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Messages - Duncanjp

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BTW, there is a lot of talk about if someone goes to an online school they won't be able to get a job.  Many threads by grads of traditional schools focus on getting a job.  Can get, hope to get, can't get.  A job.  With the horrific tuition debt they were snookered into shelling out they have to get a job.  Most folks who go to online schools already have a job. They're older, which is why they went or are going the online route.  They're not looking to "get a job."  By going to NWCU you can get a good legal education, without the debt, and without the worrisome need of having to "get a job", any job, to pay off that debt.  Freedom has it's advantages.  Including the advantage to quit law school if the person decides they don't like it at a minimum investment.  Same afterwards.  Don't like being a lawyer?  Fine the person has a nice JD on their resume & can go find some other place & way to live out their life.  For myself I've owned my own business for 24 years.  Lawyering is my fun retirement plan :)  I will never put my life in the hands of another person ever again.  That's what "having a job" is.  Putting one's present life in someone's else's hands.  Traditional law students are forced to do that.  ..... my clock...whatever that expression is.  Ticks me off big time!  All government backed student loans are meant to do is have a new little taxpayer enter the system, forced to enter the system, while they are walking the exit steps of law school.  In fact any school or college.  People think the government is loaning out money from the bottom of their hearts or something?  Hah!   Do law students think those job employment salary figures are meant to benefit the students?

You draw an important jobs distinction between ABA and non-ABA students, a point that seems to fly over the heads and under the radar of those who melodramatically predict failure if one does not attend an ABA school. Nobody disputes the greater prestige of an ABA degree and the advantages that attach to it. Years ago, I would not have thought to go anywhere else. And yes, a percentage of non-ABA grads become victim to the underlying truth of such warnings. But the ABA has its victims as well, which needs no addressing here. More importantly, time changes one's needs and goals, and not every prospective law student wants to work in biglaw. Besides, the percentage that actually lands and survives in biglaw represents only a fraction of employed attorneys. Not every prospective law student wants to leave her home state. Not every prospective law student is concerned with finding work at all after passing the bar. And not every prospective law student can justify the exorbitant cost that an ABA program requires, even if the cash to pay is readily available. That's why I chose to attend a CBE school. I'm 15 years into a career that I love with hundreds of connections and colleagues. It would be asinine to abandon my career path now to take a job defending criminals or hoping to find an entry level position in biglaw. CBE schools and online schools especially generally serve a different demographic than ABA schools. Older, experienced professionals who are looking to advance their current careers and rise above the ranks of laymen can get a lot of mileage from a non-ABA education, while saving themselves a small fortune in the process. Non-ABA students are frequently highly driven people who have but one immediate goal: get the license. The elitist claim that nobody would opt for anything less than ABA if the money and the intellect were not lacking ignores a fundamental reality: not every prospective law student needs the ABA advantage to derive a significant benefit from a legal education.

Any attorney that doesn't respect an opposing counsel is probably going to get their ass handed to them. If an attorney has passed the bar they can file motions against you, order sanctions against you, etc, and if you respond with your honor he/she went to an online school their motion for summary judgment doesn't count will not be much of an argument and your client will lose the case and you may be disciplined for saying that.

There are sitting judges from California bar schools and I imagine it is only a matter of time until a judge from an online school gets appointed if it has not happened already. Try disrespecting a judge based on what school they go to and see how it works out.

Again I don't think anyone is arguing California Northwestern or any Online school is going to open more doors than ABA school and there are likely firms that will not hire non-aba yet alone online law grads. There are also places that won't hire you unless you went to Harvard, but in a country with 300 million or so people in it there will be different opinions.

I personally wouldn't attend an online law school, but I am one. There are people out there that won't attend law school unless they get into Harvard, Yale, Stanford. There are people that won't date anyone that doesn't look like a supermodel and there are people that couldn't possibly drive anything less than a 2009 Ferrari. There is a broad range of expectations in this world and whether online law school works for you or not is a personal decision. Talk to people directly involved with the school and not just the PR department as they are certain to paint a rosier picture than the reality that is their job after all.

Always be wary of anonymous internet posters that know nothing about you, your situation, or what is best for you myself included.

Online law school may work out it may not and if any of us knew how our decisions would turn out life would be a lot less stressful. Again use your common sense when making the decision and good luck to you!


Pretty eloquent comment. You clearly have a widescreen option for your field of vision. Well said.

Minority and Non-Traditional Law Students / Re: Hello/Bonjour
« on: June 30, 2012, 09:26:33 PM »
Bonjour, Sophie. I know several people here in California who were not able to advance to the second year due to poor grades. Those who retook the first year have all had much better results the second time around. I think what you may need to do is get a calendar and block out the times that you do not have available to study, whether due to work, class, or whatever. Then you can determine when your schedule will afford you the time to study. Make yourself a schedule and discipline yourself to stick to it.

Online Law Schools / Re: Abraham Lincoln University, School of Law
« on: June 30, 2012, 07:35:03 PM »
Roald offers you some excellent advice. Pay close attention to him.

I attend Lincoln Law School of Sacramento, which has only CBE accreditation. Having already established a solid career that I do not intend to abandon after I graduate, attending a state-accredited school makes sense because what I will be doing after I pass the bar won't depend upon the prestige of my J.D. That said, if I had gone to an ABA school, even more doors might have opened up in my career that will otherwise remain closed. However, just getting the license will vault me far above my lay colleagues and position me to do bigger and better things. If you can say that, then maybe a non-accredited school would serve your purposes. But Roald is right about the pass rates.  I know people who have had to take the baby bar their success rate is dismal. The pass rate is typically only 20 percent. There are contributing factors to the low percentage. For example, some of the students who have to take it were those who could not pass ordinary first-year law school exams. If you cannot pass a simple crim law final, you're going to struggle with the FYLSE. Some say that the baby bar is particularly difficult. I don't believe this is true. The fact patterns that I've seen from it are ordinary tort and contract problems, which any average law student should be able to pass with ease. But the statistics don't lie. Bar and baby bar pass rates for those who study at non-accredited schools speak for themselves. Even brick and mortar CBE schools like mine grapple with bar pass rates. I've heard that the percentage of CBE graduates who ever manage to pass the bar hovers around 70 percent. I've met people who have failed the bar five times or more. That's got to be devastating. Think carefully about what you're doing and what your goals are before choosing a school.

Current Law Students / Re: Is Law School a jungle?
« on: June 30, 2012, 12:40:58 PM »
second one more like julie's favorite show, raising leafy ferns.


Just speculating here, but the unrealistic expectations of some (perhaps many) who enroll in law school doubtless stem from inexperience with the world outside their college dorms. The money fallacy is one aspect. But I'd really like to know how many young grads are attracted to law school every year after watching TV dramas and movies that glamorize the practice of law by featuring supermodel attorneys who snap a constant barrage of witty moral barbs at slimy male associates and hero lawyers who zealously rescue the innocent accused from the reckless grip of injustice. It's entertainment, I guess, if you like that sort of thing. My wife loves those shows. (Committed law student here and I usually can't stand shows about lawyers unless Marisa Tomei is involved.) But the reality is that practicing law can be a lonely occupation, with heavy pressure, long hours, and unfortunate consequences for snapping too many witty moral barbs at people. Smart attorneys keep their mouths shut most of the time. The attorneys I work with and the professors at my school are all very bright people, but God, they're also terribly ordinary for the most part. There is very little sparkle and glam. In fact, several attorneys of my acquaintance, excellent lawyers who have toiled in law for many years, have assumed the rather sad demeanor of old soldiers who have simply seen too many people die.

But nobody in her right mind wants to sit and watch that.

Incoming 1Ls / Re: Baby Bar
« on: June 14, 2012, 07:49:08 PM »
I also am new to posting here, but have been quite disappointed with the negativity on these boards. 

Welcome to the reality of law school forums, Glen. Negativity I can handle. But I really struggle with the lack of civility and petulant disposition of so many of those who post on law school forums, whether this one or others. Law school forums are unequivocally the rudest topical forums I have ever experienced on the internet. I might post more often if I thought I could get a polite, vigorous discussion about issues and points of view, which can be thoroughly enjoyable. I like banter and I respect alternate points of view. But the second you express an opinion of any kind on a law school forum, those who disagree frequently seize the chance to launch reprehensible personal attacks. And they don't really warrant a response because replying just gives them fuel to keep showing how juvenile they are and how incapable they are of serious discourse. I would have expected more from law students. A lot more.

That said, Falconjimmy, Fortook, Cerealkiller, Roald, and a couple of others on this forum are very capable of holding intelligent conversations about issues without telling you to stfu just because they disagree.

Incoming 1Ls / Re: When will schools be stopped from doing this?
« on: May 30, 2012, 09:11:20 PM »
They also fail to understand that law is a results driven industry, and that if you don't produce results nobody gives a s*&$ where you went to law school. You can only rest on those laurels for so long.

Yes, results are the true goal. But I must add that the attorneys who run my company's legal department(s) are all ABA grads. There are plenty of CBE-educated attorneys in the company, and some of them have risen fairly high up the corporate ladder. But to rise to the absolute top of the legal department of a national insurance company, results + pedigree is critical. For me, just becoming an attorney at all is the goal, even if it's the blue collar, unspectacular sort. Getting a J.D. and passing the bar will vault me far above my current colleagues and open many doors, but I have no delusions of grandeur: my bosses will always be ABA grads. And that's fine by me. They're my heroes anyway.

Incoming 1Ls / Re: When will schools be stopped from doing this?
« on: May 29, 2012, 10:39:29 PM »
For what it's worth, the DA of Sacramento is another who went to a CBE school, and she's been the DA for a fairly long time now. Approaching 20 years, perhaps.

About once or twice a year, usually on a long weekend between semesters, I get a buzz out of writing about attending law school. It can be fun to argue the benefits of attending a CBE school because the difficulty of making the case presents an entertaining challenge. But the rest of the time, I'm too busy with my career and my studies to waste a lot of time posting on law threads. Besides, law forums, especially that other one, are absolutely riddled with posters of invincible rudeness. I don't have the patience for it.

But once in awhile somebody like Roald comes along, a person of class and respectful disposition, who writes intelligent, thought-provoking posts, and does so eloquently and with perfect English.

Nice chatting with you, Roald.

Incoming 1Ls / Re: When will schools be stopped from doing this?
« on: May 28, 2012, 03:32:38 PM »
I would agree with you that a high attrition rate is not a feather in any school's cap, Fortook. But there are some differences in the circumstances between students who attend ABA schools versus those who attend CBE schools, such that it may not be completely fair to view a 40 percent attrition rate from a CBE school the same way one would (or should) view the same attrition rate from an ABA school. For one thing, poor grades are likely to account for a smaller percentage of those who fail to advance at a CBE school than with an ABA school (although I have no doubt that it's a leading cause in each). I don't know the true statistics, but I recall that a substantial number of people just couldn't handle the grind of working all day, five days a week, and spending three of those nights in class, then spending all of the rest of their time studying. It's a serious dose of bottle shock when you first enroll, and nobody really knows whether he or she can handle it until he tries. Maybe I'm wrong, but I tend to think that coping with the grind of attending a full-time ABA law school is not as significant a contributing factor to ABA attrition rates as it is to CBE schools.

At an evening CBE school, the grind may be the reason why a third or more of the 30-40 percent who leave do so during or after the first year. Maybe it's as many as half. (I honestly don't know. I'm speculating, based on anecdotal knowledge.) But it's a rigorous and unrelenting lifestyle. As an example, three nights a week, M, T, Th, I leave my house for work at 7 a.m., and I don't get home after class until 10 p.m. I'm on the go the entire day. Usually I have to eat my lunch at my desk while working to keep my bases covered because I can't stay more than an hour late at the most without being late for class. When I'm not at work or in class, I'm studying. I've had to sacrifice most of my social life to keep from falling behind. For many, including myself, this is doable. But a good number of people find that they can't take it and end up dropping after the first month or two before their tuition becomes non-refundable. Their numbers inflate the attrition rate of CBE schools beyond what I would expect from an ABA school.

On the subject of grades, CBE schools don't pull any punches when it comes to grading exams. At the beginning of the the first year, or 1E, a percentage of the people admitted had received relatively low scores on the LSAT: not because they're stupid, but because their brains just aren't wired to think logically and analytically. Maybe they don't possess the critical reasoning skills to IRAC a problem from both sides at the level that it takes to succeed. It would be easy to say that they should not be allowed to enroll at all, and thus save themselves time and money. But the fact is that the LSAT is not conclusive evidence of how a person will perform, even if it can be an indicator. I think it's good that there is an accredited option out there for unspectacular students to take a stab at becoming an attorney, if that's their dream. Some of them are going to be weeded out, maybe a lot of them, but at least they had a chance to try. Meanwhile, the A/B students frequently go on to successful careers. The people I would be most concerned for at a CBE school are the C students. My crim law professor told us during the first week or two of school that students at state-accredited schools who pass with only marginal grades statistically have a very difficult time passing the California bar. So help me, I will not allow myself to fall into that category.

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