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In Sandy's Wake, Law Students Must Make Up Class Time

By Deanne Katz, Esq. on November 07, 2012 4:47 AM

Sitting through class in law school can often be tedious. But for students in New York affected by Hurricane Sandy, those make-up classes are going to be even more painful.

Like any good dictatorial leader, the American Bar Association mandates down to the minute how much time students must spend in class if a law school wants to keep its accreditation. Without accreditation, a school's graduates can't sit for the bar exam in many states, among other disadvantages.

During the hurricane and in the days following, many New York City law schools cancelled their classes. That means under ABA rules, they won't be able to continue at the same pace.

It's unclear whether the schools have asked the ABA for a waiver of their minimum requirements, given the extenuating circumstances. But a letter from administrators of NYU Law School indicates the request would fall on deaf ears, according to Above The Law's Elie Mystal.

To meet the classroom-time requirements, NYU is lengthening its school day: Classes that used to be held from 9 a.m. to 7:50 p.m. will now be held from 8:30 a.m. to 9:45 p.m. It's officially going to be 12+ hour days for some particularly unlucky students until the end of the semester.

While schools could apply for a waiver, it seems that if the ABA were interested in granting one, they could have issued it pre-emptively -- unless they didn't know about the disaster in NYC, because that's completely reasonable. It's not as if it made national news or anything.

NYU won't be the only school that has to juggle its class schedule to meet the ABA's requirements. Rutgers will apparently be having finals right up until Christmas, and New York Law School may hold classes seven days a week, according to Constitutional Daily.

We are pretty confident about at least one thing: Cramming all those extra classes into a shorter period of time is probably not going to result in extra learning.

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