OBAMA: Law Schools Should Be Two Years, Not Three

Law-school graduate and President Barack Obama suggested that law schools in the U.S. cut back to two-year programs instead of three to cut costs for students.

“This is probably controversial to say, but what the heck? I’m in my second term, so I can say it,” Obama said during a town-hall event at SUNY Binghamton in Binghamton, N.Y. It was an offhanded comment that came in

“I believe … law schools would probably be wise to think about being two years instead of three years.” Obama said that law students’ third year would be better allocated while, for example, clerking for a judge or working in a law firm.

The town-hall event was a stop in the four-city tour of New York and Pennsylvania over the past two days, as part of his promotion of a broad plan to lower the cost of college.

Obama attributed his thoughts, partly, to his own experience at Harvard Law School. Coming out of the school, he said he was about $US60,000 in debt.

I followed up Obama’s thoughts with a crowdsource attempt on Twitter, since it is a popular community for aspiring lawyers and law professionals.

My attempt mostly failed, but did provide a few important opinions on both sides of the coin. One lawyer agreed with Obama, saying that the third year of law school is “mostly a waste.” Others worried that the education cut might outweigh the lower costs, as it would lead to fewer elective and specialisation opportunities.

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