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Messages - MrSmittie

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91
General board for soon-to-be 1Ls / Re: Bar difficulty ranking…
« on: April 20, 2006, 02:12:33 PM »
Quote

Yup, you don't have to go to law school at all. Anyone in CA can take the bar. And of course, there are lots of crazy people who think they can pass w/o having attended law school. They, of course,bring down the CA bar passage rate..



While Law School, per se, may not be required, all California Bar Applicants must complete some form of Legal Education. The following has been excerpted from the Cal Bar Committee Rule of Admission webpage

RULE VII. Educational Requirements

Section 2. Legal Education.

Every general applicant has the burden of establishing that he or she has met the following legal education requirement:
(a) Graduated from a law school approved by the American Bar Association or accredited by the Committee; or
(b) Studied law diligently and in good faith for at least four years in any of the following manners:
(1) In a law school that is authorized by the State of California to confer professional degrees; is registered with the Committee; and which requires classroom attendance of its students for a minimum of 270 hours a year; or
(2) In a law office in this State and under the personal supervision of a member of The State Bar of California who is, and who has been continuously, an active member of The State Bar of California for at least the last past five years; or
(3) In the chambers and under the personal supervision of a judge of a court of record of this State; or
(4) By instruction in law from a correspondence law school requiring 864 hours of preparation and study per year and which is registered with the Committee; or
(5) By any combination of the methods referred to in this subsection (b).

Section 3. Study in a Law Office or Judge's Chambers.

(a) To receive credit for one year of study, an applicant must have studied law in a law office or judge's chambers during regular business hours at least 18 hours each week for at least 48 weeks each year. To receive credit for one-half year of study, an applicant must have studied law in a law office or judge's chambers during regular business hours at least 18 hours a week for at least 24 weeks.
(b) The attorney or judge in whose office or chambers the applicant is studying must have given personal supervision to the applicant for at least five hours each week. "Personal supervision" refers to time actually spent with the applicant that is utilized primarily for the exposition and discussion of the law, the recitation of the cases by the applicant and the critical analysis of written assignments submitted by the applicant.
(c) The applicant shall file his or her intention to study in a law office or judge's chambers by filing such notice on the Committee's form accompanied by the fee specified in the schedule of fees published by the Committee within 30 days after the study began and also must pay a fee as specified in the schedule of fees in conjunction with the semi-annual reports filed pursuant to subsection (f).
(d) The attorney or judge under whom the applicant studied law shall file an initial report with the Committee within 30 days after the study began. The initial report shall contain an outline of the proposed course of instruction to be given the applicant and an affirmation by the attorney or judge that he or she will supervise the law study and conduct the required examinations.
(e) The applicant shall be examined at least once a month on study completed during the previous month. The examinations must be written and graded, and the questions and answers must accompany the semi-annual report required by subsection (f), below.
(f) A report must have been filed by the attorney or judge every six months, setting forth the number of hours the applicant studied law each week in the attorney's office or the judge's chambers during regular business hours, the number of hours the attorney or judge devoted to supervision each week, the page or chapter numbers and the titles of the books and other materials studied, the name of any other applicant whose law study was supervised by the attorney or judge, and such other information as the Committee may require.
(g) An attorney or judge may not personally supervise more than two applicants.

Section 4. Study by Correspondence.

(a) The correspondence law school must comply with the provisions of Rule XIX and XX of these rules and Rule 957 of the California Rules of Court and must require 864 hours of preparation and study each year for four years.
(b) To receive credit for one year of study by instruction in law from a correspondence law school, an applicant must have received passing grades in courses requiring not less than 864 hours of preparation and study during a period of not less than 48 weeks nor more than 52 consecutive weeks.
(c) To receive credit for one-half year of study by instruction in law from a correspondence law school, an applicant must have received passing grades in courses requiring not less than 432 hours of preparation and study during a period of not less than 24 nor more than 26 consecutive weeks. The transcript submitted to evidence correspondence study must indicate the date each course began and ended.
(a) An applicant who intends to begin the study of law may submit a written request for a determination of whether he or she has obtained the pre-legal education required prior to beginning such study. The request shall be on a form provided by the Committee, shall be accompanied by the fee specified in the schedule of fees and shall be accompanied by all certified transcripts necessary to make such a determination.

********************************************************


The following is also from the State bar of california website:

San Francisco, November 17, 2005 — The State Bar of California's Committee of Bar Examiners reported today that 48.8 percent of the applicants passed the July 2005 General Bar Examination (GBX).

This rate is slightly higher than the 48.2 percent passing rate on the July 2004 GBX. If the 4,072 people who passed the July 2005 exam satisfy other requirements for admission, they will become members of the State Bar.

Preliminary statistical analyses show that of the 8,343 applicants who took the GBX, 70.8 percent were first-time takers. The passing rate for 5,909 first-time applicants was 63.7 percent overall.

The passing rate for the 2,434 applicants repeating the examination was 12.7 percent overall. Preliminary statistical analyses show the first-time and repeater percent passing the GBX (rounded to whole numbers) by law school type as follows:

School Type                       First-Timers    Repeaters

California ABA                         70%            18%
Out-of-State ABA                       65%             12%
CA (but not ABA) Accredited            26%              7%
Correspondence                         22%              7%
Unaccredited                            8%              5%
All Others                              39%             14%
All Applicants                          64%             13%

Also, here is a link to a pdf file with Cal Bar passage statistics.

http://www.calsb.org/calbar/pdfs/admissions/Pass_StatsSummary.pdf

92
General Off-Topic Board / Re: mandatory minimums: yay or nay?
« on: April 11, 2006, 07:27:40 AM »
Sorry db, I was sick and in bed all day on Monday. I would agree with what sno says, I would stop making illegal U-turns. As I stated earlier, i am more inclined to support minimum sentencing for more serious crimes. On the other hand, if someone is a career criminal and has shown no evidence of change after having served time, then he/she should receive a stiffer penalty for "smaller" crimes - i.e. "stealing 16 steaks". When people repeatedly exhibit blatant disregard for the law even after they have been caught and penalized, they stakes should go up. When my own children mis-behave, they are punished. If they continue to do so, their punishment becomes more severe even if the subsequent offense is lesser than the first. It is the behavior that is being addressed more so than the individual action. My system intends to correct the unacceptable social behavior, and hopefully prevent future bad acts -though this does not always work. At minimum, it does prevent them from that child during her punishment period. It is in the hands of the actor, whether or not he/she makes a decision to change.


93
General Off-Topic Board / Re: mandatory minimums: yay or nay?
« on: April 10, 2006, 01:20:30 AM »
I think that minimum mandatories are a good thing, in moderation.  I agree that they should only be imposed for serious offenses (murder, terrorism, rape, sex crimes against children, etc).  However, with lesser offenses, I don't see a problem with allowing some discretion and flexibility for the judge.

 I'll buy that.

BTW - Dude, I wish you were going to the same school I'm planning on. After read many of your posts, I think were on the same (or similar) page as far as our philosophies on "why LS".


To all, I've enjoyed this discussion. I gotta turn in, though, cause 3:30am comes pretty quick on Mondays. Peace to all, and I look forward to further discussions.

94
Law School Applications / Re: THE SUB 150 CLUB...WE DESERVE A THREAD!
« on: April 10, 2006, 01:15:11 AM »
First, I must say what an awesome post this is.  I'm always impressed when super-competitive people can still find time to be respectful and supportive of each other.

I am not a sub-150, although my over all numbers are not that impressive (2.56/152).  Still, I've been accepted to 4 schools and have decided on the T4 Widener University in Wilmington, Delaware. 

I would like to address the issue of the value (or non-value) of attending a T3 or T4 school.  If anyone is basing their decision to go to law school solely on money, then they are a fool.  Is there a lot of money to be made as a lawyer?  Absolutely.  However, there are other, more lucrative ways to make money.  My brother, for example, graduated high school twenty years ago, started a trucking business with his friend in 1990 and made over $300K last year.  My other brother, also a high school graduate, got promoted to Sgt. at the County Jail where he works as a CO and brought home about $80K last year and, in 13 more years, will have ensured a 75% pension and full health benefits for him and his wife for the rest of their lives.  Not a bad set-up for two un-educated guys like my brothers.

I was on a similar path until a few years ago.  I was working in an Applebees and was going through the process of becoming a store manager.  With bonuses, I was looking at pulling down about $50K.  Not bad for a single guy of 27 (at the time).  Then 19 guys from the middle east slammed airplanes into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field outside of Pittsburg, PA.  When my reserve unit got called up, I had to go guard prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (not nearly as horrible as the media portray, by the way.).  While doing this, I realized that I should do more with my life then just sling burgers and fries.  Upon getting back from Cuba (my navy reserve time was up), I got a job with my brother at the jail.  I made decent money, but it opened my eyes to the legal process and inspired me to go back to college and complete my degree (come on May 7!).  It also inspired me to go to law school, which I will begin in August.

My point (long winded as it may be) is this:  If money were my sole motivator, I never would have left the restaurant business.  Had I stayed, I probably would have been a GM by now and been pulling down @ $80k per year.  I'm going to law school because, when its done right, the law is about the greatest thing that mankind has ever given itself and I will be damned honored to take part in that.  Maybe because I've sworn an oath before, but when I raise my right hand and take the oath upon entering the bar, I'm going to do so with the full cognizance that I am obligated to use the law to further society and the United States of America; not my own, individual bank account.  I'm not sure what form my practice will take, but my overall goal will be the same.  I would hope that everyone who goes to law school would have the same goal (I realize that most don't), because we all are being given a gift.  Certainly, a law degree is owed to none of us.  Therefore, we are all obligated to the furtherance of the profession.

In this light, I cannot see how investing in a law degree is not valuable, no matter what school's name is on the masthead of the diploma.  A degree from Widener may not be as initially valuable, in terms of the degree holder's income, as, say, a Notre Dame grad's.  However, if both practice their craft with honesty and integrity, then both have added something to the profession and, in deed, to our nation.  I'd say that's pretty valuable.

I think this should be the CREDITED Response!

95
General Off-Topic Board / Re: mandatory minimums: yay or nay?
« on: April 10, 2006, 01:10:51 AM »
Bad idea.

I encourage people to read the following book:

http://www.lifeontheoutside.com/

Why are we supposed to feel bad about this? Did she not break the law by selling illegal drugs?

Smittie, have you read the book? Perhaps you should.
And yes, because the punishment does not at ALL fit the crime. As for serving as a deterrent, most of the people affected by mandatory minimum drug laws don't even know those laws exist.

Nope, and maybe, but ignorance of the law is no excuse. Do you really think they wouldn't break that law if the knew about the minimum sentencing? Maybe, I'm pessimistic, but I doubt it makes much difference whether or not they know how much time they would get if they were caught.

I know this may seem over-simplistic, but if it IS the law, then we should either obey it, or work to change the law. BUT, until the law is changed, we should adhere, or accept the consequences of breaking it.

Are you traing to be a PA, Smite?

Not out of the question, but I am also interested in PD - maybe even trial advocacy. I'm just saying that people should obey the laws -regardless of the penalty - or work to change the laws BEFORE they break them. If someone is guilty of a crime they should pay the penalty that is prescribed.  I know this analogy might be flawed, but I would love to pay under $2 for a gallon of gas 0- unfortunately the price is much higher, so that is what I must pay. Is it fair? NO!, but it is what it is, and unless I change work to change the price BEFORE I buy it, then I must pay what is being charged even if I do not know that price before I begin to pump.

Indeed, some penalties are severe for the crime, buit that is the system we have. In the end, I guess I support minimum sentencing more for violent crimes than for the so-called victimless crimes, )i.e. - prostitution, personal drug USE, etc.) I am also definitely against police entrapment and coercion. I have not read this book and am not fully informed of the circumstances, but nevertheless, I do not think this or any other case is reason ebnough to do away with mandatory sentencing. There are probably (my guestimate) far more cases of people getting off too easy for destroying the lives of other people.

Interesting debate though.

96
Under-rating is definitely underated.

---

What about Costco, Sam's club , etc?

97
General Off-Topic Board / Re: mandatory minimums: yay or nay?
« on: April 10, 2006, 12:52:23 AM »
I used to be a reporter.

I covered a case where a guy was accused of armed robbery, false imprisonment and allegedly did this all with a shotgun.
Well, the jurors acquitted the guy of robbery because they did not believe the witnesses (a bunch of really seedy people, seriously). However, they believed his partner in crime who swore that the guy had a shotgun.

The partner in crime sold the guy out and got 2 years probation.
Long story short, this alleged shotgun (that was never produced in court, that no one showed any evidence that he had)  added 10 years to his sentence. This guy, which all the evidence shows simply got in a fight and slapped someone, is now serving 17 years in prison.

IMO something is wrong with that.

I agree, something was wrong in this situation, but I do not think that something is mandatory minimum sentencing. I would rather lean toward the problem as being with the jury, not the sentence.

98
General Off-Topic Board / Re: mandatory minimums: yay or nay?
« on: April 10, 2006, 12:50:30 AM »
Bad idea.

I encourage people to read the following book:

http://www.lifeontheoutside.com/

Why are we supposed to feel bad about this? Did she not break the law by selling illegal drugs?

Smittie, have you read the book? Perhaps you should.
And yes, because the punishment does not at ALL fit the crime. As for serving as a deterrent, most of the people affected by mandatory minimum drug laws don't even know those laws exist.

Nope, and maybe, but ignorance of the law is no excuse. Do you really think they wouldn't break that law if the knew about the minimum sentencing? Maybe, I'm pessimistic, but I doubt it makes much difference whether or not they know how much time they would get if they were caught.

I know this may seem over-simplistic, but if it IS the law, then we should either obey it, or work to change the law. BUT, until the law is changed, we should adhere, or accept the consequences of breaking it.

99
General Off-Topic Board / Re: Hottest TV Lawyer
« on: April 10, 2006, 12:33:36 AM »
Agreed, I keep trying to get my wife to pick up a pair at the $0.99 store or Wal-Marty, but she thinks I'm wierd. Okay, so maybe I am. ;D

100
General Off-Topic Board / Re: mandatory minimums: yay or nay?
« on: April 10, 2006, 12:31:24 AM »
Bad idea.

I encourage people to read the following book:

http://www.lifeontheoutside.com/

Why are we supposed to feel bad about this? Did she not break the law by selling illegal drugs?

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