A provocative take on politics and culture from a skeptical, libertarian point of view

Location: Long Island, New York, United States

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Obama's Radical Law School Proposal by Richard Cooper

President Obama spoke on education during a tour of universities.  Besides criticizing proprietary colleges, he made an unexpected proposal that was understandably overlooked during the nostalgic look at the 1963 March on Washington and the threat of war with Syria.  Obama, a former professor at the University of Chicago Law School, suggested shrinking law school to two years from the standard three. 

Obama said "In the first two years, young people are learning in the classroom.  The third year, they'd be better off clerking or practicing in a firm, even if they weren't getting paid that much.  But that step alone would reduce the cost for the student."

When universities began in medieval Europe, law was one of the original faculties along with theology and medicine.  Later, in England and its American colonies, the principal route for the legal profession was working for a lawyer and studying law in that lawyer's office, known as "reading law."

This route to application to join the bar was common in America until well into the twentieth century.  It would surprise many to find out that this route is still permitted in California, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington State.  New York requires a year of law school before applying to the bar, but does not require graduation.

This is an Obama proposal that those who want smaller government should study and probably embrace.  Legislation would probably be needed to return to the less restrictive regime of the past.

(Full disclosure:  My older brother is an attorney.   I was accepted to law school and turned it down.)

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Blogger Dr. Steve said...

How about two years in law school and one year in jail. Or, better still, no years in law school and go directly to jail, do not pass GO, do not collect $200. Talk about Nirvana...
Steve Finger

3:25 PM  

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