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Brooklyn Law School Creates the First Accelerated 2-Year J.D. Program in New York Metro Area

Last night the Board of Trustees of Brooklyn Law School (BLS) approved an accelerated 2-year J.D. program beginning in summer 2014. With the creation of the program, BLS will be able to offer a range of flexible 2-, 2.5-, 3-, 3.5- or 4-year options--called "Brooklyn 2-3-4"--to adapt to prospective students' needs. Brooklyn Law School is the first in the New York metropolitan area to enable students to earn a J.D. in 2 years.

The new 2-year offering is designed for select students seeking a rigorous legal education in an abbreviated timeframe. Candidates interested in this type of program might be, for example: 1) mid-life or mid-career professionals, including CPAs, MBA graduates, or those from academia desiring legal credentials and a new start; 2) foreign-trained lawyers with strong English-language proficiency; 3) individuals with established career plans following law school; or, 4) adults who seek to reenter the workforce. Highly qualified students with a demonstrated ability to handle a challenging work load will also be encouraged to apply for this opportunity. The accelerated J.D. involves the same amount of work as the current part-time or full-time program, but in 24 months.

"We have listened to and carefully considered the concerns about the legal education system," said Dean Nick Allard, who assumed leadership at Brooklyn Law School this past July. "The Brooklyn 2-3-4 program is one of several sound and deliberate new measures underway at BLS to make certain that law school education is meaningful and serves our students well. We worked hard to ensure that the 2-year program is fully compliant with the American Bar Association rules and other applicable requirements. I am grateful for the willingness and enthusiasm of our faculty to find a bold alternative that opens new doors for students who might otherwise not consider law school."

"Our institution has always been an agent of change," said Stuart Subotnick, Chair of the Brooklyn Law School Board of Trustees. "We were among the first in the nation to welcome women and minorities, our clinical education program began long before other law schools saw the value in experiential learning, and our Edward V. Sparer Public Interest Law Fellowship Program initiated public interest opportunities more than 25 years ago, before it was fashionable to do so. Innovation is in our law school's lifeblood and the DNA of Brooklyn's exciting, rising community. Brooklyn 2-3-4 is the 21st century academic extension of this pioneering tradition. We have always created genuine advancements, not educational fads. The accelerated J.D. will give ambitious, talented, and hardworking students an edge in entering the marketplace sooner."

The decision follows a careful, year-long planning and review process about how best to address the changing legal education landscape. In Dean Allard's first meeting with the BLS Board, he was charged with finding ways to provide a first-rate education that better met the needs of students, including determining whether a 2-year alternative was feasible, desirable, and advisable.

A task force of faculty and deans was immediately established, including Dean of Admissions & Financial Aid Henry W. Haverstick III, a leader at BLS for 40 years. Following the plan's consideration and approval by the Faculty Curriculum Committee, the full faculty voted unanimously in April to approve an accelerated J.D. program. The Board's subsequent and unanimous approval allows the 2-year program to begin in summer 2014, and students who enroll in the existing full-time or part-time programs in the fall of 2013 will be able to take advantage of the Law School's flexible options after completing their first year.

"Creating and designing our new accelerated program was not an easy process," said Dean Allard, whose career in private practice and government spanned 30 years. "It has benefited every step of the way by the input of faculty and other constituencies. The accelerated J.D. follows many recent innovations at BLS: our Washington, D.C. semester immersion program, Business Boot Camp over intersession break, and the upcoming 2-year fellowship in practice program for third-year students. Because the accelerated J.D. is among the first of its kind and the very first in New York, we expect to draw a new cross-section of students that complements the traditional demographics of our full- and part-time student body." Dean Allard noted that the program will be extremely demanding and not for every student, but for certain applicants, it presents an extraordinary new option.

For more information about the program, visit https://www.brooklaw.edu/newsandevents/news/2013/~/media/41D2208C5ED941009C3DBC16BFC5C946.ashx

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