The argu­ment that law school should be two years instead of three isn’t new. But the idea got renewed promi­nence last month, when Pres­i­dent Obama said this on a stop at Bing­hamton Uni­ver­sity in New York during his col­lege afford­ability bus tour: “Law schools would prob­ably be wise to think about being two years instead of three years. In the first two years young people are learning in the class­room. The third year they’d be better off clerking or prac­ticing at a firm even if they weren’t get­ting paid that much. But that step alone would reduce the cost for the student.”

This from a man who’s a lawyer him­self, and prob­ably the most promi­nent grad­uate of Har­vard Law School. Rethinking the third year of law school is only one idea for how to inno­vate in the legal pro­fes­sion. North­eastern Uni­ver­sity, for example, just launched the NuLawLab, a legal inno­va­tion lab­o­ra­tory. And Suf­folk Uni­ver­sity has a new Insti­tute on Law Prac­tice Tech­nology and Inno­va­tion. So we detect a theme here.

WBUR’s Sacha Pfeiffer talks with legal inno­va­tors about what’s wrong with the teaching and prac­tice of law, and how 21st cen­tury thinking and tech­nology could help fix it.

Radio Boston lis­teners, if you went to law school, tell us how the legal edu­ca­tion system could be trans­formed. If you thought your third year was unnec­es­sary, tell us why. Let us know how you think law schools could teach stu­dents better. And if you’re a prac­ticing lawyer, or an ex-​​practicing lawyer, tell us what you think is wrong with the legal pro­fes­sion and how it can be improved.


Adam Ziegler, attorney, orga­nizer of the Boston Legal Inno­va­tion Meetup, and co-​​founder of Mootus, a web­site that helps lawyers save, share and re-​​use legal knowledge

Luke Bierman, law pro­fessor at North­eastern Uni­ver­sity, Asso­ciate Dean for Expe­ri­en­tial Edu­ca­tion and fac­ulty director of the school’s new inno­va­tion lab­o­ra­tory, called the NuLawLab

Scott Kirsner, Inno­va­tion Economy colum­nist for the Boston Globe

Read the article at WBUR →