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Messages - Groundhog

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81
General Off-Topic Board / Re: Scalia on religion
« on: October 06, 2014, 03:12:50 AM »
I think that if we're using Scalia's "originalism," we'd look at the Founders and realize they were deists, who didn't believe God intervenes at all after setting the world into motion. So, I don't think it would be a huge stretch according to his actual theory that they would be just as happy with agnosticism or atheism or pastafarianism. Pastafarianism would certainly seem to be a good way to "practice" atheism with 1st amendment protection, but I wonder about the MOVE series of cases where they added the sincerely held element to the test.

Realistically, it seems pretty clear that the current Court and some in the past would read the Free Exercise clause as benefitting religion over non-believers/non-practicers.

This is somewhat reflective of a larger tension between the Free Exercise and the Establishment clauses.

Nice comparison of his cushy and powerful job on the Supreme Court to the journey to Mt. Doom.

82
Distance Education Law Schools / Re: Touro College vs. Novus
« on: October 04, 2014, 01:47:28 PM »
FreshlyMinted, I can't decide whether you truly don't understand what we wrote or you are a very good, subtle troll. I'm hoping for the latter for you personally, even though it wouldn't be great for the board.

83
Distance Education Law Schools / Re: Touro College vs. Novus
« on: October 03, 2014, 05:09:49 PM »
Let the LLM programs decide that for themselves. I know some state bars don't even care about undergrad (crazy but true) as long as you have the JD for example. The LLM (when not being used for a license) still might hurt an ABA grads feelings to see a nonaccredited grad get accepted into, but you either are good enough to pass or you are not. If they can cut muster, let them. If they barely make it, easier curve for the rest of us. I honestly say let that be between them and the LLM program.

Plus if an admissions committee is opening the flood gates that easy to let people in, that strikes me as them needing to clean their own home before asking others to clean theirs.

This strikes me as an internal affair. If they need to make it an external affair, ask the ABA to pass a ruling on it.
Personally it wouldn't hurt my feelings if they let people with no prior education at all into the LLM as long as the school knew what they were doing when they did it(and if not, the fault is on the school IMHO)

Those students admitted to LLM programs are, as JonLevy said, admitted based on a misrepresentation or a mistake. Any student at an ABA school knows he or she has an affirmative duty to correct such mistakes. Novus to an ABA LLM is at best unethical, at worst illegal, and bad for the profession regardless. It is bad for the profession because there are too many attorneys, particularly in states with looser licensing requirements, like California, and making it easier isn't going to help. In my opinion, at least, it is bad for the profession if these students with no real legal training other than a year-long LLM and a bar prep course attempt practicing law. Law school teaches one much more than how to pass the bar, and conversely, I don't think simply being able to pass the bar makes one a good attorney. A smart undergrad could probably pass the bar with a few more months to study.

The admissions committee of any individual school is geared towards maximizing their profits and prestige, so yes, I do partially blame the schools. They don't have the best interests of the law, the student, or the profession in mind.

I do think the ABA could do more, but the ABA probably already has a rule about what qualifies as a foreign law school. I doubt Novus counts under their rules as a bona fide foreign law school.

84
Distance Education Law Schools / Re: Touro College vs. Novus
« on: October 02, 2014, 10:06:18 PM »
I think that http://www.bppe.ca.gov/ would have the best grounds for a suit since in theory they control who can and can't be legally a "school" operating in CA. The Marshall Islands argument might come up, but I think "International Shoe" would be a winning counter argument to that.

International Shoe is about jurisdiction. The issue here is if the 2009 statute that re-created the BPPE even covers online schools or how California or any state can regulate them. It does not appear to do so. As you said, it appears that Novus is based in the Marshall Islands, not in California as was suggested.

I don't know what's worse: the fact that some of these students spent years and thousands of dollars thinking they could become an attorney...or that they actually did. “Novus graduates often apply and are erroneously accepted to American Bar Association-accredited programs,” Touro charged.

85
Distance Education Law Schools / Re: Touro College vs. Novus
« on: October 02, 2014, 07:13:05 PM »
California is notorious for having almost no statutory authority to regulate degree mills and for-profit institutions. Also, as Novus does not claim to offer degrees that are approved by the California Bar, I don't see what the Bar would have to do with it.

See: http://www.examiner.com/article/california-tops-list-of-u-s-states-with-most-diploma-mills
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diploma_mills_in_the_United_States#Legal_status
http://www.geteducated.com/college-degree-mills/347-top-10-states-diploma-mill-degree-mills

86
Distance Education Law Schools / Re: Touro College vs. Novus
« on: October 02, 2014, 04:38:13 PM »
You are correct, but I mean that the State Bar isn't generally an accreditation agency.

I haven't seen anywhere currently where Novus Law School fraudulently claims they allow California or any other bar admission besides DC without attorney study, so I'm not sure on what grounds the California AG could sue. Novus may have claimed something different in the past, but Ms. Harris has only been in office a few years.

It does appear to be a degree mill, but I don't see anything fraudulent about it. It sounds like the facts in the past in the Touro v. Novus case were different.

87
Distance Education Law Schools / Re: Touro College vs. Novus
« on: October 02, 2014, 02:58:24 PM »
Hmm, what action would you recommend the state bars take? The State Bar of California is not an accreditation or business licensing agency so they can't order a business to shut down. All they can do is "inform you that Novus Law School does not have degree-granting authority from any recognized U.S. educational entity," as you noted in the other thread (http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/index.php?topic=4028640.0).

88
Distance Education Law Schools / Re: Touro College vs. Novus
« on: October 02, 2014, 02:12:15 PM »
The complaint said a Novus grad launched a frivolous lawsuit against Touro, when Touro would not honor their bogus degree.  So Touro had to pay legal fees because Novus was falsely telling grads they had a "foreign law degree" and all they had to do is enroll for a LLM to qualify for the bar.

Clearly, this demonstrates the ABA needs to approve more schools!

89
Studying for the LSAT / Re: LSAT Abroad
« on: October 02, 2014, 02:11:46 AM »
Out of curiosity to OP, why the Master's in Peace and Conflict Management Studies? What jobs does this prepare you for without a law degree? What attorney positions, international or domestic, does this help you get?

Very few attorneys practice international law. Most of that would be handled by Ambassadors and political appointees as matters of foreign policy or the military. Are you interested in a position in the State department? Would you rather be an attorney or the kinds of jobs that graduates of the Master's degree you seek receive, perhaps a Foreign Service Officer?

While I realize this may assume a lot, your original post comes off as you wanting to be convinced that a Master's degree can help with law school admissions or make up for GPA points, but neither is particularly the case. If that is the reason why you are getting a Master's degree, STOP. If you want to be an attorney, practicing real law, then I would also say STOP. The Master's degree isn't worth the time and money. If you want to join the foreign service or something that is more on the foreign policy side, I would consider alternatives to law school.

90
Studying for the LSAT / Re: LSAT Abroad
« on: October 01, 2014, 06:32:34 PM »
Lastly, I have heard things like an MA, MS, MBA, etc. are not helpful for getting into law school. I find this to be a silly conclusion when you look at certain scenarios. Student A holds a 3.9 GPA and 170 LSAT score, but has no graduate studies, nor have they ever lived outside of the general area which they were raised. Student B holds a 3.9 GPA, 169 LSAT score, an MA, and has studied in the Pacific Northwest, the South (North Carolina- boondocks land)  and abroad. According to many, the thought proceeds that student A will still be more valuable to the university that both A and B applied to. If it were to come down to only A or only B being accepted, is A really going to win that battle?
Student B is also 22, not that I think that is a very important factor. Obviously, this is all theoretical.

I can't comment on any of the global LSAT administration questions. I imagine the best idea would be to contact LSAC and the testing center directly.

As far as admissions goes, I have a little knowledge, which may not be applicable in all situations. In your example, generally student A and B are never going to be compared directly to each other, except in rare circumstances I'll discuss below. Law schools organize review of applicants a number of ways, but strictly by GPA is not one of them, which is the only way those two candidates are equivalent. They're more likely going to use an index and/or organize by LSAT score. This is because a 3.5 in Basket Weaving from Eastern Middle Central State is only better than a 3.3 in Electrical Engineering from Berkeley for US News purposes. In reality, one is eligible for the patent bar. The only way that Student A and B would be compared together is if they were borderline, either as part of a large group that could go either way, or during a waitlist cycle. During a waitlist cycle the LSAT could be key or irrelevant. If the 170 gets the school's 25th percentile LSAT up or contributes to that, it may be essential. If both are above or below the 25th percentile, it may not even be considered by the school, or it could be determinative. It really depends on what the school is going for at the time.

Most schools will already know whether or not they will admit Candidates A and B based on their numbers. A vast majority of candidates are either accepted or rejected outright, pending a review to make sure no serious criminal convictions or other issues were missed in the acceptance pile and no amazing accomplishments like winning an Olympic medal were missed in the rejection pile. A very small percentage of overall candidates go into the maybe pile, in which candidates can end up accepted, rejected, or waitlisted. As I said above, this is where Candidates A and B could potentially be compared in the same group or even directly if being considered for a waitlist admission.

Now that I've addressed the admissions process generally, I can discuss your question about other graduate degrees. To be honest, most Master's degrees, outside of a technical or hard science field, do not mean much in the legal profession or admissions. It may mean you have the capability to complete graduate work, but if you are admitted to an ABA-accredited school it is already very likely that you have the capacity to succeed in law school and pass a bar exam. I have noticed the JD/MBA combination is a popular route these days.

I did a joint Master's in law school, which I recommend if you can truly get value out of it. I did, but for most attorneys outside of specialized areas of law, they are not that useful. I think the best ones are probably hard sciences, engineering or something that will allow one to take the patent bar, MBA, accounting, tax, or anything finance-related.

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