Accelerated law degree

June 26, 2008
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Northwestern University School of Law just announced it’s creating a two-year law program in addition to offering the traditional three-year term. The school – which is only the third in the country to offer an accelerated law degree – believes the quicker turnaround in getting a J.D. will help attract more students by appealing to those who want to get a head start on their future career and enormous law school debt. (The school hasn’t decided whether the tuition for the accelerated program will be the same as the traditional three-year program.)

Critics of the two-year track argue that cramming law school into a shorter timeframe will hurt students’ ability to learn how to think critically and explore job opportunities during the summer. One critic even went so far to call it “irresponsible” and said it risked creating inferior lawyers.

Inferior lawyers? I think that’s a stretch. I’ve seen my share of disciplinary actions involving attorneys who got their degrees in three years that may have done some things that could label them as “inferior.”

Accelerated degrees have been around for years – those with a college degree can take courses to become a teacher in two years or less at Indiana University Purdue University – Indianapolis instead of having to go back to school for four more years. Numerous nursing programs offer accelerated degrees to those who already meet prerequisites and there hasn’t been a huge uproar in the medical community or by the general public regarding a nurse who got his or her degree in 18 months as opposed to four years.

Chances are those law students who choose to go the accelerated route know that they will have to spend more time studying and attending class throughout the year than they would if they were going the more traditional route. While having an extra year to prepare for your future profession is ideal, it’s not always necessary and many people are capable of becoming excellent attorneys in just two years.

Click here for Northwestern University’s press release about the change.
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  1. I just wanted to point out that Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, Senator Feinstein, former Senate majority leader Bill Frist, and former attorney general John Ashcroft are responsible for this rubbish. We need to keep a eye on these corrupt, arrogant, and incompetent fools.

  2. Well I guess our politicians have decided to give these idiot federal prosecutors unlimited power. Now if I guy bounces a fifty-dollar check, the U.S. attorney can intentionally wait for twenty-five years or so and have the check swabbed for DNA and file charges. These power hungry federal prosecutors now have unlimited power to mess with people. we can thank Wisconsin's Jim Sensenbrenner and Diane Feinstein, John Achcroft and Bill Frist for this one. Way to go, idiots.

  3. I wonder if the USSR had electronic voting machines that changed the ballot after it was cast? Oh well, at least we have a free media serving as vicious watchdog and exposing all of the rot in the system! (Insert rimshot)

  4. Jose, you are assuming those in power do not wish to be totalitarian. My experience has convinced me otherwise. Constitutionalists are nearly as rare as hens teeth among the powerbrokers "managing" us for The Glorious State. Oh, and your point is dead on, el correcta mundo. Keep the Founders’ (1791 & 1851) vision alive, my friend, even if most all others, and especially the ruling junta, chase only power and money (i.e. mammon)

  5. Hypocrisy in high places, absolute immunity handed out like Halloween treats (it is the stuff of which tyranny is made) and the belief that government agents are above the constitutions and cannot be held responsible for mere citizen is killing, perhaps has killed, The Republic. And yet those same power drunk statists just reel on down the hallway toward bureaucratic fascism.

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