Thursday, March 28, 2013

Yes, We're Reforming and Awesoming: Consider the 3+3 Program

When most people think of the Juris Doctor, they think of a degree that takes seven (7) years to complete. But what if I were to tell you about a wonderful innovation in law school technology that would allow you to complete an ABA-accredited legal education in only six (6) years?

Your skepticism sounds eerily familiar to what we encountered with the latest batch of employment stats: baseless incredulity.

Because that's right! Step right up, 18-year-old future Good Wives and Boston Legalists, because law schools have a deal for you that will cut your legal education by a whole year. Why, at just 24, you could be running your own law office. Even younger if you're an extra-special snowflake prodigy.

They're called 3 + 3 programs. Three years of undergrad, a year that double counts, after which you earn an undergraduate degree, and then two years to complete the law degree.

You can do it at Whitter. You can do it at AlbanyYou can do it at Hamline while majoring in communication studies with "no risk if you change your mind."

You can do it at a whole host of fine, fine colleges, but please note that you have to go to the right undergraduate school in order to take advantage of these special strategic partnerships. Cornell will not get you into Albany early, but the prestigious Russel Sage College will. Three years of Princeton are not good enough for Seton Hall; for that, you need to go to New Jersey Tech.

So be careful: if you go to one of those undergraduate institutions, you'll have to attend law school for the full seven years. As someone who did the full seven years, let me tell you, that last one is an expensive piece of boredom. I could have spent that money oh, I don't know, buying a brand new Toyota Camry.

That's what the law schools are basically doing by allowing for 3 + 3 programs when they pair with exceptional undergraduate institutions. They're giving you a Toyota Camry. And they're getting nothing in return except the gift of your presence on their campuses.

Everyone keeps clamoring about the need to reduce law school. Well, for certain high-minded students, the law schools have already done it, and you'd be a sucker not to consider the offer if you, like most people, KNOW you want to be a lawyer someday at the ripe old age of 18.

The latest school to offer such a bargain is the John Marshall Law School (Chicago branch), which has partnered with local Robert Morris college to offer exceptional students the opportunity to complete two educations in six years at "leaders in not-for-profit higher education in Illinois."

It's an exclusive offer, so students at the University of Chicago need not apply early. If you're an 18 year old who KNOWS (and who doesn't?) that you want to conduct exciting jury trials for a living, whether it's murder prosecutions or multi-million dollar environmental disputes or suing whalers on behalf of the Pacific Ocean, you would be a drunken idiot moron dope to not consider this outstanding deal.

Again, folks, they're offering you what is basically the price of a Toyota Camry. The next time someone tells you law school is a "scam," ask them bluntly when Publisher's Clearing House made such a deal.

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