One of the newest trends in legal education is the advent of two-year law programs. Several weeks ago, Northwestern University announced its plans to offer a compressed, five-semester program beginning in 2009. This accelerated track would require one summer of coursework and heavier course loads each term to complete the same number of credit hours as a traditional three-year program. The 2-year program will also save tuition dollars because the study will be completed in less time.
The program is designed to appeal to students eager to fast-track their legal careers and those with full-time, post-college job experience who cannot afford to be out of the workforce for a full three years.
Both the University of Dayton and Southwestern School of Law have accelerated J.D. programs. Since Northwestern is a top-tier law school, its two-year J.D. program may pave the way for similar programs in other law schools.