM »
i still haven't seen anything about whether the 3L year is regular price.  i'm sorry, but if they expect that people already several dozen grand in debt are going to be gofer boys for a law firm WHILE paying $40k for the privilege, then they've got another thing coming.  also, anyone who takes them up on that offer is just as dumb.
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Lenny

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Re: In risky new plan, W&L scraps 3L year
« Reply #25 on: March 28, 2008, 09:32:46 AM »
You're a fool.

Where did you get the idea that the 3L year will simply be playing gofer for a law firm?  The 3L year will still be mostly in a classroom setting, just as it currently is.  Although W&L is trying to brand this is some dramatic change, I really do not think it will be.

donwario

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Re: In risky new plan, W&L scraps 3L year
« Reply #26 on: March 28, 2008, 12:09:46 PM »
You're a fool.

Where did you get the idea that the 3L year will simply be playing gofer for a law firm?  The 3L year will still be mostly in a classroom setting, just as it currently is.  Although W&L is trying to brand this is some dramatic change, I really do not think it will be.

I think that some of the answers given by the W&L posters have been very misleading. When I asked whether the program allows for 3L's to opt out, Avicenna posted that it did. As it turns out, only the current students can opt-out, but ALL future students must submit to the new program as a 3L.

Now, this recent post by Lenny makes it seem as if the new curriculum is no big change and that 3L will still be mostly traditional classroom work. From all of the available articles, it seems that nothing could be further from the truth. Every article about the program identifies it as a radical change.

To get the truth, I went to W&L's own webpage:
-"The Washington and Lee University School of Law is embarking on a dramatic revision of its law school curriculum, entirely reinventing the third year"
-"Students will not study law from books or sit in classrooms engaging in dialogue with a professor at a podium.  The demanding intellectual content of the third year will instead be presented in realistic settings."

When it comes to your school, it is fine to be an advocate. But I don't think it is right to sell prospective students a false bill of goods. 

Lenny

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Re: In risky new plan, W&L scraps 3L year
« Reply #27 on: March 28, 2008, 01:36:13 PM »
If you read enough of my posts, you'll know that I have always tried to give an objective appraisal of W&L.  The last thing I want is for a student to choose to go there based on an unrealistic view and then regret it.  That's not good for anyone.

Getting back on topic, the change will be "dramatic" in that it won't be the typical casebook approach to a subject.  But I also get the feeling that W&L itself is hyping this more than it actually should be.  That makes sense when you consider the source - legal academia is about as close to Obama culture as one can get.  Tout anything as change and legal academics, and students, will follow like lemmings.  So, going to the blurbs you quoted: The demanding intellectual content of the third year will instead be presented in realistic settings. . . by professors, in classrooms.   

washdc23

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Re: In risky new plan, W&L scraps 3L year
« Reply #28 on: March 28, 2008, 02:19:13 PM »
This 3L thing is making my decision tougher... ND($), GW, or W&L($$)??

bruinbro

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Re: In risky new plan, W&L scraps 3L year
« Reply #29 on: March 28, 2008, 04:44:47 PM »
This 3L thing is making my decision tougher... ND($), GW, or W&L($$)??

Worried or not, you can't turn down $81,000 from W&L for zero from GW or 36k from Notre Dame. While I don't think this change is a good idea, W&L will never fall out of the Top 30 schools. And like some of W&L people say, this program might have no effect or even a positive effect.
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