As law school enrollment and job placement decreased, law schools considered many options to improve either or both. One proposal was a “two-year” law school, endorsed by President Obama. It was viewed as a quicker and cheaper alternative, and several schools began promoting their program. The plan was for students to go to school year round for two years, instead of three with substantial summer vacations. The cost of school was generally the same, but graduating a year early cut off one-year of living expenses and increased earnings by a year.
The New York Times now reports the two-year law school has not been as successful as expected. Although most law schools have tried various methods of increasing student enrollment and job placement, the two-year plan has not been seen by potential students as a substantial advantage. Northwestern University, the only elite school to adopt it, has ended its accelerated program because it failed to attract enough applicants. While many argue law school is too long, students seem to recognize the value of three-years of legal education, and most schools are finding ways to make the law school experience more valuable, rather than trying to shorten it.