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Messages - Duncanjp

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General Board / Re: LSD Needs to Modernize Site
« on: September 08, 2013, 07:57:01 PM »
TLS is a joke insofar as it relates to law school. Its focus is only slightly broader than cheap entertainment for juveniles. On the other hand, LSD features many thoughtful, considerate posters who focus on issues and ideas relevant to the study of law, and who seem better prepared to disagree with a measure of civility becoming of present and future attorneys. If you're looking for a mature discussion about law and law schools, LSD is the place to be. If you want to trade anonymous insults with clowns and look at pictures and stuff, or get advice from pessimists who have never experienced life in the workforce, TLS has it all.

I'd love to see this website reinvigorated. However, for the majority of law students, mature internet discussion apparently isn't as fun as anonymously hurling insults at strangers.

Law School Applications / Re: Very Nervous, Please help!
« on: August 24, 2013, 03:24:12 AM »
If they kept out every freshman who ever got caught with a little alcohol in the dorms, there wouldn't be many people in law school. You may need to play the game and confess to having been very, very naughty in your early youth and explain what a big lesson you learned that day and how you paid a modest penance. But violating dorm rules about alcohol once is not exactly a crime of moral turpitude - unless you stole the booze. Be honest about it, but don't dwell on it too heavily. If your LSAT score is high enough and you had a solid GPA in college, I doubt getting in trouble with the dorm lady is really going to have that much impact on your chances.

There are other factors that the ABA requires to grant accreditation that tend to work against distance learning in addition to the quality of the student body admitted to such schools. For instance, the ABA requires that the faculty be full-time law professors. Concord, etc., would need to have enough students enrolled to justify employing full-time professors. Then they would need to charge enough in tuition to fund all the full-time salaries. I have no numbers, but I suspect they're a good distance from reaching that level. Even CBE schools like mine have to employ sitting judges, deputy DAs, and working attorneys to provide all of the instruction. While I've had some absolutely outstanding professors, as good as anybody I had at East Carolina U. and UC Davis in undergrad, all of my profs  are part-timers, holding down full-time careers with the DOJ, etc., and, candidly, visiting the ivory tower of academia at night and on weekends. Does this mean that ABA professors are better instructors than those who work for non-ABA institutions? Maybe not on a case-by-case basis. But on average, I would think that the best instructors would gravitate to the best schools, and to the teaching profession as a career. I see the ABA's point: they want professional teachers who are attorneys teaching the law, not attorneys by profession who happen to be able to teach.

Might be worth one brief sentence if it shows an ability to focus and coordinate others within a structured environment. But probably not worth two.

Great outlook, LL. No question that a positive, no fear attitude can carry a person a lot further than dwelling in perpetual self-pity.

General Board / Re: What are my options?
« on: May 25, 2013, 12:40:55 AM »
Maintain is right - you need to supply more details. But I can tell you from experience, it's easy to drop out of school by telling yourself that you'll return later. In fact, returning later is very difficult. Probably even harder than pressing on. And the longer you wait, the harder it becomes. Quitting doesn't get you closer to the goal. Your personal situation doubtless has its considerations, but if you are able to stay on, and you really want to become an attorney, you may be better off figuring out what you did wrong and working to correct it than quitting just because you haven't had instant success or you've found that it isn't as easy as you thought it would be.

Reviews, Visits, and Rankings / Re: Are CBA schools a joke?
« on: May 22, 2013, 03:45:42 AM »
It is charming that posters like "Duncanip" would have us believe that their CBA education qualifies them to be practicing attorneys but their antidotal stories, while interesting are not supported by facts.  The hard cold reality is that many CBA never pass the California Bar exam and fewer enjoy profitable legal careers.

Uh, for future reference, the word is anecdotal, not "antidotal" there, "bobol." Your observations on CBE grads are fair commentary, although my anecdotes are based upon personal knowledge. There is a cold, hard reality that many CBE grads never pass the CA bar exam. But you ignore the fact that many of them do and go on to have good careers in law, albeit, not on the Supreme Court. There is also the cold, hard reality that thousands of ABA grads have absolutely astronomical debt and cannot find jobs anywhere. Some have even filed lawsuits against their ABA schools. Some of those who do manage to find meaningful work, especially in BigLaw, burn out after a brief couple of years, or decide they don't like working as an attorney after spending a fortune to become one. It just seems myopic to me to dismiss one path with a cavalier wave of the hand in favor of the other, taking no account of the individual and his or her station in life. Not every college grad can go to Harvard. But does that destroy the value of getting a college degree from whatever institution is available to the student? No. The education is its own reward. What you do with it afterwards is up to you.

Reviews, Visits, and Rankings / Re: Are CBA schools a joke?
« on: May 21, 2013, 03:17:28 AM »
It is not surprising that none of the above defenders of CBA law schools can provide employment statistics.

Hopefully anyone considering a CBA school will understand that if these schools had employment statistics to confirm their worth then they would release those statistics.

Your mission to discredit CBE schools denies reality, despite what you may think. CBE schools don't send a flood of inexperienced graduates out into the real world to compete for jobs the way ABA schools do. The stats you want to see are not a selling point for CBE schools because the majority of CBE grads already have careers well underway and they are paying their tuition as they go. Employment in my class is nearly 100%.  I only know of three people who don't have jobs in law or government in my class of 52, and one of them is retired. Meanwhile, debt is very low. I won't owe a penny to anyone when I graduate, and the same goes for most of my friends. But look at the sad legions of ABA grads today: employment is low, debt is high. Very high. It's a shame, but I can understand the desperation to maintain the elitist status quo of the legal profession.

Anybody considering a CBE school who is young and inexperienced should think twice before settling on less than an ABA education. They'll be competing in an elitist marketplace at a disadvantage. On the other hand, people who are older, who dream that an ABA education is going to make them more employable than a CBE school, need to consider whether they have a realistic chance of recouping the cost.

Barbri, Kaplan, Themis and Cal Bar Review all set up booths at my CBE school regularly.

Reviews, Visits, and Rankings / Re: Are CBA schools a joke?
« on: May 07, 2013, 09:00:26 PM »
I applaud the movement to require CBE schools to meet minimum bar pass rates or risk losing their accreditation. There is something wrong with accredited schools that base their fees (and advertising) on being accredited if they do not produce graduates who have a fighting chance at passing the bar. That would go for any ABA school as well. If all you want is to learn the law for its own sake and you have no interest in sitting the bar, then an unaccredited institution is the place to be - with fees relative to that purpose. But accreditation needs to encompass certain minimum standards, and for law schools, the most important measure of their effectiveness is the bar pass rate.

That said, many factors influence pass rates: position in life, academic capacity of the student, quality of the education, availability of resources, quality of bar prep, etc. I'm glad that CA at least offers those who didn't get a 3.9 at Stanford a shot at becoming a lawyer, if they have the other intangibles in place. 

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