You are right. Mid Atlantic is not a "real" law school. But, neither of the other law schools registered with the California bar "real" law schools either. They are recognized companies doing business in California. Graduates of any of those companies will not be eligible to take the bar exam of any other state [right out of law school]. That is why the Office of Admissions requires all students registered with it to keep a log of how many hours they are studying.
Someone who graduates from MASL will have to petition the Office Of Admissions in California to take the FYLSE and the California bar exam. He/she will have to keep a log of all the hours they have studied. He/she will have to send a copy of MASL's syllabus to the Office of Admissions.
What is key, here, is how much knowledge the student actually has. That is why MASL has a final project. The final project can be an internship or an analytical thesis. Supplementary articles [kind of like publishing your own Law Review online] will bolster your reputation.
Years ago, home schooling was looked down upon. Now, because so many home schooled students are doing so well, that form of education is well regarded. The same thing can happen with MASL. Okay. It is a private company [like a for profit school] that provides a structure. But, like I said before. It is not the school that will make a student an attorney. It is the student who will make himself/herself an attorney.
To Oceanblue57: Try to get the most current editions of each Gilberts' Outline. Don't buy them all at once. Buy one book at a time. Each volume from Thomson West is about $40.00. The length of time it will take you to get through one volume depends on how much you study. I work full time. So, it took me about 8 weeks to get through the first module. I read it from cover to cover and took my time carefully authoring the summary.
There is some truth in what all these people are saying about MASL. But, if MASL is your only option because of the price, stick with it. It is not impossible to become eligible to sit for the FYLSE and the California bar with an MASL JD (or the DC bar exam). But, you do have an uphill battle. Like I said before you will have to acquire an almost encyclopedic knowledge of all the areas of the law that a bar exam tests. You should brief as many cases as you can from each Gilberts Outline. Put the completed cases in a binder and keep them. I have a one page handout that I wrote for someone else on how to brief a case. I copied it from a textbook. (Yes. The references are there.) If you would like a copy of it, let me know. My email address is: email@example.com
. Put "Law Discussion Forum" in the subject line so that I will actually read the email. There isn't much of a need for legal service volunteer work because licensed attorneys are doing all the pro bono work. This means that you will have to write articles. They don't have to be published by publishing companies. You can upload them to your own website. I have articles on: http://www.works.bepress.com/angela_passaro
The bottom line is that you have a lot of work ahead of you. I know of two people who have graduated from MASL. One of them enrolled in a 26 credit program so that he can sit for the DC bar.