Law School in Less than 3 Years?

(Please Ask Questions and Answer Questions)
valley splitter
Posts: 139
Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2009 10:08 pm

Law School in Less than 3 Years?

Postby valley splitter » Mon Jan 18, 2010 9:00 pm

This is a somewhat odd question but is it at all possible to finish law school in less than 3 years? The way I see it, if someone took enough summer units it is possible to complete 86 total units in five semesters, thereby finishing in December of the third year. I think it would be great to do this because, if allowed, someone could just chill for most of the following year until their firm decides to start them in the fall. Or is it possible that a firm might want that person to start earlier and gain almost a year of experience before the rest of your class joins.

User avatar
im_blue
Posts: 3276
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2009 3:53 am

Re: Law School in Less than 3 Years?

Postby im_blue » Mon Jan 18, 2010 9:40 pm

It's possible, but you have to attend a law school with a program that specifically allows students to graduate in less than 3 years, e.g. Michigan's summer start or Northwestern's 2-year JD. I don't think you can just decide to take extra summer classes to graduate early.

valley splitter
Posts: 139
Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2009 10:08 pm

Re: Law School in Less than 3 Years?

Postby valley splitter » Mon Jan 18, 2010 9:56 pm

im_blue wrote:It's possible, but you have to attend a law school with a program that specifically allows students to graduate in less than 3 years, e.g. Michigan's summer start or Northwestern's 2-year JD. I don't think you can just decide to take extra summer classes to graduate early.


The program I'm looking at allows student to take 12 units during the summer. I plan on working during my 2L summer, but with five full semesters and the 12 units during the 1L summer it's possible. What I don't know is if there are residency requirements (minimum semesters required). I do not see the information in the school's bulletin. I would love to finish in December so I could take most of a year off (assuming the firm that hires me wants me to start the following fall rather than immediately). I could snowboard for the first few months of the year then go to Mexico for a while and drink and tan before I start working and lose all semblance of a normal life.

User avatar
rbgrocio
Posts: 560
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 7:58 pm

Re: Law School in Less than 3 Years?

Postby rbgrocio » Mon Jan 18, 2010 9:58 pm

im_blue wrote:It's possible, but you have to attend a law school with a program that specifically allows students to graduate in less than 3 years, e.g. Michigan's summer start or Northwestern's 2-year JD. I don't think you can just decide to take extra summer classes to graduate early.


Yes you can. Some schools allow you to take summer classes, though I don't think you should fill your summers with classes when you could be getting some experience. I plan on taking some summer classes but not so many that do not permit me to do some work/internships, etc

valley splitter
Posts: 139
Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2009 10:08 pm

Re: Law School in Less than 3 Years?

Postby valley splitter » Mon Jan 18, 2010 10:04 pm

rbgrocio wrote:Yes you can. Some schools allow you to take summer classes, though I don't think you should fill your summers with classes when you could be getting some experience. I plan on taking some summer classes but not so many that do not permit me to do some work/internships, etc


Actually, I'm thinking more along the lines of doing a externship abroad working at a firm. That way, I could get the 12 units for the degree while at the same time gaining work experience and networking.

User avatar
rbgrocio
Posts: 560
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 7:58 pm

Re: Law School in Less than 3 Years?

Postby rbgrocio » Mon Jan 18, 2010 10:05 pm

valley splitter wrote:
rbgrocio wrote:Yes you can. Some schools allow you to take summer classes, though I don't think you should fill your summers with classes when you could be getting some experience. I plan on taking some summer classes but not so many that do not permit me to do some work/internships, etc


Actually, I'm thinking more along the lines of doing a externship abroad working at a firm. That way, I could get the 12 units for the degree while at the same time gaining work experience and networking.



If such is the case, I think it is a good idea.

User avatar
General Tso
Posts: 2289
Joined: Sun Dec 07, 2008 6:51 pm

Re: Law School in Less than 3 Years?

Postby General Tso » Mon Jan 18, 2010 10:11 pm

many schools will let you graduate a semester early if you take summer school both summers. But that can be difficult if you are trying to work at the same time. And it can be expensive. I think Golden Gate charges $1,200 per credit, and you would need to take 12 credits over 2 summers to graduate 1 semester early.

Of course by my 3L year Hastings will be around $21,000 per semester.

valley splitter
Posts: 139
Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2009 10:08 pm

Re: Law School in Less than 3 Years?

Postby valley splitter » Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:56 pm

swheat wrote:many schools will let you graduate a semester early if you take summer school both summers. But that can be difficult if you are trying to work at the same time. And it can be expensive. I think Golden Gate charges $1,200 per credit, and you would need to take 12 credits over 2 summers to graduate 1 semester early.

Of course by my 3L year Hastings will be around $21,000 per semester.


That really sucks. Hastings used to be one of my top choices, but with the CA budget cuts and the increases in tuition along with the instability of the economy in general I am having serious doubts about attending. The only way I would go to Hastings is if they offered me at least 15K - a snowball's chance in hell.

valley splitter
Posts: 139
Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2009 10:08 pm

Re: Law School in Less than 3 Years?

Postby valley splitter » Tue Jan 19, 2010 12:00 am

Assuming I could graduate in less than 3 years and have accepted an offer of permanent employment to begin the following fall, would an employer look at it as a negative if I decided to party for those 8 or 9 months before employment?

User avatar
voice of reason
Posts: 264
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2009 12:18 am

Re: Law School in Less than 3 Years?

Postby voice of reason » Tue Jan 19, 2010 2:10 am

valley splitter wrote:Assuming I could graduate in less than 3 years and have accepted an offer of permanent employment to begin the following fall, would an employer look at it as a negative if I decided to party for those 8 or 9 months before employment?


Being out of the labor force for 8-9 months without a reason that sounds good in an interview (e.g., had a baby or was caring for sick parent) is about as bad as gleeking on the interviewer's tie. But if you've already accepted an offer, I can't imagine they'd rescind. Unless it's Latham, I suppose.

User avatar
vanwinkle
Posts: 9740
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 3:02 am

Re: Law School in Less than 3 Years?

Postby vanwinkle » Tue Jan 19, 2010 2:22 am

I have to say that ITE any plan that involves 1) taking away your summers, which you should be spending on valuable resume-building internships, and then 2) squandering the time you gain on "partying", is just plain outright obnoxiously stupid.

But go ahead. You become one less person who's actually competing against me in the job market.

PoliticalJunkie
Posts: 228
Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2009 2:32 pm

Re: Law School in Less than 3 Years?

Postby PoliticalJunkie » Tue Jan 19, 2010 2:29 am

Good luck getting a job without those summers to make connections......

valley splitter
Posts: 139
Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2009 10:08 pm

Re: Law School in Less than 3 Years?

Postby valley splitter » Tue Jan 19, 2010 2:31 am

vanwinkle wrote:I have to say that ITE any plan that involves 1) taking away your summers, which you should be spending on valuable resume-building internships, and then 2) squandering the time you gain on "partying", is just plain outright obnoxiously stupid.

But go ahead. You become one less person who's actually competing against me in the job market.


Well the plan is to spend the summer working at a firm for academic credit. I gain experience and network. Then, I spend the semester saved doing things I want to do i.e. snowboarding, traveling, and drinking. If the firm wanted me to start early I would have no problem doing that. If not, what's to be lost by doing things I enjoy? The offer was put on the table and accepted. Why would spending time I gained by working hard and planning meticulously be squandered by doing things I enjoy? I presume a law firm would not want me to go work for a competitor during the interim period and the entire point of graduating early is to not take any more classes. Q.E.D. free time.

valley splitter
Posts: 139
Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2009 10:08 pm

Re: Law School in Less than 3 Years?

Postby valley splitter » Tue Jan 19, 2010 2:32 am

PoliticalJunkie wrote:Good luck getting a job without those summers to make connections......


I would work as a summer associate during my 2L summer. During my 1L summer I would work as an extern. Connections made.

Danteshek
Posts: 2172
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 4:40 pm

Re: Law School in Less than 3 Years?

Postby Danteshek » Tue Jan 19, 2010 2:58 am

Southwestern has had a 2-year JD program since the '70s

User avatar
vanwinkle
Posts: 9740
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 3:02 am

Re: Law School in Less than 3 Years?

Postby vanwinkle » Tue Jan 19, 2010 3:59 am

valley splitter wrote:Well the plan is to spend the summer working at a firm for academic credit. I gain experience and network. Then, I spend the semester saved doing things I want to do i.e. snowboarding, traveling, and drinking. If the firm wanted me to start early I would have no problem doing that. If not, what's to be lost by doing things I enjoy? The offer was put on the table and accepted. Why would spending time I gained by working hard and planning meticulously be squandered by doing things I enjoy? I presume a law firm would not want me to go work for a competitor during the interim period and the entire point of graduating early is to not take any more classes. Q.E.D. free time.

This might have worked in a world where it was easy to find summer work at firms that would be eager to hire you when you graduated. Sadly that world died about a year and a half ago.

Law firms have gotten a lot more picky than you realize.

mhernton
Posts: 174
Joined: Sat Sep 26, 2009 12:07 pm

Re: Law School in Less than 3 Years?

Postby mhernton » Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:12 am

valley: What you ask isn't impossible or even hat bad of an idea. If you don't get a job 1L year and take some classes and then take one extra class per semester for the next year and a half, you should have enough credits to graduate. You can take the bar early if your ready and hit the ground running the following year. It should also be a little less competitive to seek employment at that time. You'll have to check to see if your school will allow you to graduate in less time. If they don't they may allow you to take a leave of absence until graduation, and then come back and graduate. I had students that I went to business school with do the same because they overloaded and use some of their time at work as independent study credit etc. Good luck with your decision...

User avatar
ec2xs
Posts: 346
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2009 12:05 am

Re: Law School in Less than 3 Years?

Postby ec2xs » Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:31 am

It's fairly common for Baylor students to do so. They run on a quarter system (I think), so you can do law school in 2.5 years if you take summer courses.

ArkansasFan
Posts: 44
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2007 9:39 pm

Re: Law School in Less than 3 Years?

Postby ArkansasFan » Wed Jan 20, 2010 8:09 pm

valley splitter wrote:This is a somewhat odd question but is it at all possible to finish law school in less than 3 years? The way I see it, if someone took enough summer units it is possible to complete 86 total units in five semesters, thereby finishing in December of the third year. I think it would be great to do this because, if allowed, someone could just chill for most of the following year until their firm decides to start them in the fall. Or is it possible that a firm might want that person to start earlier and gain almost a year of experience before the rest of your class joins.


At UALR you can. It happens.




Return to “Law School FAQ”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests