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Messages - Cher1300

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1
I absolutely agree!  I just quit my job and will be focusing on school and internships for the fall.  My company's legal department is allowing me to intern with them and I am already registered with Barbri and getting outlines, etc.  Even if I was working full time, I would have requested a leave of absence for the bar exam because I know I'll be freaking out and don't want to take it 41 times.  I think once you've failed about 5 times, it's probably a self-fulfilling prophecy.  The guy probably didn't want to quit his job because he felt he probably wouldn't pass and then he'd have no job, etc.  How awful.

As far as my sub-par grade it was related to my dad being sick.  I had done really well on my midterms and thought it would be a great semester.  I had no idea how much a personal issue could affect your grades.  Anyhow, I managed to pull it together for the other two, but it was not a good semester.  Thanks for the insight though - it's greatly appreciated.   

2
Distance Education Law Schools / Re: Mid-Atlantic School of Law
« on: June 18, 2013, 09:12:24 PM »
You are correct in that we only read parts of a case that pertains to the particular topic we are learning from a case book because it would be impossible to read numerous cases that are 40 pages long.  But it is still A LOT of reading that can be anywhere from 40 - 80 pages per week per class.  In Constitutional Law for example, we had read 72 cases by the time we had our midterm.  Although they weren't 40 pages long, it was still hours and hours of reading.  Did I brief them all?  Hell no, but did get the issue and holding from smaller cases.  That said, there are many law students in my class with children that work full-time - including moms - and go at night.  I don't know how they do it.  I don't have children but had a full-time job for my first two years which was stressful enough.

I absolutely agree that self-study is doable - people do it all the time with online law schools.  However, it's the curriculum of this school and the fact they are not registered with any state bar that most people have an issue with.  Branding or no, one still needs to be able to take the bar and pass it to be a lawyer, and that's why people are calling it a scam.

That said law schools are very expensive and paralegals can make decent money for a lot less spent on their education.  Good luck with your exam!

3
Well, after much consideration, I've decided to stay at my ABA.  Livinglegend was correct about the numbers.  Once I crunched them there was only about a 30k difference.  Also, I would have had to take one class over again because my grade was not so great which would have been another expense.  This in addition to the fact that I've established some great working/study relationships at my school and would like to keep those.  Anyway, just wanted to update you!

4
Distance Education Law Schools / Re: Mid-Atlantic School of Law
« on: June 17, 2013, 11:32:43 AM »
I think what Executive is trying to get across is that MASL is not teaching you the writing skills that are necessary as an attorney.  Generally, law students make up their own outlines based off of the hundreds of cases they have read and briefed as a part of the learning process.  My outlines for my classes range anywhere from 20 - 40 pages per class depending upon the material.  So most students are reading 100% compared to the 2% you are reading in addition to briefing and doing outlines.  I prefer to do my own outlines because each professor wants something different.

The purpose of reading and briefing all those cases is to learn to spot the issues and the holdings.  From there, I'll work on my outline and take practice exams which is probably the most important skill necessary to pass your classes.  There is a formula to legal writing, and each year of law school it develops and gets better and better.  But that is due to writing over and over and over again in a timed setting where there is no possible way you can hit all the points in the time allotted.  This in addition to getting critiqued by your professors on your exams and trying to figure out what the hell "conclusory" means your first year.  This is why more ABA students pass the bar exam and why their curriculum has not changed much over the years. 

Since you are clear you want to stay at this school, I suggest you take a legal writing workshop such as Fleming's so you learn the formula and get some type of practice.  While an internship will help with the practical part of law practice, I'm not sure why a thesis would be a part of their curriculum.  I think those final projects are what concerns me the most about this school since it has nothing to do with legal analysis or exam preparation.  Those skills are crucial to passing the bar and it takes time to hone the skill.  Good luck.

5
Livinglegend, I was able to pay for half of the tuition at my ABA.  I go part-time evening, work full-time and I am finishing up my second year.  Right now my debt is pretty good, but Obama has cut all subsidized loans for graduate students this year.  Also, the tuition goes up every year and I want to quit my job at some point to focus on internships.  I've met with the legal department of my current employer about an intership this summer, and do not want to be working full-time, which is where the expense will add up.  Since I've spent all I had saved for school, I will have to rely mainly on loans over the next two years.

The minimum LSAT score required for the CBE's in my area is 145 for one and 143 for the other.  I believe Cooley is also 143, but it also appears Cooley gets more criticism than online schools.   

If the job that is waiting for me when I graduate doesn't work out, I plan on being a solo practitioner anyway unless I get lucky elsewhere.  I already have a good network of attorneys because of where I work and spoke with a judge who ironically assumed I was at a CBA - maybe because I work fulltime?  The discussion of the high cost of tuition with ABA schools is ongoing in my area.

I am a bit worried that the quality of education may not be as rigorous since bar pass rates don't lie.  And, as maintain said, even my lower tier school criteria for admissions is higher than CBE.  However, it also true that if you don't hunker down and study you won't pass no matter which school you attend.  Anyway, I'm still weighing the pros and cons.  I'm just someone who really hates having debt unless it's a mortgage.  I'm going to ask some of the other attorneys their opinions of CBE's before making my final decision.   Thanks for the input.

6
Reviews, Visits, and Rankings / Re: Are CBA schools a joke?
« on: May 10, 2013, 04:44:56 PM »
I have been seriously considering transferring to a CBA because of the astronimical tuition rates of the ABA I attend.  Although I attend a tier 4, my biggest concern had been the bar pass rates and the fact that CBA's do not require much for admissions.  As mentioned above, however, it really depends upon the student and their goals.

I spoke to a professor at Southwestern this past weekend who believes the ABA's tuition bubble will likely burst over the next couple of years.  He's probably in his 70's, practiced law for years and became a professor later on in life.  He said he would never attend law school today unless he was on a full scholarship.  The cost is just not worth the effort for someone like me who is over 40 and has no desire to work for big law.  Partial scholarships hardly make a dent.  If he is correct and the bubble does burst, I'll be interested to see if more younger students apply to CBA's and if a bar pass requirement comes into play.   Of course, Stanford will always be a priority for the really bright younger students, but I wouldn't be surprised if we started seeing younger students from T3s and 4s going to those schools on scholarships.  200K in loans is a lot even when you have 40+ years to pay it off.

7
Thank you both for your input!  I had figured that individual drive may have a bit more to do with passing the bar.  It makes sense that a lower admissions criteria would have a direct correlation to bar pass rates.  If one doesn't have the drive to hunker down and study for the LSAT, then they are less likely to pass the bar exam.  I am leaning more and more towards CBE for the fall.  Since I've already completed two years at an ABA, I don't think the quality of education will be any different, but my debt will be far less.   ;D

8
Duncanjp has pretty much summed up the whole experience.  The only thing I want to re-iterate is the going "all in."  I think people really underestimate how hard it is your first year.  I was just at an openhouse because I may transfer and the misconception of the 0Ls made me remember just how green I was before I started.  A couple of people talked about how they "knew" they had the analytical mind required for law school without realizing what a legal analysis put on paper really is.  It is an analysis, yes, but understanding the formula for putting it all down on paper in a timed environment is what weeds out most first year students.  It is scary, it is a marathon, but looking back, I'm amazed I've gotten this far.  I'm also amazed my boyfriend hasn't run away screaming.  Spousal, family support is key.  I have cried on his shoulder - more than once.  The emotional toll it can take on you is no joke.  But, as mentioned above, if you can stay focused and know that your fellow students are all going through the same thing - even the ones at the top of the class - then you will succeed.  And, it goes by faster than you think!

9
Statistics on the last bar exam in Jun 2012 state the passage rate percentage for CA Accredited was 31% for first time takers, repeaters 10% and all takers 19%.  For all takers in the unaccredited category - 15%, not much difference between CA Accredited and the Unaccredited and the repeaters for unaccredited was 12% HIGHER than the accredited 10%.  Feb 2012 - first time takers - same percentage 33% in both categories.  I don't know seems to me the CA ABA pass rate not anything to boast about either at 68% and 53% on the same respective tests.  Tightening standards will mean what? No more distance learning or correspondence schools?  We shall see.

If you look at other years, the numbers do fluctuate quite a bit. 

I've been doing a lot of research into this because I am seriously considering transferring to a CBE.  The cost of ABA is just getting to be ridiculous even for those with some scholarships.  The massive amount of debt and the fact that there are no more subsidized loans from the government is making CBE appear to be a better choice.  However, it may be wise for the CBE schools to require a bit stricter admissions requirement.  When I went to visit the school I'm interested in, only one of the six prospective students had a bachelor's degree and none of them had taken the LSAT yet.  Some had the required 60 hours of college, but for the most part, they hadn't fully committed to going to law school, which was the complete opposite of the prospective students at the ABA open houses I attended.  Most had already applied with a decent LSAT score and, of course, a bachelor's degree.  And while someone should certainly do their research before making the commitment to go to law school, it just seemed odd that none of them had even attempted the LSAT before visiting the school. 

As far as online school bar pass rates being similar to CBE, the online schools weed out students who may not pass the bar because of the FYLSE.  http://admissions.calbar.ca.gov/Portals/4/documents/fyx/FylsxStatsOct2011.pdf 
Since only about 20% of online students pass the First Year Exam, the remaining number of students moving on to 2L is much smaller.  Cal bar students are not required to take the FYLSE, which could explain the lower bar pass rates. 

What concerns me the most is that the number of repeaters taking the bar exam is significantly higher than the first-time takers for both CBE and online schools compared to ABA, which has a significantly lower number of repeaters.   Trinity law school had 55 repeaters compared to 19 first timers, and UWLA had 60 repeaters compared to 10 first timers.  Abraham Lincoln and Concord had similar numbers.

http://admissions.calbar.ca.gov/Portals/4/documents/gbx/JULY2012STATS.122112_R.pdf

So even though some of the ABA school's bar pass rates may not seem impressive, they are doing something right.  The bigger question is, is it worth the money you save if you end up having to take the bar three or four times?  Or is passing the bar largely based upon the individual?  I would love to hear feedback from those of you who have taken the bar exam.   

10
What are your exams are like for an online schools?  Are they done through an online black board software or are they home-assigned and sent in through email?  I was just curious...

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