And now for a statement against interest.
The National Law Journal reports that New York is considering whether to allow students to sit for the bar after two years of school. That idea has been kicking around for about 30 years. It's a good idea and I hope New York adopts it. Not because the third year always costs more than the benefits it produces, but because it may, depending on the circumstances. Schools and students should be allowed to experiment with structures that make legal education more efficient.
The article quotes one professor as saying that "It's unlikely that the way to prepare our students for a toughened competition, global and otherwise, is to assure they are less fully educated than their predecessors of the past 75 years." Objection: Assumes facts. Even apart from the questionable notion that the third year is better preparation for rigorous competition than any conceivable alternative structure, no one is proposing that a third year be forbidden, and demand presumably will reflect the value of that year at least as well as statements by those of us who are selling it.