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Messages - Nor-Cal

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Suggest New School Specific Boards here / Re: Empire College School of Law
« on: November 16, 2012, 10:04:31 PM »
I did attend a recent open house that Empire hosted and the campus is extremely nice. I think over half of the Sonoma County Bar is made up of graduate from there, and about 70% of the Deputy District Attorney's are all their graduates as well. Probably doesn't hurt that the county opened up an active courthouse inside the school. The one thing I noticed, was the amount of attorney's from Tier 1 schools in Sonoma/ Napa Counties; yet most of them are/have sent their kids to Empire instead of a big name school like one would expect.

During the open house, they stated the tuition rate for all four years was approximately $54K which is very reasonable considering the next lowest is Golden Gate  and University of San Francisco which are both about $150K and a 90 minute drive (each way).

Suggest New School Specific Boards here / Empire College School of Law
« on: November 14, 2012, 10:58:32 PM »
I would like to have Empire College School of Law added to the growing list of schools mentioned. I'm curious to hear from anyone who has experience with this school, as its one that I have been considering.

I go to Concord Law School, it's online, if you decide to go to law school - either distance or correspondence be prepared to take the Baby Bar, if you don't pass, remember you have three attempts at that exam.  If you don't pass the third time, it's like baseball, you're out.  If you go to an ABA, you don't have to take the exam unless you fail your classes.  It's a big commitment, but worth the time and effort.  The cases are interesting, the teachers are eager for you to understand the legal concepts but the fun of it is - achieving!  If it is your goal - why wait, check out the schools online and be prepared to watch four years of your life FLY BY, but it will be worth it if you pass the bar exam!

If I was in the market for an online law school, I would most likely attend Northwestern California University. In the end I will more than likely attend the Cal Bar school near my house, which has a pretty good reputation and costs about the same as Concord.

I appreciate the input though.

I know their students have a facebook page, which is closed to the public, but if you can email the owner for access and find yourself surrounded with students (nationwide) who attend that school. When I was looking into law schools I was given access for a little while, and reading what their students were posting was very insightful.

I agree with both of the posts listed above. Another point to consider by attending online is the lack of experience/exposure related to law clinics and internship opportunities; both offer a tremendous amount of value and often set students apart from each other as they fight for job opportunities.

I was a platoon commander for 51 infantry Marines in Afghanistan for my first deployment. My second, I am in charge of over 200 Marines as a company commander. I also received an award with a "v" for valor on my first deployment.

I could be wrong, but I believe your military experience will not play a huge part in your application for school. You may get some sort of a veterans preference depending on where you go, but just remember the more educated people are, the more liberal they tend to be; so your military experience may not get the advantageous results you expect. I think undergraduate degree, GPA, and LSAT score will be weighted more than your combat experience.

Good luck and keep your head down.

Reviews, Visits, and Rankings / Re: Pacific McGeorge, Sacramento, CA
« on: November 08, 2012, 01:59:01 AM »
I have heard very good things from Pacific McGeorge, and its proximity to the state capitol would most likely offer more opportunities than comparable schools elsewhere. On a personal note, I have never been a fan of Sacramento and I could see my living there long term. But for school, I would make a succession.

Reviews, Visits, and Rankings / Re: Are CBA schools a joke?
« on: November 08, 2012, 01:47:34 AM »
Are CBA schools a joke?

Short Answer: Absolutely not.

Too many people believe there is a direct coloration between the school you attend and the perceived success you will experience as a result. The reality is that it is just one of several factors that contribute ones success; ability to win cases, attitude, maturity, education, experience, and work ethic all play a considerable role. So are CBA schools a joke. I would say some can be where others are excellent schools. It really depends on what your trying to do. I have never attended a CBA school, but I know a partner at a large law firm who did. Currently she has several attorney's working for her, some of which graduated from Tier 1 schools. Her success was not the result of where she went to school, but what she can bring to the table and produce. In the courtroom, she is an animal. Her reputation is awesome and nobody cares where she went to school; she even told me after you've established yourself as a good attorney, the topic of where you went to school is less and less of an issue beyond your first couple years practicing law.

I'll give you another example: I had a young Deputy District Attorney from a Tier 1 school working with me on a case involving a suspect that was arrested on 8 felonies and 3 misdemeanors. The evidence was strong and the case should have been a slam dunk. However, the Deputy District Attorney got bullied by the defense attorney so bad that his client walked.

On this board you'll often come across a younger demographic of students who are very opinionated and believe what school you attend is the biggest consideration that will follow you throughout your career. People can be very short sighted based on their very limited amount of life experience, and very opinionated based on their lack of maturity. Just remember a worthless attorney is a worthless attorney no matter where he/she went to school. What you have to determine is what do you expect to gain, and will a CBA school get you there. Only you can answer that one.

Good luck.

I believe the cost vs. benefit seems to be in line and their students are happy with the education provided at the price they are paying. NWCU seems to be setting the example by offering a good education without ripping people off. No online school should be charging as much as some tend to do.

@Jack24: Almost anywhere?  Care to list the states that do this?  (I don't mean to be snarky, but it's not close to almost anywhere)

If you would have asked me this question a few months ago, I could have told exactly what states I was referring too. Some of the states I remember were Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Texas, Florida, Montana, and maybe 6-10 others. I had a complete list around the house but I cannot locate it. The California State Bar website offers a list of CBE graduates and states they currently practice in. Cross reference that with the bar requirements in each state and you can come up with a list of states that give exceptions for CBE graduates with some time under their belt. (Usually 3-5 years of experience as a licensed attorney in CA)

I completely understand your stance, I was actually shocked to find CBE graduates practicing in as many states as I did. But it just goes to show how things are changing and exceptions can be made.

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