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5-Semester Option Saves Money, May Offer Jump on Jobs

Posted Feb 6, 2008 6:25 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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A new option of graduating from the University of Dayton School of Law after five semesters instead of the traditional six has definite benefits.

Although it requires students to work harder in order to finish six semesters of work in five (apparently supplemented by summer courses), the alternative offers tuition savings and a chance to graduate midyear, when there may be less competition for jobs, the school reports in a press release (PDF).

After five semesters of legal education, “A lot of law students at other schools that I’ve talked to felt they were wasting their time" during the sixth, says UD student Tommie Culpepper. “Plus, we aren’t competing for jobs with the big group that graduates in May. My guess is that employers will perceive someone who graduated in 2 or 2.5 years as more competent and motivated.”

Meanwhile, under the accelerated program, students still may participate in the UD's innovative "Lawyer as a Problem Solver" curriculum, which teaches practical legal skills in a specific practice area, notes the Flyer News, the university's independent newspaper.

The curriculum has won recognition for the law school from the Carnegie Foundation and a mention in a New York Times article about a trend at leading law schools towards greater emphasis on teaching practical legal skills.

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