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Messages - Cher1300

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Law School Applications / Re: 2.43 gap questions
« on: August 06, 2012, 05:10:05 PM »
You should disclose your mental illness as the above posters stated.  What you want to do in your addendum, however, is be sure it focuses more on how you've been able to persevere and overcome the obstacles your illness presented rather than use it as the excuse for your low gpa.   Your first year of law school will be very stressful and admission committees want to know that you will be able to manage that stress during your first year. 

My school makes testing accomodations for people with ADHD and may make accomodations for your disorder if it ever becomes unmanageable while in law school.  Finally, if you do get accepted, find out if the law school has access to a psychologist or psychiatrist because little stressors can cause even the most mentally stable people to lose focus their first year.  Good luck!

Another option would be to keep your job and attend the state accredited school in the evenings to save some money.  As legend mentioned, you are not in a big city where you will be competing with many ABA grads.  With a CBE degree, you won't have to sit for the baby bar, and the total cost of tuition is about half that or less than an ABA school. 
However, if you are really on the fence about attending an ABA, see if you can get your LSAT a bit higher - at least 150 or above and apply to a 4th tier ABA.  Many ABA schools also have night programs if you are worried about quitting your job. 

Just some other options for you to consider.  As already stated, none of us can make that decision for you.  Good luck with whatever you decide.

Distance Education Law Schools / Re: Reason for going online
« on: August 05, 2012, 05:33:10 PM »
If you graduate from a distance learning California law school, there is no petition possible until you pass the California bar.  No other state will recognize the degree until you pass the California bar.  There are no exceptions. I believe the same applies to all unaccredited Californua law schools regardless of whether they are distance or not.

That is correct.  I don't know of any other popular DL or online schools other than California - please correct me if I am wrong.  You cannot petition any other state to sit for their Bar if you attend a non-ABA school unless/until you pass the California Bar.  Even then, you have to practice for 3 - 5 years before you are allowed to petition in most states.  This is true for even the California state bar approved schools.  Before doing any DL or state-approved law school, you really need to do your homework.  Check out the California Bar website - all the information you need is there.   

Transferring / Re: Transfer Options?
« on: August 05, 2012, 05:24:01 PM »
I would also suggest taking a leave of absence.  I am part-time evening and am getting federal student aid with just 9 credits.  Are you currently under 9 credits?  If that's the case and you have just a 2.0, you are better off taking a leave and re-organizing your time so you can do the minimum course load and get your aid.  Find out from your school exactly how much time you can take, rework your schedule, then just stay where you are and try to build up your gpa.  I don't mean to be harsh, but I don't think another ABA school is going to touch you with that gpa especially if you are unable to put in 9 credit hours.  Good luck with whatever you decide.

It may depend on if his school was accredited or not. Do you get living expences too? I know that is at the option of the school, even if the fed would approve it. The school picks the amount. Normally the fed pays the school, and the school then pays you (direct deposit or check).

I do get living expenses, but try not to touch it and pay as much as I can on my own.  I'm wondering now also, since the subsidized loans were cut by the federal government if that is also his/her issue.   I barely received enough federal aid to cover my tuition, but could have taken out more money under a credit-based loan, which I didn't want to do.  Although I get living expenses, I don't take it because I work full-time.  As far as accreditation, I did just assume their school was accredited because ABA doesn't allow transfers from unaccredited schools.  Some ABAs may take credits from a state accredited school, but there are very few of them and one generally needs a gpa higher than 2.0 for transfers - at least in California.  I can't speak for any other state. 

Transferring / Re: Transfer Options?
« on: July 31, 2012, 02:43:34 PM »
I would also suggest taking a leave of absence.  I am part-time evening and am getting federal student aid with just 9 credits.  Are you currently under 9 credits?  If that's the case and you have just a 2.0, you are better off taking a leave and re-organizing your time so you can do the minimum course load and get your aid.  Find out from your school exactly how much time you can take, rework your schedule, then just stay where you are and try to build up your gpa.  I don't mean to be harsh, but I don't think another ABA school is going to touch you with that gpa especially if you are unable to put in 9 credit hours.  Good luck with whatever you decide. 


It appears just about everyone is correct.  However, I just googled Cal exam difficulty vs. other states and this is not statistical data.  According to these short blogs, the cal bar is more difficult because it's longer than most other state bars, the format is different, has non-ABA students sitting for it, and isn't looking to turn out a huge number of lawyers.

I've met many grads from different ABA schools who have had to take the Cal bar three or four times in some cases.   Similar to what FalconJimmy is saying, I believe my T4 has certainly focused on preparing us for the bar.  Low bar pass rates are reasons to take away a schools accreditation.  That happened to the University of La Verne after they produced just a 35% (not quite sure on the exact number) bar pass rate in July of 2011, but they were given back their accreditation earlier this year.   So while bar pass rates are not everything, it is still a significant factor.  An ABA bar pass rate that low is just unacceptable. 

Thanks for the vote of confidence Roald and legend.  :)  Western state has had some great bar pass rates over the last couple of years, which has been great for the school and promising for us as students.  Additionally, it has quite an alumni of successful attorneys.  Many DA's, judges, and other lawyers who have built up some medical mal practice businesses, etc.  Because of it's poor performance in the past, however, it still has a bit of a stigma. 

It is probably true that everyone thinks their school is inferior unless they are going to Harvard or Yale.  I'm thinking the students probably experience the same stress before finals and before taking the bar exam.  After first semester finals, I was just happy I could continue on and hoped to make it to my second year.  Now that I've made it, I'm stressing about making it next semester.  I'm not sure about anyone else, but it seems as though this feeling of anxiety might never go away! 

Those are interesting stats on the FYLSE, good old fashioned correspondence beats out online and fixed facility in the pass rates.  My theory is that no amount of tech or classroom can compensate for lack of rote memorization for these students.

I found that pretty interesting myself.  The percentage wasn't much higher but it was still higher overall.  However the bar pass rates for correspondence schools for the Bar in July of 2011 was lower than the Distance Learning and B&M schools.  But Distance Learning was still higher than unaccredited B&M schools.

More than 40 percent of Concord's graduates have already earned a graduate degree, including nine MBA, five Ph.D., and four MD degree holders. These accomplished professionals included small business owners, college professors, a surgeon and an engineer who was in Afghanistan serving in the Army Reserves for much of his third year of law school (a quote from A. Miller at the 2010 graduation ceremony).

For those of you that think the online is not the way to go, I beg to differ.  I have had attorneys tell me they wish they had the opportunity and the smaller loan bill.  I have had hiring partners tell me they don't care if the school is ABA, don't care about GPA's, if you go to a school, pass the Cal Bar and you have a brain for presenting yourself on paper, you'll land that interview and become an attorney.  I choose not to waste money that I could spend on better things than some school that gives me the same opportunity to sit for the BAR exam.  Lastly, I know for a fact that the brick and mortar NON ABA accredited school in Chico has produced at least two DEPUTY DA's for Butte county.  Those that discriminate about whether a school is ABA or not ABA don't want change and are not prepared for the next step, schools that are online are more efficient and can give the SAME education with out the high education expense costing our country and our citizens. California is doing a fabulous job of turning out some pretty darn good lawyers from nonABA schools and to say that you better go to an ABA if you want to be a Deputy DA is hogwash.. 

The first lecturer for Concord in 1998 was Arthur Miller a well known professor from Harvard Law School!  I love his civil procedure lectures and my degree, my education and my future career as a lawyer may very well be better than most brick and mortar schools because of the lecturers that are at my school.

Lastly,  if you work in a law office ANYWHERE and want to go another route, 2 years of college course work, under instruction of an attorney you can become eligible to sit for the FYLSE and every 6 months submit the required report to the CA bar. After Passing the FYLSE and completing the study requirements a person may sit for the Bar Exam and upon Passing the BAR without EVERY having gone to ANY law school or correspondence program that person can become a lawyer.  Just think, just the cost of time and expense of books!  Sounds like Abe Lincoln, except he did his studies in a log cabin.

Oh and if you think large law firms don't look at our resumes, think again!  They are looking at all and will even offer internships to those they feel are qualified to join their staff.  I work for on of the largest law firms in the NW and they don't descriminate, most law firms don't.  Only a few attorneys say that they wouldn't hire someone from an online program so they can see their name in the paper.

The last article is the best, Heather Brown graduated, passed the bar and is a long beach prosecutor!  ONLINE ROCKS

I don't think anyone is saying online or non ABA can't be done.  Just from what I've noticed in the LA area, the competition has been so fierce over the last couple of years that grads from the higher ranked ABA schools are taking those PD/DA jobs that were initially taken first by CBE grads, then online grads.  I recommend CBE over online because only about 25 - 30% of the students that take FYLSE pass and the pass rate for retakers is even lower.

CBE students do not have to take the baby bar and it's half the price of ABA.   Of course, one can be successful online, it's just more difficult to compete these days.   If you have a graduate degree and entrepeneurial skills, then online is perfect.  I just wanted to make it clear to the OP that PD and DA jobs have been much more difficult to get especially in the LA area over the last couple of years.  (I'm not sure where he is from)

I agree there is no one size fits all, but there was a hiring freeze for those jobs for almost two years.  So no graduate from any shcool could even apply.  This is also around the time when law suits started popping up against the lower tiered ABA schools for falsifying employment statistics.   

Btw, Legend, you are correct.  I am a student at Western State, and even I have gotten a lot of grief for going to a tier 4 school.  It's only until I explain that I have an internship lined up and a job waiting for me when I graduate that people are semi-ok with it.   I say "semi" because there are still suspicions as to whether or not I'll be successful.  I would have much rather gone to a CBE and am still considering it, but I also plan to take the bar in Massachusetts and do not want to wait 3-5 years to do that.  That being said, I like my shcool.  The students are great and the class sizes are small so access to professors was easier, which I wanted my first year. 

Like I stated before, I'm coming out of law enforcement so if I was to practice law, I would prefer to work for the District Attorney's Office. After all, I would rather contribute by keeping criminals in jail rather than trying to keep those individuals out. The Cal-Bar school near my house is not correspondence, and a large number of their graduates are hired by the D.A.'s office. They also have a courthouse on site that is run by the Superior Court of California, so there is a lot of networking between the students of this school and the D.A.'s Office. If I couldn't get a position with the D.A.'s Office, I would open my own practice as I would not like to work for a law firm. Hence my situation, and the reason why I treading lightly and trying to weigh my opinions . . .

Although I've just finished 1L at an ABA, it used to be a CBE until 2008.  Living in Los Angeles and talking to the judges and lawyers I've met, you are much better off going to a CBE than online.  One judge I spoke to who found I was going to law school asked me if the school was at least "state accredited."  I told her it was ABA, and have been asked the same question by other attorneys.  Ironically, one lawyer advised his son to do CBE instead of ABA probably because it's cheaper and he can just work for his dad when he is finished.  But even he said he didn't want his son to do an online school.  My point is even attorneys and judges in Cali are asking if my school is at least state accredited.  Granted I've only spoken to a handful of these people, but CBE or ABA will be hired over you if you do online.   Roald is correct about the DA's office and PD's office.  There are more grads from Loyola and Pepperdine taking those jobs than even tier 4 schools and they were on a hiring freeze for a couple of years.  (not sure if they still are) 

Although it will cost a bit more than online, you won't have to take the FYLSE, you don't have get a really high LSAT score, and your chances of passing the bar are a bit higher with better job prospects.  Just my two cents as someone who has been asking around a bit. 

To expand a bit on what Legend was saying, I also attend a lower tiered school and the motto is: "easy to get in, difficult to graduate from."  This is true even for the most disrespected law school, Cooley.  The attrition rates are terrible because they are taking incoming students with low numbers, but want the graduating class to be able to pass the bar.  I'm not sure about T1s, but most schools, including mine curve on a C.  75% of the students will get a C because that is how the curve works.   Unlike your school, though, I don't think my T4 would allow a student to return that many times with below a 2.0.

However, a student should never be trapped by a curve because all law schools have a ranking system.   Were you not told what your rank was?  Most schools provide ranking because first semester gpa's are not indicative of how well you did precisely for that reason.   Just as legend pointed out, only a top percentage of students will have a 3.0 or higher.  One of my classmates was in the top 25% with just a 2.8. 

As to the business aspect, all private schools - and even some public schools - are in it for the money.  There's a lot of crooked things that go on in the public sector - especially in Los Angeles.  When I researched schools before applying in California, UCLA, a state school, was just as expensive as my for-profit school and they graded on a curve just like my school.  The woman I'll be working for is probably one of the few people that went to a cheaper state school in Ohio.  However, they also graded on a C curve and I don't know of any school that does not. 

You may be thinking it's easier at other schools because the mean is a B, but even those schools keep a mandatory curve where at least 70% will get a C or B- at the most.  Just want to clarify that even if the mean is higher, a grading curve still puts the majority of students at a C, but it shouldn't trap you at the school because of the ranking system.

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