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Messages - Maintain FL 350

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211
Hofstra U School of Law / Re: Paul Campos on Hofstra Law
« on: October 18, 2013, 11:45:58 AM »
Not true. Compare the us news rankings to the placement outcomes on Law School Transparency.  There is a significant correlation between the us news rank and the placement outcome.

I think you misunderstood my point. Yes, there is a strong correlation between the rankings of elite schools and placement rates. NYU, for example, has a 91% placement rate. But elite schools like NYU, Stanford and Chicago were prestigious long before the current flawed rankings scheme came about. They always had a great placement.

My point is that once you get into the broad swath of non-elite schools reputations are local and specific rank matters a lot less. I looked at the numbers on LST and compared them to USNWR. Contrary to your point, there does not seem to be much correlation at all once you get away from the elite institutions. Hofstra's placement rate is right in line with the other schools you mentioned, and even better than some higher ranked NY schools.

How do you explain T1 schools (like Campos's employer, Colorado) that have placement rates similar to Hofstra? You yourself mentioned Washington and Lee having a low placement rate. Aren't they ranked higher than Hofstra?

My point is not to dispute that placement rates are low, they are. The point is that they are low across the board, unless you're looking at elite schools.

My point was that Campos had some interesting comments about Hofstra. You can agree with them or disagree with him but he is the expert. It seems to me that ""Hofstra’s law school is a classic example of an institution whose very reason for being has become at the least highly questionable." is a pretty harsh statement.

It's an utterly ridiculous statement. I would expect such snarky pap from a 0L, but not a professor. The purpose of any law school is to teach the law. As long as Hofstra is doing that according to the standards set forth by the ABA they are fulfilling their purpose.


212
Golden Gate / Re: In Vino Veritas Competition
« on: October 18, 2013, 11:26:58 AM »
That's good to hear. GGU ran onto some problems a few years ago (as law schools sometimes do) with the ABA. I think it had to do with their bar pass rate. Their bar pass rates now, however, look good so they seem to have corrected the issue.

As far as the mock trial competitions, it should be noted that students from lower ranked schools often beat the pants off elite schools. I think this has to do with the fact that students at elite schools tend to be eggheaded and nerdy whereas the lower tiered students might have the common touch, so to speak. I remember reading a couple of years ago that La Verne mopped up the floor with Berkeley and a few other T1 schools at some national competition, and I've also seen articles about places like Texas Tech having great  trial teams.

This is another aspect that USNWR does not take into account when they compile their rankings. Something to think about.   

213
Law School Applications / Re: LSAC help!
« on: October 15, 2013, 07:55:35 PM »
Check with both the school you're applying to and LSAC. They can give you far better answers than anyone here.

214
Hofstra U School of Law / Re: Paul Campos on Hofstra Law
« on: October 14, 2013, 03:03:58 PM »
gpa is important because gpa affects the us news law rank. Like it or not, law firms hire based on a schools us news rank. Hofstra fell from 89th to 113th last year.

Not at this level they don't. A firm that is willing to hire from the 89th ranked school is probably willing to hire from the 113th ranked school. Conversely, even if Hofstra shoots up in the rankings to 75th it will still make very little difference in terms of employment prospects. The big firms are still going to want NYU/Columbia, etc., and the small firms which are already populated with Hofstra, CUNY, and NYLS grads aren't going to make a huge distinction between 89 and 113.

Places that would never hire a Hofstra grad (or any non-elite grad) still won't, and places that do hire T4 grads aren't nearly as concerned with the rankings anyway. The employment prospects faced by Hofstra grads are not terribly different from those faced by most non-elite law school grads in major urban areas. 

215
Distance Education Law Schools / Re: Distance Learning
« on: October 13, 2013, 10:10:44 PM »
New York will generally let English solicitors take the bar but the catch is they have to get licensed first which means a training contract in England first.

Does CA require that UK law grads first get licensed as solicitors before they can apply for CA admission? Or could a CA resident get an LL.B and immediately apply to take the CA bar?

216
Hofstra U School of Law / Re: Paul Campos on Hofstra Law
« on: October 12, 2013, 02:50:54 PM »
Paul Campos is the leading expert on the current law school crisis.

According to who? Himself?

Campos is just a guy with a blog who states his opinion, like the rest of us. The fact that he is a law professor does not automatically confer greater legitimacy upon his opinion. His blog entries are not scholarly articles published in the Harvard Law Review, they are just his subjective opinions and are based on data which is available to all of us.

If we were talking about a point of law which was the subject of Campos's scholarly research, then I would defer to his expertise. But that's not the case here. A statement regarding Hofstra's "reason for being" should tip you off to the highly subjective nature of the article. The argument that Hofstra has abdicated it's purpose only makes sense if you accept Campos's criteria. I could make up my own criteria and come up with a different conclusion. Why does Campos get to decide what Hofstra's "reason for being" is? Shouldn't that be decided by the students and faculty of Hofstra?

The "crisis" is one of a generally bad economy rather than a law school-specific problem. When the economy was good, law schools like Hofstra had significantly better employment rates. As the economy improves (slowly), so will employment rates. I would agree with Campos that tuition at most law schools is ridiculously high, however, and should be significantly lowered.

Bottom line: be skeptical of inflammatory opinion pieces, use your common sense, and don't assume that someone is right just because they're a law prof. I recently graduated from law school in California, and have worked at both private and government law offices. I don't take people very seriously who have spent the last few years hunched over a computer blogging and collecting a paycheck from the state of Colorado.

217
Hofstra U School of Law / Re: Hofstra falls 113th in US News
« on: October 11, 2013, 01:28:36 AM »
I honestly believe that the USNWR rankings scheme is one of the worst things that ever happened to legal education. Talk to an older lawyer and they'll tell you that law schools used to be viewed like medical schools are now: there were a handful of elite schools that were recognized as such (Harvard, Yale, etc.), but all ABA law schools were more or less considered "good schools". There wasn't any silly posturing over who was ranked 98 and who was ranked 77.

One of the worst aspects of this scheme is that it has caused people to focus so much on the particular rankings that they forget that the education at any ABA school is virtually identical to any other ABA school. A student at Hofstra will receive almost exactly the same education as a student at Berkeley. In fact, that is the entire point of ABA accreditation and why it is considered the gold standard for legal education.

Instead, this scheme focuses on very subjective and fluid criteria. The fact that a school can rise or fall 20 spots in a few years should give any intelligent person pause.

The rankings often give prospective students a totally false sense of a school's perceived strength or weakness. For example, a student who wants to live in L.A. might be tempted to go to law school at New Mexico because it's ranked higher than any local school to which they were admitted. They don't realize that regardless of rankings most schools won't really help you outside of their own geographic region, and you're probably better off going to a lower ranked local school.

As Citylaw said, do not make life decision based on this flawed, subjective system.   

218
Distance Education Law Schools / Re: Distance Learning
« on: October 08, 2013, 02:24:16 PM »
Question for you.  Is your intent to finish this school and then sit for the US (pick a state) bar exam?

I think foreign law grads are typically limited to CA and NY. I believe that California has some kind of reciprocal agreement with the UK, which makes it possible for some UK law grads to sit for the CA bar exam. My understanding is that most states will not entertain the idea of a foreign law degree, period, and that even CA is unlikely to admit non-UK foreign lawyers. 


219
Distance Education Law Schools / Re: St. Francis Law
« on: October 07, 2013, 01:08:37 AM »
Concord is regionally accredited but not by the state bar.  That means a Concord JD in theory is marginally better because it also has some academic standing if one wanted to enter a non law graduate program later or try for a job based on the JD alone.

http://www.concordlawschool.edu/Accreditation.aspx

I suppose that might be true, but I doubt the advantage is more than minimal. For the purposes of law school accreditation only ABA or state bar accreditation matter. As far as non-law jobs, if they'd hire a Concord grad they'd probably hire a Taft/St. Francis/Cal Southern etc grad.

220
Distance Education Law Schools / Re: St. Francis Law
« on: October 04, 2013, 06:39:22 PM »
I just wanted to know any opinions and/or experiences with either Southern California or St. Francis Law Schools?

I don't have any personal experience with either school, but the same caveats that would apply to any DL program are applicable here. Think seriously and realistically about what you're trying to do with the JD and let that guide your decision making process. An online JD may be fine if you intend to be a solo practitioner in California, but you will not be able to get admitted to most other states regardless of the handful of anecdotal stories about people successfully petitioning various state bars. Even in CA most firms and government agencies are suspicious of online JDs, and it will be more difficult to find a job.

JonLevy has good advice, look at the individual schools' FYLSE and bar pass rates. Also look at how long the school has been around, and if their pass rates are consistent. I believe the Calbar website lists pass rates for the last five or six years.

Taft seems to be fully accredited with everyone EXCEPT ABA and cannot answer even dumb questions.  But they do get TITLE IV funds - and people wander what is wrong with the system. . . .

Concord is  the only school which has both accreditation with CA Bar and is regionally certified with US Dept of Ed.  Its policies mirror the ABA standards.

Concord is not accredited by the CA bar, in fact no DL program is accredited by any state bar or the ABA. This means that you will still have to take the FYLSE, and won't be eligible for admission to most states.

Taft is also not accredited by any state bar, same caveats apply. Taft does have a better record than most. They have a longer track record, better pass rates over a longer period of time, and are cheaper. (I'm not a Taft grad, this isn't a plug).

Bottom line: DL can be the right choice for the right person, but you really need to understand what you're getting into and the inherent limitations of the degree. That said, I've met successful attorneys from unaccredited schools. You just have to be realistic. 

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