Obama: Law School Should Be Two Years, Not Three

“This is probably controversial to say, but, what the heck, I’m in my second term, so I can say it.”

Jacquelyn Martin / AP

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. — President Barack Obama told a town hall crowd in Binghamton, New York, Friday that the way law is taught in America should change fundamentally.

As part of his bus tour focused on tough talk for school administrators and pushing the education establishment to help make schooling affordable, the president said it’s time for law schools to drop a year of classroom instruction.

“This is probably controversial to say, but, what the heck, I’m in my second term, so I can say it,” Obama said. “Law schools would probably be wise to think about being two years instead of three years.”

Obama said the third year of law school could be replaced with a paid job like an apprenticeship, which would create a dramatic reduction in costs for students.

“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 costs for the student,” he said.

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