Some law schools--like the University of Miami School of Law--asked their 2009 accepted students to defer a year before matriculating so that they would be fully prepared for the rigors of law school and completely confident in their decision to pursue a JD. On Friday, Pace Law School did the opposite: it announced a new accelerated, two-and-a-half-year JD program starting in January. Students who apply in mid November 2009 will start 1L in January 2010 and graduate in May 2012. Says the press release:
"Assistant Dean for Admissions Cathy Alexander said that recruiting this new entering class will be timely given the increased interest of May graduates deciding to pursue legal studies late in their senior year, due to the tough job market. Late LSAT preparation may have caused these seniors to have missed application deadlines for the fall 2009 class. 'We also receive several inquiries from December graduates and others in the Westchester area who seek spring admission,' added Alexander."
While I understand that an accelerated JD program may ease the financial burden of law school, students in the accelerated program will probably have a hard time paying off what loans they do have when they graduate in 2012. Moreover, Pace Law's new program and Dean Alexander's words almost sound as though they are just cashing in on those recent college grads freaking out about the economy. Getting them before they can read any more about how unwelcoming the job market is fairing for lawyers.
Then again, if you're applying to law school this fall and then twiddling your thumbs until August 2010, a January start might be just the thing to get your career on track. Plus, the summer session before second year will certainly ease some stress of trying to find a summer internship.
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