A Northwestern law professor has come up with a revolutionary proposal about how to fix the legal education crisis.Basically, he wants to do away with law school.
In a January op-ed for The Wall Street Journal, Professor John McGinnis argues “states should permit undergraduate colleges to offer majors in law that will entitle graduates to take the bar exam.”
If states really want a practical requirement added to the degree, they could “ask graduates to serve one-year apprenticeships before becoming eligible for admission to the bar,” according to McGinnis.
And McGinnis is sticking to his guns.
In a panel earlier this week McGinnis suggested 60 hours of coursework would be enough for an undergraduate law degree even though the American Bar Association currently requires 80 hours from an ABA-accredited law school, according to Above The Law.
McGinnis argued that his proposal of allowing for an undergraduate option, to be offered in addition to traditional graduate study in law, would have several advantages. It would lower the cost of getting a legal education, in terms of eliminating both the cost of a J.D. degree and the opportunity cost of graduate study in law, and this lower cost would hopefully translate into lower-priced legal services for consumers. But consumers would still be protected, thanks to the requirement of bar exam passage.
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