It seems a few law schools are taking President Barack Obama’s words seriously when he suggested it would be wise for law schools to cut their programs from three years to two. Not only has Brooklyn Law School announced a condensed two year program, albeit at the full price of $152,575, but New York Law School has offered its own honors program for a two year program, with an attendant scholarship that renders the program $50,000 less expensive, or 1/3 less.
That’s as best as these school can offer right now. They can’t make their programs any more lean, nor cut too much of the fat, because the ABA’s accreditation requires a certain curriculum. The system can’t be greatly reformed, consolidated, or made fresh for the new legal market: it’s stuck they way it is.
So while New York Law School is offering a new program for honors students, it will simply be intensified, not edited.
“The big issue in changing law school to two years is accreditation, ” said New York Law School Dean Anthony Crowell, as reported by Crain’s New York Business. “You can’t get a law degree with only two-thirds of the [required credits].”
For those students willing to work intensely, they can save money on such a program; but since such students, to make the honors programs, are the ones likely to do best outside of law school, the program is at least somewhat misguided, and isn’t exactly what Obama and others had in mind when they suggested law schools be leaned up and strapped down and made more efficient, considering the bludgeoning market nowadays.
Nevertheless, Brooklyn Law School, which offers the condensed program at full price, says the programs will catch on.
“I think you are going to see a lot more of these programs,” said the dean of Brooklyn Law School, Nick Allard. “Time is money.”