Law School Discussion

3rd year of LS = unnecessary?

3rd year of LS = unnecessary?
« on: July 28, 2009, 10:33:34 AM »
I know this is an old debate, but it's rather pertinent to us rising 3Ls. 

Why do American lawyers need a doctoral level degree?  Wouldn't a 2 year Master's be enough?  I have a summer clerkship, and I have found I can already do anything the lawyers do. The only difference is that they have more practical experience. Is the 50-60 thousand dollar cost + another year without income really necessary?  The 3rd year of law school seems to be a waste.

Re: 3rd year of LS = unnecessary?
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2009, 12:15:16 PM »
What do you mean you can do everything they do?

Re: 3rd year of LS = unnecessary?
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2009, 12:43:31 PM »
Research, write briefs and memos, spot issues etc., etc.

non parata est

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Re: 3rd year of LS = unnecessary?
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2009, 01:27:57 PM »
I thought a big part of being a lawyer was complaining about your three years of law school.

Sounds like you're still missing a qualification.

Matthies

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Re: 3rd year of LS = unnecessary?
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2009, 07:39:20 PM »
In my view third year should be clinical, externships, getting some real world practice. There really is no other reason for the third year than tradition, lawyers love tradition even if itís pointless and outdated like the Socratic and case method, itís how they had to do it so it how you have to do it. :egal education evolves at a glacial pace.

Re: 3rd year of LS = unnecessary?
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2009, 02:20:40 AM »
Coming for prof's mouth from summer school (who went to Columbia and was a biglaw partner for years until he decided to "retire):
Quote
As you will all soon realize, the last 2 years of law school serve no purpose whatsoever besides being an entry barrier for the legal profession. After your first year you are as much trained to be a lawyer as you will be when you pass the bar.

This is really true though if you think about it. If law school were just one or two years a lot more people would look into it and the lofty salaries that lawyers earn would be nonexistent.

vansondon

Re: 3rd year of LS = unnecessary?
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2009, 05:30:34 AM »
I think some law schools are evolving, when you consider the fact that schools like Northwestern, Dayton, and Southwestern have two-year (accelerated) program models.  These models are centered around the idea that the traditional third-year is not necessary.

Re: 3rd year of LS = unnecessary?
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2009, 07:19:55 AM »
I think some law schools are evolving, when you consider the fact that schools like Northwestern, Dayton, and Southwestern have two-year (accelerated) program models.  These models are centered around the idea that the traditional third-year is not necessary.

I only know about NU, but their program is actually 3 years worth of work in 2 years (i.e. it includes 2 summers but starts early to allow for 2L SAs).

vansondon

Re: 3rd year of LS = unnecessary?
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2009, 03:55:18 PM »
I think some law schools are evolving, when you consider the fact that schools like Northwestern, Dayton, and Southwestern have two-year (accelerated) program models.  These models are centered around the idea that the traditional third-year is not necessary.

I only know about NU, but their program is actually 3 years worth of work in 2 years (i.e. it includes 2 summers but starts early to allow for 2L SAs).

Yeah. Is that problematic?

jacy85

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Re: 3rd year of LS = unnecessary?
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2009, 08:24:55 PM »
In my view third year should be clinical, externships, getting some real world practice. There really is no other reason for the third year than tradition, lawyers love tradition even if itís pointless and outdated like the Socratic and case method, itís how they had to do it so it how you have to do it. :egal education evolves at a glacial pace.

Agreed.  Third year should = learning how to practice.

And I think I remember seeing a link on Above the Law that said the ABA was discussing making LS FOUR years.   ::)  Because law students really need that additional year of debt, I suppose.