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Buffalo Law School Offers Two-Year Law Degree

Buffalo Law School is implementing a two year law degree for foreign students according to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Law schools are evaluating if law students need to spend three years in law school. Reducing the time for students to graduate from law school is in controversy.

State of New York University (SUNY) at Buffalo Law School let the press know that it will allow foreign attorneys a chance to work towards their law degree in a two-year degree program.

According to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle:  “If you’re looking at this as an 18-year-old in another country, you think, ‘I can be a lawyer in my country and a New York lawyer.’ It’s a big value proposition,” said David Westbrook, a Buffalo Law professor and director of the school’s global strategic initiative, to the New York Law Journal.

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To get into the accelerated two year law school degree program at SUNY Buffalo Law School, the law school applicant would need to have a law degree from an institution abroad.

Brooklyn Law School (BLS) is also investigating a similar program similar to SUNY Buffalo Law School. The school may offer an option for students with no previous law degree, instead of just foreign students. The idea of obtaining a law degree in less than three years “is a very serious option,” according to BLS Dean Nick Allard, reported the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

BLS’s version of the accelerated degree will let students be able to complete the courses for the law degree and earn their Juris Doctorate in two years.

According to Dean Nick Allard at BLS:  “…students will be able to obtain the same amount of accredited hours as a three-year Juris Doctorate candidate but in a shorter amount of time,” reported the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

BLS’s accelerated program would not be available to all applicants.  According to Dean Nick Allard at BLS:  “This plan is for a special group of people who can take on the course load, are self-starters, and very directed hard workers.”

New York State Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman shows interest in an accelerated law degree. Lippman let the Brooklyn Daily Eagle know his opinion that the two-year program for a law degree is economically positive for law students. He cited the “lousy job market,” as a reason for not thinking the idea was off the wall.  Lippman did not think it was unreasonable for people to say there “is anyone on the law school faculty or on the bench who would say ‘This is crazy.’”

However, Lippman stated the idea to have a two year law degree needs to be planned out more, but did not know the answer on how to resolve any obstacles:  “I don’t know the answer,” said Lippman. Lippman wanted the discussions on the idea to continue:  “I can say that we want to hear more. It is a fascinating subject.”

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