A new Kaplan Bar Review survey* of 712 law school graduates from the
class of 2013 finds that a strong majority of newly minted JDs agree
with President Barack Obama's recent comments** that law schools should
think about changing the way they currently educate aspiring attorneys.
Among the findings:
Belief that Legal Education Needs to Change: 87% of new law
school graduates surveyed say that the U.S. legal education system
needs "to undergo significant changes to better prepare future
attorneys for the changing employment landscape and legal profession."
Support for Less is More: Specifically, when asked, "Do you
think the traditional three-year law school education can be condensed
into two years without negatively impacting the practice-readiness of
new attorneys?", 63% answered in the affirmative.
More Clinics: But if a third year is required, 97% say they
favor a law school model that incorporates clinical experience, which
is designed to make students more practice-ready. During the first two
years of law school, students generally take courses on the basics of
law, while the third year is spent taking electives.
High Marks for Law School: Despite law school graduates' call
for changes, the vast majority still give their law school high marks.
37% gave their law school education an "A" grade, while 50% gave it a
"B". Only 11% gave their legal education a "C" grade; 1% scored it a
"D". No respondents gave their law school education an "F".
"Because of the current challenging job market for lawyers and
subsequent decline in law school applications, this is an unprecedented
time of introspection within the legal education community. While some
law schools are already implementing curriculum changes to adapt to the
changing landscape, the likelihood of any widespread changes across
legal education is years away," said Steve Marietti, General Manager,
Kaplan Bar Review. "In reality, the length of a law school education is
less relevant than whether it's effective in helping students succeed."
For more information about Kaplan Bar Review's survey and the changing
landscape of legal education, please contact Russell Schaffer at
212.453.7538 or [email protected].
*The online survey was conducted in August 2013 of 712 law school
graduates who took a bar review course with Kaplan Bar Review.
**"Obama Suggests Shaving One Year Off Of Law School," ABC News, August
23, 2013, Arlette Saenz. http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2013/08/obama-fields-questions-on-education-at-town-hall/
About Kaplan Bar Review
Kaplan Bar Review (www.kaplanbarreview.com)
provides full-service bar review programs in 38 states (Alabama,
Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii,
Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts,
Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire,
New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio,
Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah,
Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming) and Washington DC,
making its courses available to over 92% of the U.S. Bar-taking
population. Additionally, Kaplan Bar Review offers supplemental
preparation for the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE).
Note to editors: Kaplan is a subsidiary of The Washington Post
Kaplan Bar Review
Russell Schaffer, 212-453-7538