Paul L. Caron

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Third Year of Law School: "A Lot of Beer and Softball"

Interesting NY Times piece on the growing questions about the necessity of the thrid year of law school:  Some Question Third Year of Law School:

Some educators want to see the third year beefed up, arguing the law is more complex than ever and future lawyers need more preparation, both for the bar and exam and for their careers. But others want it dropped....

The American Bar Association recently updated its accreditation guidelines for law schools to require more total minutes of instruction, but offering schools more flexibility in how that's structured. That prompted the University of Dayton to announce a program starting this fall designed to help students earn a J.D. in two years, including summer work. It has no fewer requirements and doesn't charge less, but it saves students a year of living expenses....

University of Chicago Law Dean Saul Levmore says students there are more likely to suggest adding a fourth year than dropping the third....

Now a corporate lawyer, Jennifer Leong fondly recalls her third and final year of law school. A job secured, she traveled frequently. Her courses included feminist jurisprudence and a half-semester bankruptcy seminar -- each carefully chosen to get her weekend started by Wednesday afternoon. ''A lot of beer and softball,'' recalled Leong, who got her University of Virginia law degree in 2000. ''Third year was probably the best year of my life.''

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