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Messages - DiscoveryPhase

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Where should I go next fall? / Re: Belmont.... Risky?
« on: December 25, 2011, 09:19:46 PM »
I'm also in TN.  TN will allow Belmont students, like those from Nashville Law and LMU (not ABA-approved, but state accredited) sit for the TN bar.  I've also read "tales" that they are more likely to get the ABA nod than LMU was. 

I am considering going the CA bar route though, because I'm likely older than you are, have a family and must work fulltime.  Although, I am working in the legal field already, so I hope that will help.

If you have doubts about Belmont, and don't want to retake the LSAT, look into Applachian School of Law (though their tuition is 30k a year). 

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I'm interested in seeing everyone's opinion as well.  I am still investigating the schools.  I believe I am down to a decision between Northwestern California University and Taft.  My employer will help with up to a certain amount of tuition reimbursement per year; however, it must be from an CHEA approved school - which Taft is and NWCU is not.  The difference in price between the two though washes out my reimbursement.  So, I'm trying to determine if one school is markedly better than the other. 

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"Here's the problem, though.  If your argument is that DL and various unaccredited schools are just as good at educating students as ABA schools, the one area where this demonstrably falls flat is on bar passage rates. 

It's not enough just to say, "this education is every bit as good."  Unless you can show it somehow, it's not unreasonable to dismiss such assertions.

Already, the unaccredited schools have a foot in the hole.  They don't have the library facilities.  Not sure what they do as far as classroom hours.  So, a lot of things the ABA says are necessary for a good legal education are missing.

It is perfectly valid to counter, "Well, the ABA is wrong, those things are NOT required for a good legal education". 

Trouble is, when time comes to take the bar, the ABA schools are in a completely different universe than the schools that claim to be "just as good."

Close that gap on bar passage rate, and I think an alternative accrediation body would have a very, very legitimate argument. 

I think there's a lot of improvements that could be made.  I think a large library is a great resource to the legal community and others who need access to legal research material.  However, I think for the purposes of education, you could get everything you need via your laptop and you'd be just fine.

Ultimately, though, the argument for alternative accreditation standards should be, "it is just as good".  Right now, at best, the argument is, "once in a while, an exceptionally bright person choses to get their legal education this way... that person is by far the exception."
[/quote] - FalconJimmy

I actually have no problem with high standards for online/distance law school admission.  I also think this would improve the bar passage rate and help improve the way this type of education is viewed.  Perhaps, case studies of those students who have entered an online/distance law program AND have managed to come out licensed attorneys in the end, would help figure out what those standards should be.   

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One way to lessen the power of the ABA would be to start a "competing" accreditation body and then LOBBY hard all the states to have members of schools that received their stamp of approval to take their state's bar.  This body would accredit online/distance learning schools - in my dream world :) 

ABA has escaped anti-trust claims in the past based on the fact that it's really up to each state, and the vast majority of state's just so happen to only allow ABA-approved school grads to take their bar.

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LMU, a school featured in OP's posted article, was denied ABA provisional approval and has filed suit against the ABA.  On the one hand, I like the thought of having holes poked in the ABA and say go LMU.  On the other hand, if they were truly concerned about serving the rural Appalachian area then they should have skipped accreditation and offered their classes online.  TN allows students of non-ABA approved but TN state approved schools to take their bar. 

As it stands now this TN potential law student is currently thinking about schools in CA.

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