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Messages - Maintain FL 350

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231
L.L.M. Board / Re: U of Washington(UW) Tax LLM
« on: July 14, 2013, 04:13:01 PM »
UW is very well respected in the Pacific Northwest, but I have no idea what the market is like for tax lawyers in Seattle. Although it's a well respected school, you still might have a hard time relying on a UW pedigree alone to land jobs outside of the western U.S.

I'd contact UW and ask about their placement for tax LL.Ms, and about the tax market in general.

232
For what it's worth, some of best teachers I had were adjunct faculty (prosecutors, public defenders, etc.) and some of the worst were tenured academics with impressive pedigrees.

Your point is well taken, though. The bar pass rate is just one of many factors the ABA considers. The entire institution is evaluated over a period of several years. The ABA looks at financial resources, bar support services, academic attrition, the physical plant, you name it. They even interview past and present students to get candid opinions on the school. This is why ABA approval is the gold standard for law schools, it's difficult to attain. 

In order to have a shot at accreditation either the ABA or Concord will have to drastically change its current requirements. I don't see that happening anytime soon.

233
I agree, it's a Catch 22. They can't attract better students without approval, and they can't obtain approval without better students. This is why ABA approval seems unlikely to me, despite Concord's financial resources. 

I suppose there is one route:
Concord could start requiring a degree and the LSAT for admission, which would drastically reduce it's class size but provide higher quality students. Then, attrite the underperformers and seriously support the rest with quality bar prep. If they were thus able to raise their pass rate it might give them more leverage with the ABA.

At this point, however, I just don't see what Concord is bringing to the table other than open admissions and low pass rates.

234
Transferring / Re: Emory or WashU for Tfer
« on: July 13, 2013, 02:20:23 AM »
If his goal is to end up in D.C., he should look into transferring to a local school: Georgetown, GWU, American, George Mason, etc.

As between Wash U and Emory, I doubt if one has better connections to D.C. than the other. Frankly, showing up in D.C after law school and having to compete with the multitudes of local talent who have had three years to network is not an enviable situation. I would advise your brother to make every effort to secure internships in D.C. and make connections.

235
I agree that Kaplan has the money and the lobbying ability to take on the ABA. They have the biggest bankroll of any online school, by far.

However, is the ABA is going to extend approval to a school with a 35% pass rate? Remember, they've recently denied approval to schools with much better pass rates.

Which brings me to my point:

Either Concord will have to drastically increase it's bar pass rate to 60-65% on the California bar (which gets them within 10-15% of the statewide ABA average), or the ABA will have to drastically reduce it's bar pass requirements. Neither is an impossible scenario, but both seem unlikely. Maybe there is another route, but I don't know what it would be.

California CBE approval is a different story, and I could definitely see Concord becoming the first CBE approved online school.

236
Concord is the most prominent and very likely will become the first accredited on-line law school in he US. As a subsidiary of a publicly owned corporation they have the means to make it happen . . . a quest they have been on for more than a decade. I predict it will happen within two years. Since the new ABA accreditation czar is Barry Currier, former dean of Concord . . . they also have an informed and sympathetic ear at the ABA . . . I predict less than five years before they get provisional ABA accreditation as well . . .

Although I'm sure that CA Law Dean has a better understanding of the subject matter than I do, ABA accreditation of online schools seems unlikely to me (at least in the near future) for a number of reasons.

Bar Pass Rates
I believe that until Concord greatly increases its first time bar pass rate accreditation is nearly impossible. The current ABA scheme requires that a school's bar pass rate be within 15% of the statewide average, or that they have a cumulative pass rate of 75% over five years. Concord's first time pass rate is around 35%, and thus Concord would have to drastically increase that rate to meet the ABA standard.

Of course, the ABA could simply adopt a less rigorous standard for online schools. This seems unlikely, however, since the ABA has recently considered tightening the requirement from 15% to 10%.

Effect of Concord's Dean at ABA
Although it's helpful to have a sympathetic ear at the ABA, accreditation is not the decision of one man. Under the current rules, Concord simply cannot comply. Therefore, the rules would have to be re-written to accommodate online programs. That process would require the support of numerous ABA committees and members. Currently, the ABA seems hostile to the concept.

The accreditation standards cover everything from bar pass rates and faculty tenure, to financial resources and student services. It would be a gargantuan task for the ABA to overhaul those rules, and would they be willing to do it simply for the benefit of online schools?
   
If anything, the ABA appears committed to its traditional standards. They recently refused to extend provisional accreditation to Lincoln Memorial University, a brick and mortar law school with Tennessee state bar accreditation, and Whittier Law School was put on probation due to low bar pass rates and high attrition.

In closing, I've said before that to have a shot at accreditation online schools are going to have to meet the ABA half way. As long as they have high attrition and low bar pass rates, I don't think they'll be able to drum up enough support within the organization. And, frankly, I'm not sure if online schools are capable of both becoming more selective in admissions (a necessary prerequisite to increasing bar pass rates), and garnering enough students to turn a profit. 

237
Amazing. The entire phenomenon of offering scholarships as enticements (as opposed to offering scholarships as rewards) has been highly destructive, in my opinion. Law schools attach absurd stipulations, knowing that the majority will lose some (or all) of the aid.

How many students are saddled with 150K debt because they were enticed by the scholarship? Maybe a good number of those folks wouldn't have even attended law school absent the scholarship offer, which would have a generally positive impact on the profession.

I understand the caveat emptor aspect, and do believe that students are also at fault. There is just something so utterly lacking in dignity about universities playing these kinds of games with people's futures.   

238
General Board / Re: Newbie to the forum..couple question
« on: July 07, 2013, 05:36:49 PM »
But is it absolutely impossible to get into a good law school if my GPA was in the high 2's at the time of graduation?

It depends on you mean by a "good" law school. You can get into plenty of ABA approved law schools with a below 3.0 GPA if you have a very good LSAT score to compensate. Since your GPA is relatively low, the law schools are going to need to see some evidence that you're capable of handling the rigors of law school. Thus, everything hinges on your LSAT score.

Nationally recognized, elite schools are almost certainly out of the picture since they require high GPAs and high LSATs. Less prestigious local and regional schools are a possibility, however. Please keep in mind that many of these schools can be good choices depending on your career goals. 

Lastly, you need to do a critical assessment of your academic capabilities and ask yourself why you have a low GPA. Law school is far, far tougher than undergrad, and if you had specific problems that held you back in college you need to make sure that those issues won't get in the way during law school. The amount of information you'll need to digest, and the speed at which it comes at you, means that you need to be able focus much more than you in undergrad.

Are there any schools that don't look at GPA at all?

No.

And also when would be a good time for me to start prepping for the LSAT

Yesterday. Seriously, get started ASAP.

239
Law School Applications / Re: Chances for these Law Schools
« on: July 02, 2013, 03:17:19 PM »
I'd say that you have an excellent shot at admission to most of these schools, and a decent shot at the rest (the ones with 158+ medians). Your high GPA is a plus, but at schools with 160ish median LSATs it may or may not be sufficient to gain admission. Schools tend to give the LSAT more weight than GPA, so all you can do is apply and see what happens. Check out the admissions profiles on LSAC and you will get a very good idea as to your chances.

One thing that really struck me was that you're all over the place geographically. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but you need to understand that your post law school options will be very different from each of these schools. All of these schools are ABA accredited, and most enjoy a decent local or regional reputation. However, none are what you would call "national" schools, and your post-grad job opportunities are likely going to be limited to each school's immediate geographical region.

For example, you applied to Oregon and Faulkner (MS). A degree from UO is great if you intend to live in the Pacific Northwest or California, but won't help you get an internship or make connections in Mississippi. Likewise, most people in the Pacific Northwest have probably never even heard of Faulkner.

When you're considering attending a local/regional school, I think it's very important to go to school in the city in which you want to live. You won't be able to rely on an elite pedigree to land a job, so you've got to make as many connections to the local legal community as possible during law school. This means you've got to score internships, externships, summer associate positions, and maybe join local bar associations. Understand that whichever of these schools you attend, you will likely remain I that area for quite a while after law school.

Additionally, you will have to take the bar exam in each state in which you intend to practice (unless there is a reciprocal agreement). In my state, CA, our bar exam tests federal and state law, which puts out of state grads at a disadvantage. If you go to school in NY and show up to take the South Carolina bar three years later, you may have learn new law in order to pass (I don't know that for sure, something to look into).

If you like SC, I would recommend going to school there unless you get into a nationally prestigious school whose reputation crosses state lines.

Good Luck!

240
Where should I go next fall? / Re: Which is better?
« on: July 01, 2013, 02:46:59 PM »
(keeping in mind that my gpa is high, my LSAT score is good and my student visa is in order)
Thanks again!!!  :)

Just so I understand you correctly, are you saying that you have not even begun undergraduate studies but that you have an LSAT score? That's very unusual. Most people don't take the LSAT until at least their third or fourth year of university. 

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