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December 05, 2004

More Law School Reform

Welcome to Don't Know It From Adam, a new blog from Adam Wolfson, a U of Michigan law student who formerly wrote Cicero's Ghost (which has now been shut down). One of Adam's early posts takes off from the recent 5-by-5 on the question of how to improve law school. Adam notes that Michigan has recently begun discussing how to improve the grading system; he supports “moving to a more sophisticated version of 'Pass/Fail,' like the ones implemented at Boalt Hall (Berkeley’s law school) and Yale Law.” He offers good reasons for why such a system would be preferable to the standard A, B, C, and plus, minus system in many law schools. Sounds great to me. One other reform I forgot to mention before: Law schools (and the ABA) should create more flexible ways for students to get academic credit for internships and externships and remove or at least qualify the ridiculous restriction that prohibits earning credit for any work that also earns a paycheck. As I understand it, law students who want to work and get practical experience during law school currently have a choice to make. They can either get paid for their work, or they can get academic credit for the work, but they can't ever get both. I'm told this is one of the ABA's rules schools must follow if they want to be “ABA-approved.” This is ridiculous for two main reasons: 1) Law school is already too expensive, so anything students can do to reduce their debt should be encouraged. 2) Practical work experience can provide an invaluable education for law students, and can be far superior to sitting in classes in terms of actually learning to practice law. What's so evil about allowing students to reduce their debt and get great practical experience at the same time? UPDATE: I just noticed that Michigan's possible grade system changes are the topic of considerable discussion over at Letters of Marque.

Posted 09:38 AM | Comments (4) | law school

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