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Is W&L Already Providing the 3L Experience of the Future?

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  • Is W&L Already Providing the 3L Experience of the Future?


    Whither the 3L year? Ten years hence are we all going to look back and wonder why it used to look so much like the 1L year? Are we going to marvel at the fact that it ever existed at all?

    An article in the Washington Post Friday perhaps provides a bit of evidence that the answer - to the first question at least - is yes.

    While many schools have changed tweaked formula for the 2L and 3L years of law school, Washington & Lee has pushed the envelope further. Writes the Post:
    Most members of Washington and Lee's Class of 2010 have abandoned the lecture hall to spend their final year of law school learning how law is practiced - including the mundanities of dressing for court and the intricacies of taking depositions and writing briefs on deadline.

    Students are working court cases from complaint to verdict, matching wits with opposing counsel, currying favor with judges and managing difficult clients, real and simulated.

    Fair enough. Of course, law schools have been offering practical clinics for decades. But few, if any, have gone the way of Washington & Lee and decided to completely overhaul the 3L year, an experiment that began this fall.

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