George Leef points us to a debate about the future of law schools. He argues "that the bar exam should be open to anyone, not just those who have graduated from an ABA-accredited law school. That would lead to far more competition by opening up non-law-school modes of legal education."
If the purpose of the bar exam is to make sure that would-be lawyers know enough to practice, why is law school necessary?
His point about allowing for diversity among law schools is also well taken. Why must they all follow the three year model?
Opening the bar exam might have interesting reprecussions. Would a smart student at Harvard Law school who feels the financial burden of tuition (and perhaps is simply bored with school), quit after a year or two and then take the bar. He could say he "attended" Harvard Law school, albeit without graduating. That might be something of a return to the thrilling days of yesteryear, when many students at elite schools regarded them partly as finishing schools, rather than as places for specialized learning. In that model, taking a degree was not always necessary.
The consequences of such a change on the fortunes of our friends the law professoriat would be intereseting, to say the least.