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Messages - Maintain FL 350

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Both Jonlevy and Citylaw make very good points.

I agree with Jonlevy that it's a Catch-22. Until online schools can attract better students they will have low bar pass rates, but until they get ABA accreditation they won't be able t attract the students they really need.

I've said this before, but online schools are going to have to meet the ABA at least half way if they want to earn accreditation. It's not enough to complain that the ABA is unfair or behind the times, or whatever. The online law schools will have to show that they are committed to meeting ABA standards by getting more students to pass the bar. This probably requires amending their own standards to include the LSAT, an undergrad degree, maybe even some kind of specialized test to see if someone can handle the rigors of an online degree. Until then, I don't think anything will change.

So what's the latest news on online law school applying for ABA accreditation? Has any of these online law schools lately applied for ABA approval and what ones? A link would be helpful if you can provide one. Thanks.

My understanding is that the current ABA rules don't allow for purely online programs to apply for accreditation. The ABA would have to change it's rules first, then an online school could apply.

Even if the rules change however, the problem online schools will face is bar passage rates. The ABA requires a school's first time pass rate to be within 15 points of the state's ABA average. In most states this means an online school would have to achieve a 60-70% first time pass rate, minimum. Right now, I don't any online schools are above 35%. That is a TALL order.


Take a look at the admissions information available on LSAC's "Official Guide to U.S. Law Schools". It will give you a very good indication as to your chances.

That said, with a 141 LSAT you stand a statistically very low (perhaps nonexistent) chance at USD and CW, maybe marginally better at TJ. You can go ahead and apply, but I see a retake in your future.

Try to identify the specific reasons that you had trouble this time, and focus on fixing them.

Good Luck!

Online Law Schools / Re: Baby bar test scores
« on: December 23, 2014, 11:08:10 AM »
For the purposes of law school, regional accreditation is sort of irrelevant. The only accreditations that matter are those from the ABA or a state bar. The vast majority of lawyers (employers) will view an online degree as "unaccredited", even though it is technically accredited. Maybe one advantage is that you can get federal student loans if the institution is regionally accredited?

Personally, if I were considering the online/correspondence route I'd look at 1) cost, and 2) bar pass rates. Most employers will frankly be skeptical of any online program, period.

As Citylaw said, online programs can be the right choice for the right student. The decision requires a realistic assessment of the applicant's goals, and where they want to live. For some people, it's the only chance at obtaining a JD, and can be a good choice.

Online Law Schools / Re: Baby bar test scores
« on: December 22, 2014, 04:38:50 PM »
Yeah, I understand your point. I'm just thinking back to a couple of people I knew in law school who struggled, got barely passing grades, and never passed the bar. They may have been better off getting a serious reality check early on and saving two year's tuition.

Funny thing is, some of my classmates who had a hard time came in with good grades and LSAT scores. They just had a very hard time mastering the law school game. Conversely, I knew others who got in by the skin of their teeth, did just fine, passed the bar on their first attempt and are lawyers. It just depends, I guess.

Online Law Schools / Re: Baby bar test scores
« on: December 21, 2014, 09:00:38 PM »
Kind of scary how of the ABA approved law students who took it (by choice I guess) almost none passed it
Then again its doing it just for poops, I guess one would take it less seriously ?

No, ABA takers are those who earned a below passing GPA after their first year and are required to take the FYLSX as a condition of reinstatement.

Personally, I think everyone should probably be required to take the Baby Bar. It would weed out a few people who won't be able to pass the bar, and save them tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of dollars. 

Right you are, my mistake.

Do you mean that firms will hire from San Diego based on pedigree?

I can't really speak for the SD market, but in LA it carries no more weight than Loyola/Pepperdine, etc.

Law School Admissions / Re: QUICK READ! PLEASE RESPOND!
« on: December 18, 2014, 11:52:35 AM »
Yes, an applicant can write their essay about adverse circumstances or the fact that they are the first to go to college, etc. The admissions boost, however, is miniscule as compared to URM status. I think this has to do with the fact that URM enrollment is reported and used a rankings criterion, whereas socio-economic status is not.

Mind you, I'm not necessarily against AA. Certain groups are vastly underrepresented in the legal field. In my experience, however, the single most underrepresented group are the poor, regardless of race. 

Most of what needs to be said has already been covered, but I will add this:

Consider using your GPA/LSAT to get a full ride (or close to a full ride) somewhere, regardless of ranking. If you have a guaranteed job at your current firm, then does it really matter where you go? Would they still hire you if you went to say, Whittier? If so, the lack of debt may be worth it.

Secondly, I live and work in the LA area and I can tell you that none of the schools you mentioned are so prestigious that they are worth $150,000 in my opinion. No firms are going to be so impressed with a degree from Loyola or San Diego that they will hire based on pedigree alone. 

Don't get me wrong, they are both fine schools with good local reputations. I know plenty of lawyers from both schools. But again, is the reputational advantage worth $150,000? I don't know, that's something you'll have to answer for yourself.

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