Rather than completely removing the third year completely or making it "experiential in nature" a la Washington and Lee University School of Law, it looks like Northwestern is condensing three years of study into two years.
News reports indicate that Northwestern is following in the footsteps of the two year program at University of Dayton School of Law, which has been in existence for a few years now. It looks like both schools jam 18 units down your throat each semester. I don't have to tell you that this is a ton of work. First year students at UC Hastings are never allowed to enroll in more than 17 units, while second and third year students must demonstrate extraordinary circumstances for enrolling in more than 17 units (§§ 301-02).
It takes a while to acclimate to the law school environment and lumping on extra units might be too much for some to handle for some. Even those that can handle the workload are not going to have enough time to have legal concepts marinate for as long as their three year J.D. counterparts.
Still, for those that breeze through the three year law school curriculum (and I'm sure they're out there), adding another class each semester sounds like a great opportunity to make swift work of academics so they can move on with their careers. I doubt the 2 year program will work for the majority of students, but it's refreshing to see law schools take a proactive step and tweak their curriculum for a specific group of students.