More views on whether law school should last two years

Eugene Volokh, often quoted in this space, isn’t enthusiastic about the idea of finishing law school in two years (earlier), but wonders about shortening the undergrad component. Some other views: Paul Caron/TaxProf reaction roundup, Orin Kerr, Hans Bader, Andrew Sullivan readers, Mystal (Kaplan survey). Yale’s Bruce Ackerman defends the three-year curriculum (more) leading to responses rounded up at TaxProf. What would happen to clinics? [Althouse, Schrag]


  • What percentage of law students actually enroll in clinical courses or programs? My impression is that it is a fairly small percentage. Obviously this will vary from school to school, Northeastern probably enrolls 100% though these are mainly placements in law firms or agencies that involve little oversight or training by law faculty. Thus they cost the law school itself relatively little money. Many law schools allow similar placements at firms or agencies–also, for the law school, a low cost operation. But only a small number of students at many (perhaps most) law schools enroll in in house (i.e., expensive) clinical programs.

    Clinical programs may well have educational value beyond what is offered by classroom courses. But since many, probably most, students don’t enroll in them, they are a poor justification for requiring three years to graduate from law schools. The alternative, requiring all students to enroll in in-house clinical programs in order to graduate, would make law school even more financially prohibitive for most students.

  • Where’s scamprof when you need him?