Law School Discussion

Law Students => Online Law Schools => Topic started by: jacktrader38 on November 28, 2009, 09:04:38 AM

Title: Online Law Grad Denied Admission in Georgia...
Post by: jacktrader38 on November 28, 2009, 09:04:38 AM
As two of the original 13 colonies that rose up against British rule in the United States, Georgia and Massachusetts share common legal roots. But in addressing the current-day question of bar admission for graduates of online law schools, they have come down on opposite sides.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court of Georgia issued a ruling that a 2009 graduate of the online law school Northwestern California University School of Law is not eligible for bar admission in that state. A year ago -- almost to the day -- the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court reached the opposite result, deciding that a graduate of the wholly online Concord Law School would be allowed to take the Massachusetts bar examination.

In both cases, the applicants sought waiver of the requirement that they be graduates of an ABA-accredited law school. In the earlier Massachusetts case, the SJC emphasized that its decision in favor of applicant Ross E. Mitchell was confined to the unique circumstances of his case. Mitchell had already been admitted to practice both in California and before the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, had a stellar academic record and was valedictorian of his class, had scored well on the California bar exam and on the MPRE, and, through his representation of himself in his admission case, had provided a "positive illustration of his skills."

The applicant in the Georgia case, Joyce K. Batterson, bears some parallels to Mitchell in her prior achievements. In addition to graduating from NWCU in July 2009, she completed her master of laws degree that same month from a second online law school, Thomas Jefferson School of Law. While NWCU is unaccredited (except in California), TJSL's LL.M. program is accredited by the ABA. Batterson had passed California's bar exam for first-year law students in 2004 and the MPRE in 2006. She is a nationally certified paralegal who has been employed as a legal assistant and paralegal since 1990.

Ironically, it was neither accreditation nor qualifications that lost Batterson her bid for bar admission in Georgia. It was paperwork. The Supreme Court said it would consider waiving the accreditation requirement "for good cause shown by clear and convincing evidence." That evidence would have to include proof that the non-accredited school provided a legal education on par with that of an accredited school. The Board of Bar Examiners had told Batterson that she could establish that equivalency by providing a letter from the dean or the dean's designee at an ABA-approved law school providing an analysis of her legal education.

She provided a letter from the dean of her non-accredited school and letters from an associate dean at the accredited TJSL program. While the TJSL letters praised Batterson, they "contained only general conclusions" about the quality of her legal education, the Supreme Court said. For this reason, it affirmed the board's denial of her application. "Batterson's petition was denied because she did not provide what the Board expressly required," the court said.

As for Concord grad Ross Mitchell, he went on to pass the bar exam and, in June, to become the first online law school graduate to be admitted to the Massachusetts bar. Perhaps Batterson should consider a career in this other original colony.

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on November 24, 2009 at 12:00 PM
Title: Re: Online Law Grad Denied Admission in Georgia...
Post by: jacktrader38 on November 28, 2009, 09:10:41 AM
Unfortunately, it appears if the petitioner would have just listened to the courts and/or read the criteria to become admitted she would have had a very fair chance of being allowed to sit for the bar.

Further, this would have been interesting as nowhere does it say she is actually admitted to practice in CA. In the case of Ross Mandell V MBE(?), he had passed both the FYLSE and the CBX on his first attempt and I remember one of the Justices' actually acknowledging the known difficulty of the CBX.

It just seems ridiculous to make it this far in a fight and be denied based on the fact that you didn't answer a basic question the court was asking.
Title: Re: Online Law Grad Denied Admission in Georgia...
Post by: Ninja1 on November 29, 2009, 11:17:53 PM
Unfortunately, it appears if the petitioner would have just listened to the courts and/or read the criteria to become admitted she would have had a very fair chance of being allowed to sit for the bar.

Further, this would have been interesting as nowhere does it say she is actually admitted to practice in CA. In the case of Ross Mandell V MBE(?), he had passed both the FYLSE and the CBX on his first attempt and I remember one of the Justices' actually acknowledging the known difficulty of the CBX.

It just seems ridiculous to make it this far in a fight and be denied based on the fact that you didn't answer a basic question the court was asking.

Good. Online grads shouldn't be admitted anywhere.

Who cares if MA is allowing it? They do all kinds of strange things with their laws (not LA bad, but still a bit different), god forbid most of the other 49 (well, probably more like 45) not follow MA's lead. GA shouldn't be bound to anything just because one of the other states made a poor decision, in fact, they're not. And what does GA and MA being two of the original states have to do with anything? There are no special "First 13" laws, so why does that matter at all?

And this, "it just seems ridiculous to make it this far in a fight and be denied based on the fact that you didn't answer a basic question the court was asking", how could you have a problem with that? The person in question could not follow BASIC instructions. If they can't do that right, why should they be allowed to practice law in GA? If they can't follow a basic instruction from the court, how can they be expected to practice law? The GA Supreme Court told them what to do, they failed, and now they have to eat the consequences of not following a very simple instruction. How is that at all a problem? If I fail to follow the basic rule of not robbing banks, do I have a case based on that I didn't follow that one simple rule (too extreme, I know, but I feel like it's a logical conclusion of the line of thought expressed in the thread so far)? This person isn't trying to be a fry cook, they're trying to practice law. When they fail to follow basic rules in the legal profession, they're going to end up f-ing people out of time, money, and legitimate claims on account of their own malpractice. People like this should be screened out ASAP.
Title: Re: Online Law Grad Denied Admission in Georgia...
Post by: jacktrader38 on November 30, 2009, 02:25:34 PM
RE: And this, "it just seems ridiculous to make it this far in a fight and be denied based on the fact that you didn't answer a basic question the court was asking", how could you have a problem with that?

No, problem here. I was just stating that I thought this lady was ridiculous... Not the ruling or the law.

I agree w/ much of what you have said and would have liked to see this lady furnish the court with what it required, then I could see how they rule on her merits (ie:her schooling). Although one could argue she has indicated her merits in her poor compliance w/ the court.

As a correspondence student myself, I don't believe many online/distance students should be able to take the bar anywhere let alone GA or MA, (2) states I could care less about.
Title: Re: Online Law Grad Denied Admission in Georgia...
Post by: MCB on November 30, 2009, 03:36:46 PM
Thomas Jefferson isn't an online law school.  Unless its LLM program is online only or something?...
Title: Re: Online Law Grad Denied Admission in Georgia...
Post by: Ninja1 on December 01, 2009, 12:38:24 AM
RE: And this, "it just seems ridiculous to make it this far in a fight and be denied based on the fact that you didn't answer a basic question the court was asking", how could you have a problem with that?

No, problem here. I was just stating that I thought this lady was ridiculous... Not the ruling or the law.

I agree w/ much of what you have said and would have liked to see this lady furnish the court with what it required, then I could see how they rule on her merits (ie:her schooling). Although one could argue she has indicated her merits in her poor compliance w/ the court.

As a correspondence student myself, I don't believe many online/distance students should be able to take the bar anywhere let alone GA or MA, (2) states I could care less about.

Ah, gotcha. Fair enough. Good luck.
Title: Re: Online Law Grad Denied Admission in Georgia...
Post by: gallagheria on December 11, 2009, 04:26:01 PM
The Georgia Supreme Court makes it clear that she could have been admitted had she followed the required procedure. Georgia had a state-only accredited school until recently (John Marshall, which is now ABA), and there is still a process to file if you graduate from a non-ABA school. As long as you can establish that your school is on par with ABA schools, then you can be admitted. Some schools have been around for nearly 100 years and have never applied for ABA accreditation, but have produced judges, law professors, politicians, lawyers, etc. Georgia, as well as some other states, is aware of this and thus allows the exception to ABA-only alumni.

Back to the topic, this case had nothing to do with her education. It had to do with her not following the rules.   
Title: Re: Online Law Grad Denied Admission in Georgia...
Post by: c22brown on December 15, 2009, 08:44:01 PM
Maybe Mrs Batterson should have hired an attorney?
Title: Re: Online Law Grad Denied Admission in Georgia...
Post by: gallagheria on December 16, 2009, 12:45:12 AM
Maybe Mrs Batterson should have hired an attorney?
Well, in a way she did. She is already an attorney licensed in CA. She was trying to do what the other guy did in Massachusetts. Her only problem is that she screwed up by not following the rules. as i posted above, Georgia allows non-ABA grads to practice law. They just have to apply differently. She screwed up on her application and didn't provide all the required information. then she thought she could appeal it like the guy in Massachusetts did. The only difference is that the attorney in Massachusetts followed the rules and was finally admitted to the bar. This lady did not follow the rules.

So there is no comparison about one state allowing the distance education alum to sit and the other not. 
Title: Re: Online Law Grad Denied Admission in Georgia...
Post by: jacktrader38 on December 16, 2009, 02:54:40 PM
Nowhere did I see any indication that she passed the CBX, only the Baby Bar. Maybe she did pass the general, but I doubt it based on what I have read.
Title: Re: Online Law Grad Denied Admission in Georgia...
Post by: gallagheria on December 17, 2009, 06:57:28 PM
Nowhere did I see any indication that she passed the CBX, only the Baby Bar. Maybe she did pass the general, but I doubt it based on what I have read.
You are right. I misread where it stated "California's bar exam for first-year law students" and the MPRE. I looked up the actual case and it also does not state she had passed the bar.
Title: Re: Online Law Grad Denied Admission in Georgia...
Post by: cu014628 on April 05, 2010, 10:56:12 PM
1. TJSL LLM is an on-line program.
2. I can see both arguements for ABA vs. non-ABA -- but if you are able to pass the bar, then it would appear that you have the minimum skills to practice law.
Title: Re: Online Law Grad Denied Admission in Georgia...
Post by: calvinexpress on May 30, 2010, 07:21:32 PM
So can she appeal it to the U.S. Supreme Court?

If one of these online law school grads ever take it to the Supreme Court and win, then ALL the bars in every state would have to allow online grads to sit for the bar in any state.
I wonder how many other online grads petitioned their decisions to their stat bar and won/ lost.
Title: Re: Online Law Grad Denied Admission in Georgia...
Post by: calvinexpress on May 31, 2010, 02:04:41 AM
What if they let her take it, and she failed?  :(
That would be embarrassing.
Title: Re: Online Law Grad Denied Admission in Georgia...
Post by: cooleylawstudent on May 31, 2010, 08:05:51 PM
I think online grads should be allowed in all states as long as they first pass the CA bar and practice for a year and then can pass the bar of the state in question.

Not saying she did any of that, just my thoughts for people in general.
Title: Re: Online Law Grad Denied Admission in Georgia...
Post by: sonofapickle on May 31, 2010, 08:18:56 PM
Quote
Good. Online grads shouldn't be admitted anywhere.

I agree wholly.
Title: Re: Online Law Grad Denied Admission in Georgia...
Post by: calvinexpress on May 31, 2010, 10:31:43 PM
An online law school graduate can take the bar in most states if they pass any other bar such as the California bar and practice for a certain amount of years. You don't have to be a graduate from an accredited law school. Each state is different. Some states require you to practice for only 3 years, others require 5 years, etc... See the National bar counsel's website for each states requirement. http://www.ncbex.org/fileadmin/mediafiles/downloads/Comp_Guide/CompGuide_2010.pdf

Title: Re: Online Law Grad Denied Admission in Georgia...
Post by: calvinexpress on June 06, 2010, 02:57:53 PM
They wouldn't allow her to take the Georgia state bar because she went to a terrible law school. Northwestern California University School of Law treats students poorly. The admissions guy named "Nick" told me that we woud rather kill himself instead of going to law school to be a lawyer. Nick then went on to tell me that he is too busy to send me demo of their lectures. This is the only law school that doesn't have online demo's to show prospective students. He was rude. I tried to discuss Nicks negative conduct with the Dean of the school Michael Clancey. Clancey was just as negative and rude as Nick. They defended one another. I think Dean Michael Clancey and Nick of the Northwestern California University School of Law are gay lovers. I never seen two men stick up for each other like that. It was weird.

If she would have graduated from an online law school with a good reputatin, then they probably would have allowed her to take the Georgia bar.
Title: Re: Online Law Grad Denied Admission in Georgia...
Post by: jacktrader38 on June 08, 2010, 05:03:00 PM
They wouldn't allow her to take the Georgia state bar because she went to a terrible law school. Northwestern California University School of Law treats students poorly. The admissions guy named "Nick" told me that we woud rather kill himself instead of going to law school to be a lawyer. Nick then went on to tell me that he is too busy to send me demo of their lectures. This is the only law school that doesn't have online demo's to show prospective students. He was rude. I tried to discuss Nicks negative conduct with the Dean of the school Michael Clancey. Clancey was just as negative and rude as Nick. They defended one another. I think Dean Michael Clancey and Nick of the Northwestern California University School of Law are gay lovers. I never seen two men stick up for each other like that. It was weird.

If she would have graduated from an online law school with a good reputatin, then they probably would have allowed her to take the Georgia bar.


Ridiculous... I go to NWCU and while I rarely deal w/ anyone other than professors, I have dealt w/ both gentlemen you have mentioned. Nick was VERY helpful to me and answered many of the questions I had. The school has gone above and beyond to make sure that if any student needs/wants more help or work they will provide it. They have workshops and mock bar reviews that have proven to be very helpful to me. I just passed the most recent FYLSX (1st attempt).

While I can understand your frustration... Your response is ignorant and immature. Which leads myself (and I am sure others) to assume that NWCU may not be the ones that are "weird"... JMHO.

Further, it is very unlikely that SCOTUS would hear a case like this, and the reputation of NWCU, based on bar passage rates and longevity, is higher than most... if not all other DE schools.
Title: Re: Online Law Grad Denied Admission in Georgia...
Post by: cooleylawstudent on June 09, 2010, 08:28:43 PM
Screw it, go to SCUPS.

Plus, yeah dude we know you're talking about yourself in the third person. It is so tiresome to have school recruiters pretend to be students on this board. Yeah, I see you..... :-X
Title: Re: Online Law Grad Denied Admission in Georgia...
Post by: Julie Fern on June 10, 2010, 05:22:46 AM
numbnuts.
Title: Re: Online Law Grad Denied Admission in Georgia...
Post by: VegasJD on June 28, 2010, 05:14:10 PM
Could you imagine if every ABA graduate were assessed on the same level as Mitchell was in Mass? How many would not be allowed to take the bar in their state? Either say the education is good or not, but to say it really depends on your grades, your participation in extracurricular, how quickly passed the bar, shows a complete discord.
Title: Re: Online Law Grad Denied Admission in Georgia...
Post by: cooleylawstudent on June 28, 2010, 07:28:23 PM
The ABA is just in the business of keeping itself in business is all. Once you realise that, the rest makes sense.

Could you imagine if every ABA graduate were assessed on the same level as Mitchell was in Mass? How many would not be allowed to take the bar in their state? Either say the education is good or not, but to say it really depends on your grades, your participation in extracurricular, how quickly passed the bar, shows a complete discord.
Title: Re: Online Law Grad Denied Admission in Georgia...
Post by: binaful on July 19, 2010, 07:53:58 AM
If she couldn't follow the directions provided by the Bar, it's a good thing she wasn't admitted. 
Title: Re: Online Law Grad Denied Admission in Georgia...
Post by: jacktrader38 on July 20, 2010, 04:51:27 PM
Screw it, go to SCUPS.

Plus, yeah dude we know you're talking about yourself in the third person. It is so tiresome to have school recruiters pretend to be students on this board. Yeah, I see you..... :-X

Third person, recruiter...? Another Cooley feminine hygiene product.
Title: Re: Online Law Grad Denied Admission in Georgia...
Post by: MarkB12 on January 10, 2013, 06:21:25 AM

Good. Online grads shouldn't be admitted anywhere.

Fortunately, but with exception, the law says differently. I sincerely hope you're not an Attorney, because that kind of snobbish dinosaur thinking is exactly what needs to die out of the legal profession, and quite frankly the world in general.

I hold a law degree from Harvard and a law degree from an online law school (Concord). The online law school program I undertook had its share of issues, but none of them had to do with it being an online program, and many of those issues were also experienced while I was at Harvard. No method is perfect; both methods have a number of pros that make each a viable method, and both share a number of similar cons. But without ever studying in an online program, you would have no real experience with its contrasts and comparisons.

Every law school is using practically the same materials and course set-up whether its online or brick-and-mortar (and that actually applies to all fields of study, not just legal). The only people who don't know that are people who've never been involved in online education and therefore have no business speaking on the matter.

The concepts of common sense and general fairness provide the following understanding: If you pass all of the same prerequisites as students of other educational methods, you should have the opportunity to sit for the bar exam. If you pass the bar exam then no one should question you since passing the bar exam is the requisite measure to becoming a practicing Attorney no matter where or how you earned your law degree, end of story. Any other view on it is simply mired in snobbery and obsolete thinking that is slowly dying, but thankfully dying as it should.

Education is not about name brands and isolation to singular methods; that thinking comes from the small-mindedness of elitist nitwits who wish to continue living in their plastic, lifeless, just-so worlds. Education is about learning, and then having the opportunity to demonstrate ability gained from learning. How both of those things happen can happen in many ways, not just sitting in an overpriced building.

To sum up, when you make absurd, backward-thinking comments like the one I quoted above, you do so without realizing that you're actually against the very concept of what education is supposed to be about. Nevertheless, I'm afraid that my indicating it to you will fall on deaf cement-filled ears since old ways of thinking die hard, and with that oldness comes a greater inability to hear...

P.S. Yes, I realize the comment I'm replying to is over 3 years old, but if I just read it now then how many others will newly read it without having a fair and balanced perspective on the matter? Fairness and balance is what my reply is providing. Thank you.
Title: Re: Online Law Grad Denied Admission in Georgia...
Post by: legalpractitioner on January 10, 2013, 11:19:32 AM
Except for California, online grads really do not have the right to be initially admitted anywhere in the US.  It has nothing do with ability as you note but everything to with the ABA stranglehold on law school standards. On the other hand England, makes little or no distinction between and online and traditional law degrees. The difference here is the ABA which is a malignant cancer on the practice of law.  We are well into the digital age but the idiots at the state bars and ABA seem unable to come up with simply multi state rules.