« on: June 21, 2012, 07:35:40 PM »
Good article. A law education is not what it used to be. It used to be for kids of lawyers who grew up privileged. Remember L.A. Law? That show alone increased the law school population. The dream of the money and the prestige that comes with the law degree are gone.
If you have never worked in a law firm, then you have no clue what an attorney, especially the low-level ones have to go through. I worked for attorneys for 20 years. I worked in big firms, small firms and in house corporate law departments. Their job is stressful. I remember when the associate I worked for made partner. The firm sent her a letter stating out her salary and the changes of what becoming a parter does. Her salary was going to be $108,000. This was in 1996. However, now she was on her own for medical insurance and was required to bring in business. She was thin and frail and barely every ate.
Distance learning law schools have a place. I finished my Bachelors online through Southern New Hampshire University and got my Masters in Law & Public Policy from California University of Pennsylvania. So? Just because I didn't set foot onto the campus, I received a great education and even attended my graduation ceremonies. There is no reason a person who receives a law degree from an online law school is less qualified to be a lawyer. The ABA is just too high on its horse and like I said, approving online law schools is going to take away that prestige of becoming a lawyer.
Make the requirements for online law schools the same as B&M schools. I took the LSAT. I didn't do great so I would not use that as the only indcator of how a person would do in law school. I can write a fabulous brief or legal memo. Take the whole picture... LSAT, undergrad degree, GPA, if there is any more schooling past the Bachelors, etc.
There is a state run law school in Birmingham, AL. I was accepted there. No LSAT required but it is a B&M school so it holds more prestige than the online school, but in the end, you can only take the bar in Alabama and probably California. They also accept students who have gone to online law school. My thinking was maybe taking my first year of law school online and then transfer there. That avoids the baby bar. I live in Georgia now. I didn't go last Sept. because once I made the drive from Atlanta to Birmingham, I realized that doing that every Saturday was going to be tough. I postponed it for now.
The school in Birmingham is only $5500 a year. There is also a state school in Nashville, TN. They have extremely strict requirements and the cost is close to $30k a year. BUT IT IS A STATE SCHOOL. YOU CAN ONLY TAKE BAR IN TN. So again, what is the point? Might as well go online and enjoy the convenience of staying home.