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Messages - CA Law Dean

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I am suggesting that MCL can provide certain students academic support and tutoring in a small class environment. The result can be a turn-around into a successful law school experience and the opportunity to complete the JD, study for, and pass the California bar exam.

2
M / Re: Monterey College of Law
« on: July 16, 2014, 10:04:37 AM »
I can't speak to the online law schools, but MCL, who started this thread, and is a residential program, has had the following policies. There is no required curve. Students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 70.0 (CGPA) or better to remain academically eligible to remain in the JD program. Students on academic probation must bring their CGPA up to 70 or higher within one year. Students who fail to do so may elect to transfer to the Master of Legal Studies Program and receive their Masters upon completion of 36 units. Students on academic probation are assigned individual tutors and provided supplemental resources, academic counseling, and strict monitoring during their probationary term. Students on academic probation who scored lower than 65 in a bar-tested course are required to repeat the course (but no additional tuition is charged). The higher grade is counted towards the CGPA.

The result has been the following (on average). Out of 35 1Ls, 6 will fail to meet the 70 CGPA. 2 of these will be substantially below (65 or below) and will repeat first year with tutoring (no additional tuition charged), 2 will repeat one class with tutoring, resulting in a reduced 2L class load while they repat the 1L course, and 2 will opt to go the route of the MLS degree. We rarely have anyone completely quit at the end of 1L.

We do have other, non-academic attrition for work, finance, health, relocation, etc. over the four-year, part-time program. We anticipate that, on average, out of the original 35 1Ls - 25-27 will complete their JD, 3-5 will complete the Masters, and 5 will not complete either program.

For the 25-27 JD graduates, 3-5 will never take the bar exam (JD degree for other business reasons) and the remaining graduates will achieve an appx. 65% cumulative bar pass rate on the California Bar Exam. (With some recent classes achieving as high as 70%). Our statistics (that are openly shared with the students), indicate a direct correlation between law school graduating GPA and bar pass results. Although a 70 CGPA is required to graduate with the JD, our statistics indicate that a 73 or above is necessary to have a reasonable chance of passing the CA bar exam. Therefore, those graduating with GPAs below 73 have full knowledge that they have a very low prospect for ever passing the bar, but they have been counseled to this effect at the end of every Spring Semester and provided the opportunity to transfer to the MLS degree program. Obviously, with an average 30-35% fail rate on the bar exam, there remain students who choose to complete the degree program (for many reasons), even though they have been provided information about the relationship between their academic GPA and bar passage.

As a small "opportunity law school" the above model fits our community and is perceived as being very successful. It is difficult to compare our program to the typical ABA model, but we believe (for the past 43 years) that it has many positive aspects as a result.

3
Well, we have just about wrapped up the 1L admission process for Fall 2014. However, we still have about three weeks to consider transfer requests here at Monterey College of Law. If you did not have a successful 1L experience and intend to practice law in California, consider contacting MCL before you give up on your dream of being a lawyer. Small classes and a strong academic support program have made a difference for students who got lost in the shuffle at big ABA law schools. Each circumstance reviewed individually.

4
M / Re: Monterey College of Law
« on: July 07, 2014, 01:53:25 AM »
About 120 total students. We admit about 35 new 1Ls per year. Enrollment has been relatively stable for the past several years, but is coming later the last two cycles.

5
M / Re: Monterey College of Law
« on: July 02, 2014, 11:22:56 AM »
"Last Call" for Fall 2014 applicants. The 2014 admissions cycle is wrapping up and will likely go down as one of the most unusual. ABA schools accepting the June LSAT (scores out yesterday) have created the domino affect of keeping the cycle open later than ever before. In response, MCL has extended its application deadline until the end of July (latest ever) so that applicants have a chance to consider their June LSAT results and determine which law school is the best "fit" from both an academic and financial standpoint.

Go to www.montereylaw.edu if you are interested in possible Fall 2014 admission, but don't delay too long. It takes time to get official transcripts, letters of recommendation, personal statement, etc. and the final deadline is looming.

6
Distance Education Law Schools / Re: Did you apply to ABA and CBE?
« on: July 02, 2014, 11:00:55 AM »
MCL does require the LSAT and a much higher UGPA than you might expect. Preliminary 2014 entering class data and previous years below.
                     
MCL Data   LSAT      UGPA
Year:   25th/Med/75th   25th/Med/75th
                       
Fall 2014:141   147   148      2.74   3.28   3.58
Fall 2013:138   144   148      3.00   3.29   3.59
Fall 2012:141   146   148      2.67   3.03   3.60
Fall 2011:140   148   152      2.95   3.21   3.44
Fall 2010:142   146   151      2.96   3.20   3.43

7
Distance Education Law Schools / Re: Did you apply to ABA and CBE?
« on: June 01, 2014, 12:47:20 PM »
At Monterey College of Law (a CBE law school), appx. 50% of our applicants report that they have applied to both CBE and ABA law schools (usually Golden Gate and Santa Clara given the geographic proximity to Santa Cruz and Monterey). We don't know how many get accepted to both, but of those that we accept, usually about 5-10% ultimately choose to attend an ABA school.

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Non-Traditional Students / Re: What are my chances?
« on: June 01, 2014, 12:34:07 PM »
[The following post has been updated with the completed employment survey. We now have data on 100% of the graduates from the classes of 2009-2012. A previous post was preliminary with only about 75% responses.]

MCL recently conducted an alumni employment survey. Although MCL is not required to do this type of survey under the State Bar of California accreditation rules, all of the discussion about employment statistics in the national press  motivated MCL to conduct our first survey this summer.

We sent out 319 e-mail surveys to alumni using SurveyMonkey and used the NALP survey questions as a starting point (with a few modifications to better reflect the type of jobs in our community). We received 189 responses, but most important, we completed 100% employment data for alumni from the most recent graduating classes (2009 - 2012). The following reflects the data from the graduating classes of 2009 through 2012.

MONTEREY COLLEGE OF LAW ALUMNI EMPLOYMENT SURVEY (2013)
Graduating Classes 2009-­2012
Number of Respondents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75
Number of Surveys . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75
Percent Survey Responses . . . . . . . . . . . . 100%
% of Graduates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .100%

Employment (9 months after graduation)
Employed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88%
Not employed, seeking work .. . . . . . . . . . . 5%
Not employed, not seeking work .. . . . . . . . 7%

Job Type/Job Status (9 months after graduation)
Bar Admission Required . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49%
JD Advantage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17%
Remained in Pre-­Law School Job
- Other Professional . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20%
- Other Non-­Professional . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2%
Not employed, seeking work . . . . . . . . . . . 5%
Not employed, not seeking work . . . . . . . . 7%

Current Employment
Employed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91%
Not employed, seeking work . . . . . . . . . . . 1%
Not employed, not seeking work .. . . . . . . . 7%
Retired . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1%

Job Tenure
Full Time, long-­term . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83%
Full Time, short-­term . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8%
Part­‐time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9%

If Working in a Law Firm -­ Firm Size
Solo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13%
2 to 10 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67%
11 to 25 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13%
26 to 50 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2%
51 to 100 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5%
More than 100 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0%

If Working in a Law Firm -­ What Type
Private Practice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74%
Public Agency . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14%
Non-­Profit Practice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5%
In-­house Corporate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2%
Academic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5%

If Working in a Law Firm/Public Agency -­ Position
Attorney . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74%
Judicial Officer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0%
Paralegal/Law Clerk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16%
Administrator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5%
Dean/Professor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5%

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M / Re: Monterey College of Law
« on: May 28, 2014, 02:20:26 AM »
Big sigh of relief. Monterey College of Law's 2014 graduates who took the February CA bar exam achieved an 86% pass rate (6/7). Our total first-time takers is 75% (6/9). Our cumulative five year pass rate remains over 60%, even with our "anomaly" of last July that was previously discussed.

10
Non-Traditional Students / Re: What are my chances?
« on: May 28, 2014, 02:10:10 AM »
Like $150K in debt and less than 50% (and as low as 25%) employment rates from lower tier CA ABA schools. Several of the CBE schools are half that price with superior employment stats for local jobs. You are correct that  you do get what you pay for . . . sometimes.

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