Facing sustained, strong headwinds on the employment and education landscapes, a new Kaplan Test Prep survey of nearly 1,400 pre-law students finds that tomorrow’s attorneys support a two-year law school program and more clinical experience in the curriculum. Among the findings:
- A Shorter Law School Model: President Barack Obama has strong support among the pre-law student community for a suggestion he made last summer: that law schools should move to a two-year model from its current three-year model. Fifty-eight percent of those surveyed favor a shorter program -- which would potentially save law school students tens of thousands of dollars in tuition. Our take: don’t look for this to happen any time soon. This 58% figure resembles the 63% of recent law school graduates who also answered this way in a Kaplan survey on the issue taken in August 2013.
- More Clinics: The verdict is nearly unanimous -- 97% of pre-law students say they favor a law school model that incorporates clinical experience, which is designed to make students more practice-ready. While the first year of law school is similarly structured at every law school, featuring courses on the basics of law, the second and third years are largely spent taking electives or participating in other for-credit programs. The good news for students is that according to Kaplan’s 2013 survey of law school admissions officers, 71% of JD programs are introducing more clinical courses and practical training into their curricula.
- Sense of Purpose: 58% say their primary reason for attending law school is a desire to practice law; 11% say that their primary reason is to make a career change. Other answers include to improve salary potential (7%) and to pursue a career in politics (7%).
www.kaptest.com) is a premier provider of educational and career services for individuals, schools and businesses. Established in 1938, Kaplan is the world leader in the test prep industry. With a comprehensive menu of online offerings as well as a complete array of print books and digital products, Kaplan offers preparation for more than 90 standardized tests, including entrance exams for secondary school, college and graduate school, as well as professional licensing exams for attorneys, physicians and nurses. Kaplan also provides private tutoring and graduate admissions consulting services. Note to editors: Kaplan is a subsidiary of The Graham Holdings Company (NYSE:GHC)