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Messages - bigdaddyju34

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Online Law Schools / Re: taft law school
« on: February 21, 2015, 08:21:04 AM »
I understand the posts about not wasting your money or wasting your time and my personal opinion is that i have not wasted anything. I gained valuable experience in coursework required for law and the ideas and concepts it takes to make decisions regarding the law. I have discussed with my admissions counselor about my current coursework and they will not accept any classes as a transfer from a non-ABA approved school. As far as the money goes, yes, saving the amount of one year with Taft would have been good, but I feel like it is a small price to pay to see if a $30k per year education is going to be what I want. I would rather pay $5k than $30k. Money was not my motivating factor in attending Taft and did not really even enter my mind since I could have cared less what it cost, it is the education and what you can do with it that matters most to me. Not that I will in the future but right now I am living comfortably and have set the necessary steps in place to maintain my lifestyle for a long period of time. So while money may be a motivating factor for other students if you are wanting your education bad enough then you will do what it takes. So this is what I weigh when I consider money involved. I live in NC, in state tuition at a location that is a minimum of 3 hours from where I reside is $12k at the least. Then you factor in moving your whole family for 3 years, either renting or buying another house and the cost of living in the urban areas it comes out to about the same as $30k per year for tuition where you can complete your education online and keep your status quo with employment and living arrangements seems to make more financial sense.

In regards to the Bachelors degree, I believe that if you have not finished your degree then you have no business continuing on with law. Sorry if that hurts your ego or feelings but its true. If you can't make it through the basics then you will never make it in law school. As far as the LSAT goes, I am torn in this space. I spent almost 6 months studying for this test and I am glad I did because I do not think I would have scored as high as I did if I did not study. This test is not a test you want to go in blind on. This test concepts that you really do not learn in college unless you were a philosophy major and/or took some formal logic classes. I understand why law schools use this test because you will hear the story from your client and then you must make your deductions from that truth, but I think law schools could come up with a better test that would actually test ability in law rather than critical thinking. Don't get me wrong, I do think there should be a critical thinking section, but come on! All A's are B's and Some B's are C's and Not all C's are D's will really get your mind scrambled and I struggle to find much relevance with law deductions on some of this crap, but it is what it is and you must follow suit. Anyway, that is my two cents on the matters. Did I waste a year of my time by not continuing with Taft? NO. Did I waste money by attending Taft? Not in my eyes, it was a valuable learning experience that will carry with me throughout everything I do, so I find value in that. Are people going to hate on you for your decisions? Always, so take it with stride and learn from it.

Thanks for having this chat and discussion forum!

Online Law Schools / Re: taft law school
« on: February 20, 2015, 08:08:48 AM »
So here we are in 2015. I wanted to post an update to my previous post in regards to Taft. So I started in Aug. 2013 at Taft. I have completed the first year of school at Taft but I have made the decision to not continue at Taft. My reasoning is that now we have ABA accredited hybrid programs that will allow you to complete most of the course online and have 1-2 weeks per semester at the actual campus doing a very rigorous program with many hours put in those 2 weeks. I did not go on to take the CA FYLSX. I made great grades on my homework and tests at Taft and was considered a leader in the chat rooms and discussion boards. I just get it and some do not get it. You have to put the time in or you will never make it. Anyway, I have now applied at William Mitchell for their hybrid program. I weighed my options and determined that it would be much more beneficial for me to attend an ABA program due to the fact that I am in a state that requires it and do not plan on moving to CA just to be an attorney. I thought upon first enrollment with Taft that I would at least see what the first year is like for a student since most people say this is the hardest year. This was a hard year but it can be done and now I do not feel like I would struggle with an ABA education. Taft provides a good education if you want to learn the material, but I did find that if you just want to learn the law, buy some text books on Amazon or somewhere and read them and brief the cases and then get on a discussion board such as this and throw your ideas out there for someone else to critique. That will help you understand if you are getting the concepts right. So all in all, if you want to learn the law and you need a school to do so or if you plan on practicing solo in CA then Taft may be the school for you. I am happy that I attended for one year and while I don't think the cost of this one year is a bargain for what you get, it did give me some experience in first year law so now I know about what to expect from somewhere else. Would I do it again? Absolutely.

Online Law Schools / Re: taft law school
« on: January 07, 2014, 06:08:40 PM »
So here we are beginning 2014. This is the year I will take the FYLSX in October. I am currently attending Taft and I thoroughly enjoy my studies. As I said before it is very demanding and you must be very self disciplined. Nobody is going to hold your hand and they are not going to wait for you to understand the material before they move on. There are mass amounts of reading and personal homework assignments that are not sent in for grading. I complete all of the personal review assignments even though they do not get turned in, frankly because I want to learn the material and pass the FYLSX on my first try. I am dedicated to understanding the material and learning how to apply the law. We do have weekly homework assignments that must be turned in for a grade. From my understanding this is not like a typically B&M law school. They say in the B&M law schools you have a mid-term and final and that is your class grade. Our grades at Taft come from homework, discussions with other classmates, mid-term, creating outlines and case briefs, and a final. While you are not limited to just one or two grades, you do have to keep up with alot of material and be disciplined enough to do all of it. While I believe that Taft will prepare you well for the exam if you do all that is assigned, I do not believe you would be well prepared if you only completed the assigned homework that is turned in for a grade.

My grades have been very good on my essay assignments and hypotheticals. But we do have multiple choice assignments from time to time and I seem to struggle with the multiple choice questions. I have a FINZ  strategies and tactics for the Multistate method book that has tons of MC questions and I do complete them, however I still do not do very well on the MC questions. This is an area that I need more work, I can also use more work on the hypo's and essays but my grades have suffered from the MC questions.

Overall, I am pleased with Taft and the education they can provide, even though it is mainly self teaching, they can provide some valuable feedback. It is what you make of it. As stated before, no employer is going to hire a DL graduate so be prepared for sole practice. That is what I want to do anyway, so it is of no bother to me. I would like to get a job as a prosecutor for a few years to gain the experience in criminal law, but that is highly doubtful with a DL degree. Maybe by the time I pass the CBX it could be discussed but I highly doubt it. I may end up applying to the state I live in to take the bar exam and if denied, I may try an appeal but that is not something I would prefer or recommend. But I have all the time in the world to fight these people so it does not matter to me if I win or if I lose. After passing the CBX I can practice on my own in CA.

Good luck to all that decide to attend Taft or any other DL school. Lets take a stand and defund the ABA. They want to defund ObamaCare, which I agree, but I want to defund the monopoly called the ABA! Just a little rant before I end my post. Thanks for listening.

Online Law Schools / Re: taft law school
« on: October 15, 2013, 07:50:25 AM »
Just wanted to take a quick moment and post an update. So I started Taft in August 2013. I began in their Intro to Law class which was a very basic understanding of Law. I enjoyed the class and did very well. Now we have begun the substantive classes. We began with two weeks of Torts class and the Intentional Torts. At Taft you study one subject for one week or possibly two weeks and some weeks you have two classes, the second class is always Legal Writing. The discussion boards are great within the Taft online system. It could compare to consulting with your classmates in a brick and mortar school, however I do not believe the quality of current students even closely compares with that of a brick and mortar school. There is ALOT of reading and case briefing, which I expected. I am not sure if switching from class to class each week is a good idea, but I am only two months in so what do I know? It is hard giving 110% to Torts and then dropping that at the drop of a hat and going into Criminal Law or Contracts. Some people believe that they all tie together and so far they have but it is hard. I will say that I can already tell that it is NO CAKE WALK. It is apparent that there are some students that will not make it, but there are some very bright individuals as well. I guess with no formal admission test like the LSAT you will get students with all types of educational experiences. All in all, I am very happy with my decision but I will say that it would not be a form of study for people with no discipline. You are given assignments and expected to complete them all on your own or if you have formed a study group you can work with them. The professors will be happy to work with you and post model responses to the questions but you are expected to learn the law on your own and make time to complete all assignments. So far I am spending about 25-30 hours a week on my studies. I could always spend more time and it would be very beneficial, however I do not believe that you could spend any less time and get an efficient education enough to pass the hardest bar exam in the county.  I will continue to post my experiences on this discussion board, but overall, I am very pleased and I look forward to my studies each and every day.

Online Law Schools / Taft Law School beginning in Sept
« on: August 17, 2013, 12:10:15 PM »
I have decided to attend Taft beginning this fall. I am 100% dedicated to attending law school. Honestly, I would rather attend ABA accredited school because of the options it would open. At this time in my life it is not an option due to distance, money and being self employed. I am enrolled in the JDAT (attorney track) and plan on taking the FYLSX and then eventually the CA state bar. I would like to communicate with currently enrolled students or former graduates of online law schools. I would like any feedback you would like to give.

General Off-Topic Board / Search function
« on: June 23, 2013, 07:09:05 AM »
How can I have access to the search function? I get an error that says you are not authorized to search in this forum. I am asking this question because obviously I cannot use search to find the answer to my question, so if I could get a little help that would be great. Thank.

Online Law Schools / Current ABA Response to Distance Education
« on: May 05, 2013, 07:56:15 AM »
I wanted to write this post because I have been researching law schools for about 1 year now in preparation to attend law school. I would be considered a Non-Traditional student as I have a BS from 2002 and worked in corporate america for 8 years only to leave and open my own business. My business has started off successful and hopefully will continue the trend. Now is time for me to fulfill my dream of going to law school and becoming a practicing attorney while my wife and her family take the business and run with it, they already do an excellent job. My problem lies in that the closest ABA approved law school is too far away to attend full time without moving my family to a location many hours away. Part-time at an ABA is not really an option either due to travel restraints. So during this time I have been researching online law schools and the education they provide and processes one must jump through to become a licensed attorney. As we all know at this point in time CA is the only state to allow online graduates to sit for the bar exam. I think this is crazy, in today's world we allow people to get MBA's online, Nursing Online and Engineering online to name just a few. There are many more than this and society does not have a problem with them people in active practice. They may have there own society similar to the ABA but it does not prevent them from fulfilling a career in their studies. In my opinion the ABA is an organization used to control the political aspect of practicing and obtaining a universal law degree. States could come out on there own and say the heck with ABA accreditation, if you went to law school and graduated then you can sit for our bar exam, but they will never do that as it is to cumbersome and would cause to many differences between states and judging quality education obtained. So to make things easier the ABA should revise their accreditation standards so that all states would universally accept approved online degrees. For all of the people who graduated from an ABA school, congratulations and we are proud of you as it is no easy accomplishment, however you are no better than any of the rest of us who do not have rich parents or have to work for a living in a small town with no access to local law schools. The socialization aspect that they claim you gain in B&M institutions is completely inaccurate. If you went through undergraduate studies you received socialization. If you went into the workforce after college, you received proper socialization skills. There is no excuse they can use on this point, its a moot point. As far as the Socratic method, there is one online law school that I know of that uses this method, however there is much discussion on this method between legal scholars and others as well. So hard evidence that this method works better than other methods. So before you start bashing my post step back and really think about it. Just because you spent over 100k obtaining a legal education does not make your opinions better than others, so think before you write. Anyway, my point of this article was to share this information with this forum. I recently wrote a letter to the ABA regarding distance education. I know compared to what has been the norm for 50 years the ABA has been considered to have made leaps and bounds with the accreditation process and I applaud them for that. However, the US society has made leaps and bounds in all aspects of growth through the past 50 years and they have been pretty quick to do so. We cant say the same for the ABA growth. I find it hard to believe that it is for no other reason than monetary value. So below is the response that I got from the ABA in regards to distance education and where they plan on heading with this in the coming future. To sum it up they say they will do the research and revise standards as they see fit. So in short, in another 50-100 years they may get to the point of looking beyond the money and political aspirations and give law schools a few more credit hours that they can take online.

           "A few years ago the accreditation standards were revised to clarify and to expand "distance learning" options. The changes recognized that settings other than the traditionally face-to-face instruction are becoming more and more a part of legal education. The move in that direction can best be described as evolutionary. As more latitude is permitted under the standards variants are sure to emerge that will require further re-examination and, if deemed appropriate, revision of the standards. 

The standards do not yet embrace a educational experience that is all, or even mostly, via the internet. Even though such an educational setting might be sufficient to prepare an individual to pass a bar examination, the current controlling view is that internet learning alone is not sufficient to provide the breadth of educational experience to prepare someone to be an effective member of the bar.

The bar examination is but one measure that one is prepared to practice. It is clear that technology is providing exciting new opportunities for learning and for preparing for a professional career.  Our standards must recognize these new opportunities and balance them appropriately with traditional techniques. That will be the challenge ahead, but change will be always viewed by some as moving too fast and by others as moving to slow."

This was the response that was received from the Legal Education department of the ABA. Not exactly what we are looking for. I encourage all of you who would like to get an online legal education to send the ABA a message through general comment on there website. If they get millions of responses regarding distance education then they have to at least take it into better consideration. As of now there are still students who are willing to take 100k - 175k of debt to get that ABA accredited school education, so no incentive for either to adjust the standards.

Online Law Schools / California School of Law Review
« on: April 27, 2013, 08:31:56 AM »
I have been accepted into 2 ABA approved schools that are each 2.5 hours and 3.5 hours away from my current home. I own a local business and just do not think that I can sell or have people operate my business for 3 years while I pull my 2 kids out of school and move to another town, so I have been researching online law schools and believe that may be the way to go for me, even though I can only sit for the CA bar, I understand all that comes with online law schools. I would like to get opinions of California School of Law if anybody has any experience with them. There are plenty of reviews for Concord so I dont need that. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks

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