Northeastern University Law School requires students to work for 12 months over their three years. Professor Roger Abrams says it makes students much more ready to practice than even he was.

ROGER ABRAMS: The first time I saw a deposition was the first deposition that I took as lawyer. Whereas, my students will be sitting in on depositions and maybe helping prepare them.

SMITH: Students also need a third year to develop some expertise once they’ve decided whether they want to be, for example, a corporate, or family or trial lawyer, says University of Houston law professor Michael Olivas, and you can’t do all that, he says, in two years.