Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton was in Springfield, Ill., Wednesday where she sought to use the symbolism of a historic landmark to draw parallels to a present-day America that is in need of repairing deepening racial and cultural divides.

The Old State Capitol — where Abraham Lincoln delivered his famous "A house divided" speech in 1858 warning against the ills of slavery and where Barack Obama launched his presidential bid in 2007 — served as the backdrop for Clinton as she spoke of how "America's long struggle with race is far from finished."

Episode 711: Hooked on Heroin

1 hour ago

When we meet the heroin dealer called Bone, he has just shot up. He has a lot to say anyway. He tells us about his career--it pretty much tracks the evolution of drug use in America these past ten years or so. He tells us about his rough past. And he tells us about how he died a week ago. He overdosed on his own supply and his friend took his body to the emergency room, then left.

New British Prime Minister Theresa May announced six members of her Cabinet Wednesday.

Amid a sweeping crackdown on dissent in Egypt, security forces have forcibly disappeared hundreds of people since the beginning of 2015, according to a new report from Amnesty International.

It's an "unprecedented spike," the group says, with an average of three or four people disappeared every day.

The Republican Party, as it prepares for its convention next week has checked off item No. 1 on its housekeeping list — drafting a party platform. The document reflects the conservative views of its authors, many of whom are party activists. So don't look for any concessions to changing views among the broader public on key social issues.

Many public figures who took to Twitter and Facebook following the murder of five police officers in Dallas have faced public blowback and, in some cases, found their employers less than forgiving about inflammatory and sometimes hateful online comments.

As Venezuela unravels — with shortages of food and medicine, as well as runaway inflation — President Nicolas Maduro is increasingly unpopular. But he's still holding onto power.

"The truth in Venezuela is there is real hunger. We are hungry," says a man who has invited me into his house in the northwestern city of Maracaibo, but doesn't want his name used for fear of reprisals by the government.

The wiry man paces angrily as he speaks. It wasn't always this way, he says, showing how loose his pants are now.

Ask a typical teenage girl about the latest slang and girl crushes and you might get answers like "spilling the tea" and Taylor Swift. But at the Girl Up Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C., the answers were "intersectional feminism" — the idea that there's no one-size-fits-all definition of feminism — and U.N. climate chief Christiana Figueres.

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Arizona Hispanics Poised To Swing State Blue

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Should It Take 2 Or 3 Years To Earn A Law Degree?

Sep 18, 2013



Law students are looking for some changes to their education. The American Bar Association plans to issue a report in the next few weeks, recommending a major overhaul of how law schools operate. And students are hoping that a recent comment from President Obama, will boost one reform in particular: cutting law schools down to two years, from three.

NPR's Tovia Smith reports.

TOVIA SMITH, BYLINE: There is an old joke about law school - that in the first year, they scare you to death, in the second, they work you to death, and in the third, they bore you to death. Apparently, the president has heard that one.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Law schools would probably be wise to think about being two years instead of three years.

SMITH: President Obama, who has been on both sides of the lectern, says after two years, law students would be better off clerking or working in a firm, than spending another $30,000 or $40,000 on more classes.

OBAMA: This is probably controversial to say, but what the heck, I'm in my second term so I can say it.


SMITH: It's not hard to understand - that as much as students would be thrilled to see their tuition cut by a third, law schools would not appreciate the cut in revenues.

SAM ESTREICHER: I'm not very popular at the New York University School of Law.

SMITH: NYU law professor Sam Estreicher is one of those pushing hardest for law students to be allowed to finish school and take the bar exam after two years. It's not that he necessarily wants the third year to disappear...

ESTREICHER: Part of a strategy here is to light a fire under the law schools. I think once they realize that the third year of revenue is cut off because the state is not going to require it, they will have to redesign that third year to make it more relevant to what these students need.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: So now, escape of ferae naturae cuts off ownership....

SMITH: At Boston College, as elsewhere, first year students spend most their time in core requirements like this property class.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Mr. Tully, do you...

TULLY: Maybe he should have known that wasn't it.

SMITH: He knew or should have known...

But by their third year, students typically move on to electives like - the so-called law and classes - as in law and literature, women and film, or Catholic social thought. It's time - some say - that would be better spent getting real world practical experience.

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.

MICHAEL OLIVAS: I think that's half-baked. If we can't produce practice-ready lawyers after three years, how are we going to resist them after two years?

SMITH: The American Bar Association, that accredits U.S. law schools, has resisted the idea of a two-year program. ABA president Jim Silkenat says lopping off a year just to save money makes no sense.

JIM SILKENAT: It's like, you know, buying a suit, you have a better suit if you get both the coat and pants and not just the coat.

SMITH: Instead, Silkenat says students, already have the option of cramming three years of courses into two - they pay the same tuition, but they get to start earning sooner.

Another idea is to offer a quicker certification to become a kind of limited practitioner - kind of like a nurse practitioner.

BC Law School Dean Vincent Rougea agrees reforms are needed, but suddenly slashing to two years, he says, would be dangerous.

VINCENT ROUGEA: Is there fat in the system? Yes. There are things that we could change. But, you know, we don't to throw the baby out with bathwater. We don't want to - I mean, you know, you have a lot of things at stake.

SMITH: The idea gives even some students pause. BC's Jason Triplett says he'd love law school to be cheaper, but he says that might backfire on students trying to find already scarce legal jobs.

JASON TRIPLETT: I worry that making it more affordable will make it more attractive and then, then what do you have, an even more saturated field with no jobs.

SMITH: As one lawyer put it, lopping off a year of law school is such a radical idea - those who are making the case for it, are the ones who have the burden of proof.

Tovia Smith, NPR News, Boston. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.