Thursday, September 27, 2007
Continuing our series of responses from various legal luminaries to the question: What is the single best idea for reforming legal education you would offer to Erwin Chemerinsky as he builds the law school at UC-Irvine?
David E. Berntein (Professor of Law, George Mason University School of Law; Editor, The Volokh Conspiracy blog):
Make the law school an undergraduate program. California is a huge legal market, and students can take the bar without going to an ABA-approved school. Law is an undergraduate subject in other common-law countries, and, absent ABA intervention, there is no reason why it should not be at least offered to undergraduates here. A four instead of seven year route to a law degree will save future lawyers huge amounts of money, and even more in opportunity costs. This will especially benefit potential lawyers from less privileged backgrounds, to whom huge debts and many years in school may seem too daunting.
For all the posts in the series, see here.