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Author Topic: In risky new plan, W&L scraps 3L year  (Read 5575 times)

soundsgood

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Re: In risky new plan, W&L scraps 3L year
« Reply #30 on: March 28, 2008, 06:02:54 PM »
Lenny is pretty much dead on from what I have been able to gather.  Though I go to W&L I haven't really paid too much attention to this program, mainly because I can opt out of it if it isn't something I want to do when the time comes.

However, from what I know about the program, the majority of it will still be classroom based, and taught by professors.  I have heard part of the program will function like CLE courses - so the substantive black letter law will still be taught - just in a streamlined manner.  I think this sort of makes sense - by 3L year most students will be able to engage in meaningful legal analysis, and not need the traditional Socratic method style to make them think critically about an issue.

Besides, the critical thinking/analysis aspect will simply be presented in realistic practice-oriented settings, be they simulated or real.  It has really been stressed to us that we will not be getting "shorted" on an educational experience, 3rd years are not going to be come free rent-a-lawyers or anything.  It is just a different approach to teach the same material, that will hopefully prepare students a little more efficiently for the real world.

I don't pretend to know everything about this - but seriously, I think the "drastic change" talk is just propaganda for people looking to either boost or damage W&L's reputation.

Avicenna

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Re: In risky new plan, W&L scraps 3L year
« Reply #31 on: March 29, 2008, 11:06:50 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. 

Donwario,

I'm at the ASD right now and I've gathered that the 3L program is optional even for my class(2011).
You are just flaming W&L. It's amazing how much time people have on their hands trying to belittle W&L.

whartonn

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Re: In risky new plan, W&L scraps 3L year
« Reply #32 on: March 29, 2008, 11:19:02 PM »

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.
 
Donwario,

I'm at the ASD right now and I've gathered that the 3L program is optional even for my class(2011).
You are just flaming W&L. It's amazing how much time people have on their hands trying to belittle W&L.


Does anyone know what the truth is on this issue? Will incoming students be allowed to opt-out or not?

UVAnProud2L

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Re: In risky new plan, W&L scraps 3L year
« Reply #33 on: March 29, 2008, 11:43:37 PM »
i don't see this new plan as risky at all. W&L is still a good school and i dont see employers looking at it differently.

qoftheu

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Re: In risky new plan, W&L scraps 3L year
« Reply #34 on: March 30, 2008, 12:16:36 AM »

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.
 
Donwario,

I'm at the ASD right now and I've gathered that the 3L program is optional even for my class(2011).
You are just flaming W&L. It's amazing how much time people have on their hands trying to belittle W&L.


Does anyone know what the truth is on this issue? Will incoming students be allowed to opt-out or not?


At the ASD Saturday the Dean said the new curriculum will be optional for the 2011 class.

jeffreydane

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Re: In risky new plan, W&L scraps 3L year
« Reply #35 on: March 30, 2008, 11:17:24 PM »
   I think that if Washington and Lee is overplaying this "dramatic change", it's a mistake.  Nobody wants to feel like they are going to be a guinea pig.  Is this going to be like a Drexel sort of program? if so then it is dramatic from the rest of the curriculum taught at top 25 schools.   Washington and Lee is in my final 2, and their program is making me very unsure about my future prospects.  Leiter assumes that they will have a very hard time hiring good faculty....and this could lead to a plunge in ranking.  I've heard many different views of what will happen from articles, admissions staff, current students, posters etc.  What is the real scoop here?

Special Agent Dana Scully

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Re: In risky new plan, W&L scraps 3L year
« Reply #36 on: March 30, 2008, 11:20:17 PM »
   I think that if Washington and Lee is overplaying this "dramatic change", it's a mistake.  Nobody wants to feel like they are going to be a guinea pig.  Is this going to be like a Drexel sort of program? if so then it is dramatic from the rest of the curriculum taught at top 25 schools.   Washington and Lee is in my final 2, and their program is making me very unsure about my future prospects.  Leiter assumes that they will have a very hard time hiring good faculty....and this could lead to a plunge in ranking.  I've heard many different views of what will happen from articles, admissions staff, current students, posters etc.  What is the real scoop here?

well, the good thing is that you have the option of opting out (since you are 2011).

i don't know what to make of this program...in theory it sounds cool.  but can't one get real world experience through a few clinics and/or externships?
Columbia 3L

soundsgood

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Re: In risky new plan, W&L scraps 3L year
« Reply #37 on: March 31, 2008, 12:00:29 AM »
To get a good view of all sides, make sure you read all of the comments posted on Brian Leiter's article, if you haven't already.  The pro-W&L side is put forward quite articulately by Dean Smolla and Professor Lyman Johnson.  I really think this approach differs from a pure "trade-school" method.  Professor Johnson brings up the point that students are able to "actively" learn by immersing themselves in the practical application of a theory or concept, as opposed to just memorizing the concept itself.  I don't think this is going to be an entire year on "how to record billable hours" or some other mundane exercise.  Simply the idea that their may be a more effective way for students to both simultaneously learn the substantive material AND prepare for a post-law school career.

I hope it doesn't sound like I have been drinking the Kool-Aid, as I am not sure that I am 100% behind this plan myself.  I certainly don't know if I will participate in it, or opt for the traditional method.  But, this plan does not seem to be void of educational value, and should not be dismissed as such.

R.P. McMurphy

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Re: In risky new plan, W&L scraps 3L year
« Reply #38 on: April 02, 2008, 12:02:20 PM »
Hey Avicenna, if you see this I got your PM, but it says you 'blocked' my PMs back. Anyway, PM me your name on Facebook and I'll send a friend request.
LSN | Washington & Lee University Law Class of 2011

DanCoffee

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Re: In risky new plan, W&L scraps 3L year
« Reply #39 on: April 10, 2008, 04:12:53 PM »
Chemerinsky's thoughts on the future of legal education appears to be in line with W&L's plan.

http://madisonian.net/2008/04/06/a-law-school-for-the-21st-century/