On Friday fourteen lucky law students were sworn in to practice law in New Hampshire one day before graduating from law school. Franklin Pierce Law Center students complete a two year program that permits them to practice without sitting for a bar.
They are required to take extra courses for two years and have extensive training in the courtroom during that time as well. According to the director of the special program, John Garvey: “They’ve received the equivalent of being a second-year associate in a law firm when they graduate. It makes them more valuable to the employer. In a tough economy, having a law school graduate who is client-ready is a real advantage.”
Since most employers believe that law school graduates lack the skills to practice law, this might be the solution to the law school problem. With programs like this, the students are ready to practice, and don’t have to waste an additional $3500 on a bar review course and lose two months after graduation to study. For those of us who have to go solo, having had two years of training in courtrooms couldn’t hurt. Here’s hoping this idea will catch on.