The Sensible Knave

"I do not see that we are further along today than where Hume left us. The Humean predicament is the human predicament." - W.V.O. Quine

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Abolish the third year of law school?

Laura I. Appleman and Daniel Solove are debating this issue at Legal Affairs. I already weighed in a while back, and I haven't budged. Honestly, Prof. Solove's case for a third year seems pretty thin. Sure, a third year would give students a little more breadth, and a little more time to reflect on their career options. Many students all but commit themselves to a certain kind of practice early on, however. Imposing an extra year of tuition, coursework, and opportunity costs just to counter this smacks of paternalism.

If we're so concerned that aspiring lawyers make careful decisions within a longer timeframe, why not stop admitting recent college graduates? Let them work for a few years. They can decide whether legal careers are really what they want. I'm sure they would choose law school after all, and enrollment wouldn't drop. Or maybe only tuition-payers should be forced to sit and reflect.