CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Harvard Law School has announced that they are starting a less prestigious program for students who wish to enter the field of law without going through all the hassle of getting a law degree called “I’m Not a Lawyer, But.”
“Getting a law degree can be an incredibly difficult and time consuming process that not everyone has access to. But that doesn’t mean that people unable to complete the Harvard law program shouldn’t be allowed to confidently comment on legal situations in people’s personal lives and in the news. That’s where the ‘I’m Not a Lawyer, But’ program comes into play,” explained Harvard Law School dean John F. Manning. “Everybody should have the opportunity to feel like they’re a lawyer even if they’re not. We’re very excited to open up this program to anyone who feels passionately about commenting on law and has a lot of money they’re willing to give us. I think it’s a great step forward for the law community.”
Harvard has already accepted a group of students to the new program and, according to those close to the situation, the students are buzzing with excitement.
“Truthfully, I’ve always loved saying ‘I’m not a lawyer, but’ in conversations about the law. Now I’m excited I can point to an actual degree on my wall when my friends push back against it,” said future non-lawyer Murphy Stanton. “I’m really interested in starting my own not-a-law firm and helping those who need an opinion on a legal matter, but not from someone who is necessarily a lawyer, but from someone who actually knows a good amount about the law, anyway.”
According to Manning, the program’s curriculum has already been mostly written.
“The ‘I’m Not a Lawyer, But’ program will be easier to complete than the normal law program, but that isn’t to say it’s going to be easy. We have an extensive syllabus for students ready that requires them to listen to several podcasts from lawyers, skim articles about legal issues in the news, and write tweet threads about major Supreme Court decisions,” Manning said. “There will not be a bar exam that students are required to pass, but we have designed a dissertation system in which students will need to improvise an argument about a legal story in front of a panel of non-lawyers, who will then judge if the student sounded convincing.”
“I just wanted to send the elevator back down, you know?” Manning added. “I started my career long, long ago with a prestigious, ‘I’m Not a Teacher, But’ program.”