Law School Discussion

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Messages - financialandtaxguy

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51
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!

52
Northwestern California School of Law / Good Online School
« on: June 04, 2011, 08:29:46 PM »
I started at NWCU (Northwestern California University School of Law) online in 2007, at age 47.  I am a Financial Adviser and Tax Accountant by trade, and this is what I could afford and had time for.  The study materials and methods are appropriate and of quality.  I did not pass the "Baby Bar" in 2009 and studying for my second attempt now, but as a disenrolled student. 

For those thinking about NWCU, you will be required and encouraged to buy the case books, hornbooks, and outlines that Harvard and other law schools use, so you are not handicapped there.  The handicap is the requirement to take the "Baby Bar" here in California after the first year of law school.  I'm already a professional and familiar with lots of tax law, but yet I have to go through this formality, getting older in the process, in order to start adding Attorney work to my financial planning and tax practice.

One of the helpful study aids that NWCU has is the online lectures and law definitions that can be played on an MP3 player and listened to while working out, jogging, waiting in line, etc...  They are also very reasonably priced online school in California, and legitimately registered with the California Committee of Bar Examiners.  I have researched online and distance law schools for over 15 years and NWCU was the choice I made.

Moral and Ethical Character means more to me than the big name behind the law school.  If you want to do work with me as a Financial Adviser, Estate Planner, Trust and Estate Adviser, and Tax Accountant, I will be looking for those aforementioned qualities, quality of your work, and not where you went to law school!

53
I agree with ShangChi, but for different reasons.  In the better days, when good character mattered, you could become a lawyer by studying case law, apprenticeship, and good sense.  Yes, we say we have a democracy here, but our heavy regulatory environment proves otherwise - Go Teaparty!  I have attended online law school since 2007, it is what I can afford and have time for.  I am a Financial Adviser and Tax Accountant by trade and 51 years old now, and I don't appreciate the delay I am getting because of bar exams.  I have done my research, and to use some of the regulatory minded lingo some of you have used, California "regulates" its registered non-traditional law schools.  That layer should be good enough.  Furthermore, we all get tested well enough in law school that adding another layer of "weeding out" of lawyers with a Bar Exam, that is generally a mind game to test your time limit skills, does not and has not produced a population of skilled and ethical lawyers. 

The Bar Exam has proved to be a good source of revenue for the states, do the math, especially with repeat test takers, and then add all the bar prep courses, the ridiculously high tuition at law schools, and their is great revenue to be made in the Legal Industry (if your not a student).  Unfortunately, everyone just puts up with the system, and no one in state government has had the guts to stand up and change it!  As I agree with the Free Market System, it should also apply to law students as well, and let the free market system of employment and business determine who becomes a successful lawyer, and not an unrealistic bar exam!

54
Be careful with the LLB program from U of L.  I attended there for one year in their advanced placement program.  Although it is very thorough, they expect you to memorize too much case law.  The exams are only once a year.   So your future in law is determined by one exam per course at the end of the year and if you fail the exams as I did, you have to spend another whole year studying again, and then risking your future on one final exam one year later!  I wrote and told them that their program is not very realistic of real life practice of law, where a lawyer has much more time to examine and prepare for a case, and not assessing a student throughout the year with other graded assignments is a little ridiculous.  Our law exams are a little better in that you are not required to know case law, but unrealistic in the method of exam. 

Another reason I would not attend U of L again, is because as  a freedom loving American, I would not want to attend a Law School that also teaches Sharia Law.  The price for attending U of L is very reasonable, about $3000.00+/- per year, but the price you pay in other ways, is not worth it in my opinion.

55
I have researched online and distance learning law schools for over 15 years now.  You must read the "Novus Law School" discussion.  I am finding that most of you are ignoring what the Novus Law School student said about being able to sit for the "Baby Bar" in California because he was under an "Attorney Supervised Study" program.  He is absolutely correct, California does allow for this, do your homework on the Calbar website.  As Liberal in philosophy California is, it does have the best options to becoming a lawyer in the State of CA, that no other state offers!  You can get your online law degree in CA, pass the Baby Bar, and pass the General Bar, practice in CA (although other states may not allow you to practice in their states), and practice in any Federal Court.  Practicing as an attorney in Federal Court is permitted with any State Bar License!

To clear up another issue, if you notice, my username is "financialandtaxguy" because I am a Registered Investment Advisor and Tax Accountant in CA.  You cannot represent a client in IRS tax court unless you are a CPA, EA, or Licensed Attorney.  Therefore, unless you have done an Attorney Supervised Study through Novus, passed the Baby Bar and General Bar in California, that is the only way a Novus law school graduate could represent a client before the IRS.  However, a Novus Law School graduate is free to work in any legal environment where an Attorney's License is not required i.e. government, law firms, contracts, legal compliance departments in brokerage firms, mediation, arbitration, and other venues, again only in applications not requiring an attorney's license.

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Go to the discussion "Novus Law School," and then you will need to study up on the non-traditional legal study allowed to sit for the California "Baby Bar" and California General Bar.  The key phrase will be "Attorney Supervised Study" for Novus Law Students.  Also, if you just want a legal education to enhance your job skills or work in a legal capacity without Licensed privileges, Novus would be a viable option.  Beware to not get caught up in "bignameitus" because when it comes to the practice of law, genuine moral character is the most important in my opinion.  Save your money, and if you live in California and only plan to practice in California, go to the California Bar website, and then go to the Committee of Bar Examiners link to see the list of non-traditional law schools that are registered to grant law degrees.

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