Law School Discussion

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Messages - financialandtaxguy

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41
Don't forget Google Scholar.  Tha great company allows those of us with limited finances to download any case without having to pay hundreds of dollars a month!

Thanks for the suggestion.  Which law program or school are you using?

42
Over the four years since starting my online legal education, I have come across some websites that may help you as online law students and future lawyers.  Since you are already in the online mode of thinking and learning, go visit these websites, one gives you tips on jury presentation skills, one has case briefs, one has flashcards, one has recorded Michigan Supreme Court oral arguments, and another has oral arguments at the European Court of Human Rights, FREE:

Trial Tips Newsletter  www.TrialTheater.com

Case Briefs  http://www.casebriefs.com/

Flash Cards   http://www.proprofs.com/flashcards/search.php?search=law and http://quizlet.com/subject/law/

Michigan Supreme Court Oral Arguments videos  http://www.michbar.org/courts/virtualcourt.cfm

European Court of Human Rights webcasts   http://www.echr.coe.int/ECHR/EN/Header/Press/Multimedia/Webcasts+of+public+hearings/

Legal Case Alerts by email and many other resources  http://www.findlaw.com/casecode/

Misc. Law Subjects  http://freevideolectures.com/Subject/Law 

Christian Legal Society  http://www.clsnet.org/

The Famous writing of Frederic Bastiat "The Law"  free audio  http://www.freeaudio.org/fbastiat/thelaw.html

Please share any other free resources you know about to help us continue learning and preparing to become great lawyers!   

 
 

43
Thank you!  I think you have made my point more than you know.  It only takes one student to pass the Baby Bar and General Bar the first time to prove my point, it doesn't have to be a majority, and that one student doesn't pass by luck, when all things are constant in the equation except for the student's perseverance, cognitive and intellectual skills.  Thanks for the Stats!

However, when you have an educational experience where the MAJORITY of students do not pass tests of minimal competency, that is a pretty severe indictment of the process that educated them.

Yes, some will pass.  Hey, people are smart.  People are dedicated.  Frankly, you could probably find some segment of the population who would find a way to pass the baby bar and bar with no law school, whatsoever.

We're not talking about the students here.  We're talking about the process that educated them.

The current 3 years of law school in a classroom is a system that, no doubt, could be refined.  Maybe it shouldn't take that long.  Maybe they should re-introduce pre-law required coursework in undergrad.  Maybe different classes could be introduced.  Maybe a greater reliance on internships. 

What's it to me?  Honestly, I don't care.  If you want to get your education this way, more power to you.  I sincerely hope you find what you're looking for.  However, I wouldn't advise anybody I know to pursue this route. 

It's a shortcut.  People recognize that.  Prospective students are attracted because they like the idea of a shortcut.  Employers are turned off because they generally don't want employees who are looking for the easy way out or a way to avoid paying their dues. 

The results are pretty clear:  it's a shortcut to nowhere.

I guess we agree to disagree here folks.  Again I will say that logically speaking, if an online law school teaches the same material to all its students without variation, and 1 out of 10 students pass first attempt on Baby Bar and General Bar, then obviously the variable is the student's perseverance, cognitive and intellectual skills.  Let's not overcomplicate this equation.  Most online and correspondence students have to be very, very, self-motivated, disciplined, and sacrificial with their family, work, and free time to accomplish what is necessary to be a successful online or correspondence law student.  Online students pay more substantial dues than just classroom responsibilities and over-inflated tuition, as most of us have or had families to support and full-time jobs or careers.

I repeat, as a Financial and Tax Adviser, if lawyers want to do business with me and my clients, they need to prove to me competency in Estate Planning and Tax Law, and I and my colleague will not and do not ask them where they went to Law School, but will we will test their knowledge, experience, and ethical behavior.   

If you or your colleagues take MCLE courses online, remember what you said about online learning!  Thanks for the chats and have a great Sunday!


44

Some low ranked, non-aba schools in California produce terrible bar passage rates.  Does anyone seriously think that has anything to do with the quality of education?  Maybe it has a small impact, but the more likely cause of the low test scores is that the quality of students is low.


Don't forget there are many that still consider California's bar exam to be the hardest in the Country.  So my hats off to all the online and distance educated law students in CA that have passed the CA bar, especially on first attempt!

45
So, if we are judging the school by the failing of the Baby Bar by one of it's students, then what does that say about the many that passed the Baby Bar and General Bar on first attempt, from the same school? Therefore, if the teaching is the same for all students, which is the case more consistently with online and distance learning, because we are not subject to hearing different lectures of the same course, by the same instructor, then I would say the determinative is not the content as much as it is the student's perseverance, and cognitive and intellectual abilities.

The problem with this argument is that you haven't provided any evidence for it.  In fact, the evidence indicates to the contrary.  The school's bar and baby bar passage rates are absolutely abysmal.  Although a select few (35%) may manage to pass the baby bar through their "perseverance, and cognitive and intellectual abilities," only 26% of those select few actually go on to pass the California Bar.  If there isn't a problem with the education received at Northwestern California, why do the best-of-the-best (i.e., the 35% that passed the baby bar and are, therefore, eligible to sit for the bar) continuously fail the California bar?

Edit:
For the years 1997 through 2010, 164 Northwestern California graduates have taken the California Bar Examination as first-time takers; of that number, 42 passed the examination for a pass rate of 26%.

In October 2010, thirty-four Northwestern California students took the California First-Year Law Students’ Examination (the “Baby Bar”) for their first time. Twelve (35%) passed.

Thank you!  I think you have made my point more than you know.  It only takes one student to pass the Baby Bar and General Bar the first time to prove my point, it doesn't have to be a majority, and that one student doesn't pass by luck, when all things are constant in the equation except for the student's perseverance, cognitive and intellectual skills.  Thanks for the Stats!

46
I chose Northwestern California University School of Law, for the content and price.  I failed the Baby Bar the first attempt but studying now for the second attempt.

I don't mean to be cruel here, but don't you see this as a problem?  The education you receive wasn't even sufficient to get you past the baby bar.


No offense taken!  But don't confuse my limitations at age 51 with my probabilities of passing the Baby Bar on first attempt at an earlier age.  So, if we are judging the school by the failing of the Baby Bar by one of it's students, then what does that say about the many that passed the Baby Bar and General Bar on first attempt, from the same school?  Therefore, if the teaching is the same for all students, which is the case more consistently with online and distance learning, because we are not subject to hearing different lectures of the same course, by the same instructor, then I would say the determinative is not the content as much as it is the student's perseverance, and cognitive and intellectual abilities.

If you remember from my post, I also mentioned that I usually interview all lawyers who want my business or business with my clients.  The reason I interview prospective lawyers, is because I know from experience, that they are not all competent, and I don't ask them where they went to school, I want to know the quality of their work and their intentions with my client.  I learned more about Estate Planning, a very complex area of expertise, from a non-lawyer, and in this area of my practice, I make darn sure the lawyer I choose knows what he is doing otherwise he has no business with me or my client.

I believe that traditional law schools are over-rated, and the more esteemed ones, seem to be more liberal (now I'm revealing some of my political persuasion).  My contentions are not against the student of law as much as it is against the inflated cost of the system of education and exam method used to make lawyers by traditional methods.  I guess if I needed the status of a traditional law school, I may have chosen that avenue, but I would still be gambling at the outcome.  But I'm beyond that now, I am a Registered Investment Adviser, Tax Accountant, Financial and Estate Planner, and Business Consultant, and I thank God that he had me go down that path first, otherwise I would be a starving and desperate young law school graduate.  So, now after a 20 year waiting period, I want to add the Attorney license to my practice so I can continue on with complimentary work, and therefore a traditional school I don't need.

So maybe the point is employability for those who are not in a law related profession yet?  I don't know, I'm not in those shoes!  Maybe someone who has graduated from a distance or online learning law school can speak to the issue of employability.  I re-emphasize from my perspective, I will do business with an online or distance learning law school graduate who can demonstrate competence in Estate Planning and Tax Law.  Nice chatting with you!

47
Non-Traditional Students / Re: Law School at 52
« on: June 06, 2011, 03:11:50 AM »
So, I got accepted into a top 100 law school at the tender age of 52. I am excited in that I always wanted to be a lawyer, took my first lsat back when dinosaurs walked the earth, but other priorities prevailed.  Will start fall 2011; but have a question...... how will my "classmates" view me?  really don't want 4 years (going part time due to job) of being alienated.... just curious.

If you turn out like this lady in the link below, who graduated from Washington University law school at age 54, still working at age 81, you will have done a lot of good for American Society.  I'm 51, Married for 27 years, 8 children, Financial and Tax Adviser, attending law school online, studying for my second attempt at the Baby Bar in CA, and hope it all works out for you also.  Not sure I am willing to pay for the cost of traditional law school or get into debt for it at my age.  Anyway, here is the link to this famous lady who graduated law school at age 54 and has a large following - http://www.eagleforum.org/misc/bio.html

48
I respectfully disagree with you john4040, and would say that as a Financial and Tax Consultant, I have refused to do business with many lawyers who demonstrate lack of competence even though they have passed the bar exam.  I was tempted to report one lawyer to the Bar in particular who sold a client (not mine thankfully) 48 Trusts with a willing CPA who I also wanted to report to the AICPA!

I fail to see how we disagree.  The bar is a test of minimum competency.  If you pass the bar, you have demonstrated that you have met the baseline standards of the legal practice -- not that you are a decent attorney.

Well I guess we are agreeing to disagree.  No one has been able to convince thus far, that a timed exam with trick questions on the MBE portion, is a realistic reflection of even minimum competency, since as one post put it, and I paraphrase, "law schools teach you about law and how to think like a good lawyer, and Bar Prep courses teach you how to pass the Bar Exam, they are unrelated."  Best of the Best to you john4040!

49
You touched on a bit of reality that I have discovered in many online law schools:  you have to memorize a lot of concepts and rules of law in a relatively short period of time.  The program you described at the University of London is similar to online law schools here.  The student is expected to know all the black letter law for criminal law, torts, and contracts and is expected to be able to apply the black letter law to hypothetical situations almost flawlessly after studying for just one year.  Then your future depends on the first year law students' exam.  That kind of program would work perfectly if the person studying online did not have to work or take care of a family.   It really takes two years to memorize all you need to know for the FYLSE.

I share your sentiments, as I am 51 years old, a Registered Investment Adviser and Tax Accountant here in CA, and find that I'm up against old tradition or weeding out process that the American bar system has.  If you read my other posts, you will see that when I seek out lawyers for work with my clients, such as Estate Planning, I interview them first, because I don't care where they went to law school or if they passed the bar, but they have to prove to me competency and good moral character.  All I want to do is use the Attorney License for Estate Planning work which I have done, Contract Law because of my business background, and Tax Law because of my tax accounting experience.  So these unrealistic hurdles such as the Baby Bar and Bar don't impress me as being indicators that a lawyer will be of sound and ethical legal practice.

What I said about the University of London or what I meant by stating that you have to know case law, is that the U of L exams expect you to quote the citation for all your reasoning or application of the rule of law.  I got the feeling at times, that one of the professors was very much into her knowledge of citations, and then it became very overwhelming to me.  If anyone chooses U of L, make sure you only have a part-time job and can memorize case law citations otherwise you will be drowning in school work.  I know the U of L is accredited in England, and can be an open door for you to sit for the bar in other states and not just CA, but you have to know what State you want to practice law and if they will recognize the LLB from U of L.  I would still suggest a California online or distance learning law program if you are an American, work full-time, don't mind being limited possibly to CA and Federal Courts, and appreciate our constitution and legal system.

I chose Northwestern California University School of Law (now disenrolled) because of content and price, and I liked that I could get lectures and definitions on MP3 and listen to them anytime.  Currently, I am studying for my second attempt at the Baby Bar this October.

50
To the Curious and Ignorant,

There is a lot of drama posted regarding the legitimacy of certain law schools in California, so here it is straight from their website.  As a current or future lawyer, remember you don't win an argument by inaccurate and misleading statements, so buckle up, and do your research.  Those of you who have been scared off by ignorant comments about online or distance learning law schools, California does have standards for these non-traditional law schools.  Remember, the old common law that most of us study are probably from lawyers and judges who did not attend Harvard or Yale, many of them were non-traditional, but had one very important ingredient - good moral character!

I am a Financial and Tax Adviser by trade, and have been researching law schools for over 15 years now.  If lawyers want to do business with me and my clients, I first usually interview them for their competency, because I don't care what law school they went to or if they passed the bar exam, they must prove to me they know what they are doing, then show good moral character, and that they are not trying to build their cabinets with Wills for future probate or Trusts for future settlement (lawyers know what I'm talking about here i.e. income in the future from probate and settlement fees after their or my client dies).

I chose Northwestern California University School of Law, for the content and price.  I failed the Baby Bar the first attempt but studying now for the second attempt.  I don't appreciate, as a professional with experience working with law, that I have to go through this extra hurdle of the Baby Bar here in CA.  But anyway, at age 51, I will have to see how much I will put up with.  I plan on using the Attorney License to continue in my work in Estate Planning and Contract Law.

For those without a Bachelors degree, please note that you only need 60 credits of college work to start at these online or distance learning law schools listed on Calbar.  So, here it is, the link you need to get started!

http://admissions.calbar.ca.gov/Education/LegalEducation/LawSchools.aspx

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