Law School Discussion

Law Students => Online Law Schools => Topic started by: smac854 on February 02, 2012, 11:04:48 AM

Title: Is getting a law degree worth it if you work in a government agency?
Post by: smac854 on February 02, 2012, 11:04:48 AM
I currently work for a government agency and work a lot with state lawmakers where a lot of my job is involved in determining government policy based on the legislation that is passed by the state government. Would getting a law degree be worth it to help enhance my skill set in this field? I have no interest in practicing but think that the degree would help me with the regulatory side of legislation. I already have an MBA and am wondering if a law degree would help me the government work that I do or would a non-bar JD help.
Title: Re: Is getting a law degree worth it if you work in a government agency?
Post by: legalpractitioner on February 02, 2012, 04:11:27 PM
Waste of time and money, non bar law degrees are a joke IMO.
Title: Re: Is getting a law degree worth it if you work in a government agency?
Post by: LincolnLover on February 02, 2012, 06:42:49 PM
Whatever the specific field is that your agency is in, get a PhD in that.
Title: Re: Is getting a law degree worth it if you work in a government agency?
Post by: legalpractitioner on February 02, 2012, 10:03:26 PM
A PhD is not what you need, that is more an academic degree. A Masters in Legal Studies can be obtained from an accredited online school like Kaplan University if you think you need training in the law. An unaccredited JD however will just empty your wallet and be viewed with suspicion.
Title: Re: Is getting a law degree worth it if you work in a government agency?
Post by: MissMelissRoths03 on February 03, 2012, 10:29:27 AM
I agree with jonlevy. You should receive an accredited degree even if it just a masters. A degree without accreditation will not get you anywhere. It will waste your money and you won't be any better of than you were before.
Title: Re: Is getting a law degree worth it if you work in a government agency?
Post by: LincolnLover on February 03, 2012, 06:45:28 PM
By "nonbar" JD she probably means "accredited" but the "executive JD" idea. Jon's example school (and others) I believe off that. I believe what she wants to know is if such an accredited nonbar JD would help her and be worth her time/money to get?

I agree with jonlevy. You should receive an accredited degree even if it just a masters. A degree without accreditation will not get you anywhere. It will waste your money and you won't be any better of than you were before.
Title: Re: Is getting a law degree worth it if you work in a government agency?
Post by: legalpractitioner on February 03, 2012, 09:05:43 PM
An executive JD in my opinion is suspect. While Taft and Concord offer EJDs, I would question if those are actually regionally accredited degrees, the Taft one is for sure not.  And real attorneys will laugh their asses off at you when your back is turned.
Title: Re: Is getting a law degree worth it if you work in a government agency?
Post by: LincolnLover on February 04, 2012, 02:51:36 PM
Yes but in a non "real attorney" job (govt) like she stated, would it be at least better than no additional degree at all?

An executive JD in my opinion is suspect. While Taft and Concord offer EJDs, I would question if those are actually regionally accredited degrees, the Taft one is for sure not.  And real attorneys will laugh their asses off at you when your back is turned.
Title: Re: Is getting a law degree worth it if you work in a government agency?
Post by: legalpractitioner on February 04, 2012, 07:55:32 PM
Not if you had to work with "real" attorneys.  You would be viewed as some sort of charlatan.
Title: Re: Is getting a law degree worth it if you work in a government agency?
Post by: LincolnLover on February 05, 2012, 09:45:51 AM
By that theory wouldn't most ABA grads view online grads the same way anyways?

Not if you had to work with "real" attorneys.  You would be viewed as some sort of charlatan.
Title: Re: Is getting a law degree worth it if you work in a government agency?
Post by: legalpractitioner on February 05, 2012, 07:10:04 PM
They can sneer behind your back or villify you anonymously but you would still be a licensed attorney the same as they are.
Title: Re: Is getting a law degree worth it if you work in a government agency?
Post by: LincolnLover on February 06, 2012, 11:47:14 AM
but how does that differ from having the degree if you don't practice anyways?

They can sneer behind your back or villify you anonymously but you would still be a licensed attorney the same as they are.
Title: Re: Is getting a law degree worth it if you work in a government agency?
Post by: GovLaw on February 07, 2012, 10:11:35 AM
I work for state government and have for almost 20 years in.  I have a paralegal and an attorney who report to me, as well as several subject area specialists.  I can tell you from personal experience that the state - here at least -- will research your degree and make sure it is legitimate.  If you won't be acting as an attorney the ABA approval won't be an overwhelming factor, but if the college you attend isn't accredited then it  will be looked upon as a fake degree and you will not even be considered for the position (and could be charged with faking a resume, though we've never done it).  This may seem harsh, but that's just the way it is.  Make absolutely sure of the accreditation of the school by an agency approved by the U.S. Dept. of Education before you start, or you will most likely be wasting your time and money.  YMMV.
Title: Re: Is getting a law degree worth it if you work in a government agency?
Post by: LincolnLover on February 07, 2012, 11:45:44 AM
We were discussing an accrediting degree that dosn't sit bar.
The CBE schools tend to have them, Concords is even "regionally accredited" but others life Taft as at least "DETC National accredited"
It would be an accredited graduate just not licensed in this hypo.

I work for state government and have for almost 20 years in.  I have a paralegal and an attorney who report to me, as well as several subject area specialists.  I can tell you from personal experience that the state - here at least -- will research your degree and make sure it is legitimate.  If you won't be acting as an attorney the ABA approval won't be an overwhelming factor, but if the college you attend isn't accredited then it  will be looked upon as a fake degree and you will not even be considered for the position (and could be charged with faking a resume, though we've never done it).  This may seem harsh, but that's just the way it is.  Make absolutely sure of the accreditation of the school by an agency approved by the U.S. Dept. of Education before you start, or you will most likely be wasting your time and money.  YMMV.
Title: Re: Is getting a law degree worth it if you work in a government agency?
Post by: legalpractitioner on February 07, 2012, 07:41:17 PM
DETC is not the same thing as regionally accredited.

JDs are accredited by the ABA or by a state.

If the Concord EJD is actually regionally accredited I would be surprised though I suppose it could be possible.

But unless the intent would be to impersonate an attorney, the Masters in Legal Studies would make more sense.  Non attorneys with a JD after their names make me immediately suspicious since the JD confers no right to practice law or advise.
Title: Re: Is getting a law degree worth it if you work in a government agency?
Post by: LincolnLover on February 08, 2012, 10:13:32 AM
Do you think the same of ABA grads that don't practice?
The FBI is full of them, heck Obama is one.

DETC is not the same thing as regionally accredited.

JDs are accredited by the ABA or by a state.

If the Concord EJD is actually regionally accredited I would be surprised though I suppose it could be possible.

But unless the intent would be to impersonate an attorney, the Masters in Legal Studies would make more sense.  Non attorneys with a JD after their names make me immediately suspicious since the JD confers no right to practice law or advise.
Title: Re: Is getting a law degree worth it if you work in a government agency?
Post by: LincolnLover on February 08, 2012, 10:16:30 AM
Programmatic accreditations are held with the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education, the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) and the Council on Social Work Education.


The Teacher Education Program is approved by the West Virginia Department of Education. Concord is a member of the National Association for Business Teacher Education.



The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) is an independent corporation and one of two commission members of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA), which was founded in 1895 as one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States. The Higher Learning Commission accredits, and thereby grants membership in the Commission and in the North Central Association, degree-granting post-secondary educational institutions in the North Central region.


Title: Re: Is getting a law degree worth it if you work in a government agency?
Post by: FalconJimmy on February 08, 2012, 04:14:05 PM
could be charged with faking a resume,

Even though you say you'd never do it, I don't understand how this would be faking a resume.  If a person puts "J.D.  Joe Blow College" on their resume, how is that faking anything, regardless of accreditation?  This, of course, presupposes that the person did actually earn a JD from Joe Blow College.
Title: Re: Is getting a law degree worth it if you work in a government agency?
Post by: ipscientific on February 13, 2012, 01:08:19 PM
DETC is not the same thing as regionally accredited.

JDs are accredited by the ABA or by a state.

If the Concord EJD is actually regionally accredited I would be surprised though I suppose it could be possible.

But unless the intent would be to impersonate an attorney, the Masters in Legal Studies would make more sense.  Non attorneys with a JD after their names make me immediately suspicious since the JD confers no right to practice law or advise.


DETC is recognized by the US Department of Education. It's supposed to be that if a college is accredited by an organization that the US Department of Education recognizes, it's valid and official. Suppose to be. A lot of hype out there and different views.

But I don't know why someone would want a JD and not practice law. It doesn't make any sense to me. If you go that far and get a JD why not just take the bar. That's like me going all the way through medical school and not wanting to be a Doctor at the end.
Title: Re: Is getting a law degree worth it if you work in a government agency?
Post by: LincolnLover on February 13, 2012, 03:23:52 PM
It dosn't have to make sense. Lots of people do it an ABA schools all the time.
MD not as much. Different worlds, different people.

A lot of people go to law school after a coin toss between it an MBA, and often don't really need either.


Other examples include people who want to be politicians, climb up in corporations, etc.

Ask yourself this to help it make more sense: Why would anyone bother with a joint JD/MBA if people only wanted the minimum? More on point to the question you asked why bother to get a joint JD/MD (many do) afterall you are not going to be doing both with that degree.
Yet, life goes on.
Title: Re: Is getting a law degree worth it if you work in a government agency?
Post by: ipscientific on February 13, 2012, 08:47:42 PM
It dosn't have to make sense. Lots of people do it an ABA schools all the time.
MD not as much. Different worlds, different people.

A lot of people go to law school after a coin toss between it an MBA, and often don't really need either.


Other examples include people who want to be politicians, climb up in corporations, etc.

Ask yourself this to help it make more sense: Why would anyone bother with a joint JD/MBA if people only wanted the minimum? More on point to the question you asked why bother to get a joint JD/MD (many do) afterall you are not going to be doing both with that degree.
Yet, life goes on.


LincolnLover that is an awesome picture in your profile. Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard and does not have a degree. What do you think of him?
Title: Re: Is getting a law degree worth it if you work in a government agency?
Post by: LincolnLover on February 13, 2012, 09:13:32 PM
It dosn't have to make sense. Lots of people do it an ABA schools all the time.
MD not as much. Different worlds, different people.

A lot of people go to law school after a coin toss between it an MBA, and often don't really need either.


Other examples include people who want to be politicians, climb up in corporations, etc.

Ask yourself this to help it make more sense: Why would anyone bother with a joint JD/MBA if people only wanted the minimum? More on point to the question you asked why bother to get a joint JD/MD (many do) afterall you are not going to be doing both with that degree.
Yet, life goes on.


LincolnLover that is an awesome picture in your profile. Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard and does not have a degree. What do you think of him?

I think of him as a mathmatical anomaly. People use comparisons like that all the time. In reality that is the same idea as comparing the mega millions lottery winner to the average person. It could happen, it just won't. And besides Gates went to school to get somewhere then dropped when he was ready to start his dream company, not even close to the idea of working for others and hoping they will see how you are somehow better than those more qualified than you. Apples to Organes at best.
Title: Re: Is getting a law degree worth it if you work in a government agency?
Post by: ipscientific on February 13, 2012, 09:33:48 PM
It dosn't have to make sense. Lots of people do it an ABA schools all the time.
MD not as much. Different worlds, different people.

A lot of people go to law school after a coin toss between it an MBA, and often don't really need either.


Other examples include people who want to be politicians, climb up in corporations, etc.

Ask yourself this to help it make more sense: Why would anyone bother with a joint JD/MBA if people only wanted the minimum? More on point to the question you asked why bother to get a joint JD/MD (many do) afterall you are not going to be doing both with that degree.
Yet, life goes on.


LincolnLover that is an awesome picture in your profile. Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard and does not have a degree. What do you think of him?

I think of him as a mathmatical anomaly. People use comparisons like that all the time. In reality that is the same idea as comparing the mega millions lottery winner to the average person. It could happen, it just won't. And besides Gates went to school to get somewhere then dropped when he was ready to start his dream company, not even close to the idea of working for others and hoping they will see how you are somehow better than those more qualified than you. Apples to Organes at best.


It wasn't like he won the lottery. He applied his knowledge. The lottery is all luck.



Title: Re: Is getting a law degree worth it if you work in a government agency?
Post by: LincolnLover on February 13, 2012, 09:34:26 PM
I know. Read the rest of what I wrote.
Title: Re: Is getting a law degree worth it if you work in a government agency?
Post by: ipscientific on February 13, 2012, 10:03:54 PM
Right. Back to this guys post. Is getting a law degree worth it if you work in a government agency?

I don't think it would be unless their are attorneys that work within his agency and he wants to apply and I wouldn't choose Novus.



I know. Read the rest of what I wrote.
Title: Re: Is getting a law degree worth it if you work in a government agency?
Post by: furcifer on February 13, 2012, 10:08:57 PM
He never asked about Novus. That was someone else's side tangent.
Title: Re: Is getting a law degree worth it if you work in a government agency?
Post by: ipscientific on February 13, 2012, 10:12:35 PM
You guys get mad serious on these boards. Is it really that serious to you? I'm not into analyzing every little thing on these boards. I'm just killing time. I thought he said Novus. Oh well he didn't.




He never asked about Novus. That was someone else's side tangent.
Title: Re: Is getting a law degree worth it if you work in a government agency?
Post by: furcifer on February 13, 2012, 10:20:17 PM
They have a word for that, it's called flame or troll.

If you don't think law school is serious go to trade school and drive truck for Walmart.
Title: Re: Is getting a law degree worth it if you work in a government agency?
Post by: ipscientific on February 15, 2012, 09:37:20 PM
They have a word for that, it's called flame or troll.

If you don't think law school is serious go to trade school and drive truck for Walmart.

What Law School do you go to?

Title: Re: Is getting a law degree worth it if you work in a government agency?
Post by: sollicitus on February 16, 2012, 01:44:37 PM
Perhaps you don't know what "guest" means on this board. Why waste your time asking questions to the dead?
Title: Re: Is getting a law degree worth it if you work in a government agency?
Post by: smac854 on February 17, 2012, 10:43:46 AM
So it seems like most people are advising the MS in Legal Studies as an option.  Does this Masters have much value?  I understand why people are advising against the EJD program and I am assuming a ABA JD would really not be worth the time either as again I have no interest in practicing law but have an interest in law and feel that having a greater understanding of the legal field would help me in my job when reading legislation and making forecasts about the fiscal impact of the legislation.  I have heard from others before that one should only go to law school if they want to be a lawyer and it seems that this is what others seem to be mentioning here.  Would a Masters in Legal Studies be worth it if I already have a MBA or would a certificate program be better? 
Title: Re: Is getting a law degree worth it if you work in a government agency?
Post by: sollicitus on February 17, 2012, 12:32:17 PM
Any degree that you can afford is always worth it in the sense that you gain knowledge that you can apply to your personal life and bring with  you to the job. Whether or not it would help you get promoted depends on the job itself. You being in that field would have better access to that knowledge than we would. Look at the qualifications of your superiors. What degrees do they tend to have? Whatever those are, probably are the ones that would help promote you the fastest.
Title: Re: Is getting a law degree worth it if you work in a government agency?
Post by: ipscientific on February 23, 2012, 08:59:13 AM
Any degree that you can afford is always worth it in the sense that you gain knowledge that you can apply to your personal life and bring with  you to the job. Whether or not it would help you get promoted depends on the job itself. You being in that field would have better access to that knowledge than we would. Look at the qualifications of your superiors. What degrees do they tend to have? Whatever those are, probably are the ones that would help promote you the fastest.

Well said Sollicitus.