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Messages - Maintain FL 350

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361
Distance Education Law Schools / Re: Non-ABA approved Test Takers
« on: November 13, 2013, 06:14:03 PM »
So if I am hearing everybody correctly, those that are being approved to sit for the bar  from non-aba schools, attended brick and mortar schools and not on-line schools.  Do you think TN, MA and maybe AL will allow those who attended an online school to sit for their state bar exams?

Contact the state bar of any jurisdiction you're interested in, and get the answer straight from them. Don't take anyone else's word for it (including mine!). Each state will have it's own rules, and the state bar is the only resource you should trust.

Most state bars will not admit a non-ABA grad, period.

Some states (I don't know the exact number) will admit a state bar-accredited grad if they have been admitted to their own state and have practiced for a certain number of years. These are the brick and mortar schools you mentioned.

Online schools are a different story. Online schools are not accredited by either the ABA or any state bars. So far only CA and maybe one or two other jurisdictions will allow an online grad to sit for the bar. I think the distinction is not so much brick and mortar vs. online, as it is accredited vs. non-accredited.

Again, if you're contemplating any non-ABA school be sure to get your answers directly from the state bar. You don't want to spend tens of thousands on tuition only to find out you can't sit for the bar.


362
Washington and Lee / Re: Washington and Lee Graduates Salaries Decline
« on: November 12, 2013, 04:05:43 PM »
Except for a handful of elite schools, starting salaries have declined across the board. As Citylaw said, the Biglaw model is quickly going extinct. Combine that with a terrible economy and the inevitable result is going to be lower starting salaries. What drove up W & L's salary medians in the first place was lots of hiring in the WDC market. Those jobs have dried up, and there simply aren't enough high paying jobs in the VA/NC area to maintain that median. It's the result of a crappy economy rather than a failure on the part of W & L.

363
Distance Education Law Schools / Re: Non-ABA approved Test Takers
« on: November 12, 2013, 03:59:18 PM »
What schools in Tennessee are you referring to?   I thought they all were in CA?

Nashville School of Law and Lincoln Memorial University School of Law are both non-ABA, but are accredited by the state bar of TN. Their graduates can sit for the TN bar, and maybe a few other states (although I don't know for sure).

Boston has the non-ABA Massachusetts School of Law, and used to have Southern New England School of Law, too, but they were absorbed by UMASS-Dartmouth and are an ABA school now. Finally, Alabama has Birmingham School of Law. I think that all of these schools qualify the graduate to sit for their state's bar, and maybe a few others. Check to be sure.

Most non-ABA schools are in CA, as you stated. CA is unique in that we allow ABA, CBE (state accredited), unaccredited fixed facility, and unaccredited distance learning schools. However, the vast majority of CA bar takers still follow the traditional ABA route. 

364
Distance Education Law Schools / Re: Non-ABA approved Test Takers
« on: November 12, 2013, 02:44:11 AM »
Of course, CA had the most, but Massachusetts had over 500 and Tennessee had over 200 take the exam in 2012.  Does this mean that states are starting to become more lenient? 

No, I don't think so, and here is why:

California is not the only state that allows state-accredited law schools to operate within it's borders. Massachusetts, Tennessee, and Alabama also have non-ABA state accredited schools, and have been allowing their graduates to sit for the bar for decades. Therefore, this does not represent a new openness on the part of these states, but rather reflects what has been going for a long time.

Massachusetts did recently admit a Concord grad after he passed the bar and filed suit to gain admission, and perhaps that will open the door for others in that state. Most state bars remain openly hostile to non-ABA graduates, especially those graduating from unaccredited correspondence/online programs.   

As far as the P&I argument, it will be played out over the next few years as online grads challenge state bars for admission. I don't think it will work in most cases, however, since state bars are likely to be viewed as acting within their permissible scope to set educational standards for admission. Historically, state bars have a lot of latitude in controlling admission, and the argument may fall on unsympathetic ears.

Lastly, the discussion surrounding ABA/non-ABA often focuses on the exclusivity and snobbiness of the ABA and the various state bars. While I think there are legitimate criticisms to be made in that arena, at some point the non-ABA schools are going to have to meet the bar associations halfway if they want to be taken seriously. It's not enough to just demand respect, they've got to earn it, and that means turning out students who can pass the bar. It's not just elitism that makes people suspicious of schools that have 10% bar pass rates.

Online schools are going to have to start requiring college degrees, the LSAT, and other basic admissions criteria along with serious academic support and attrition of underperformers. Until then, I don't think much will change. 


365
Personal Statement / Re: diversity statement?
« on: November 11, 2013, 05:59:06 PM »
Hi Zanardin,

Interesting essay, I enjoyed reading it and I'm sure the admissions committee will, too. But is this actually a diversity statement? I was under the impression that diversity had more to do with racial, ethnic, or perhaps socio-economic factors. As you said, choosing the lifestyle for a short period of time is not the same as being born into it. This seems like a good topic for a standard essay, but I'm not sure it's a diversity essay, per se. 

366
L.L.M. Board / Re: LLM in tax without a JD
« on: November 05, 2013, 10:07:34 PM »
Out of curiosity I did a quick Google search to determine if the ABA even regulates LLM's, but came up with varying results  does anyone know if the ABA regulates LLM's?

I think the ABA only accredits JD programs, "the first degree in law" as they say. As far as LL.M programs, it seems to be left up to the individual school to determine the requirements, standards, etc.

I suppose a school certainly could accept a non-JD if they wanted. Anything to keep that tuition rolling in. I'd be curious as to how a non-lawyer perceives LL.M level legal studies? I've never studied tax law at that level, but I assume that a foundation in civil procedure, evidence, and con law would  be helpful to really flesh out the meaning of the statutes? Then again, maybe LL.M programs are different from JD studies and don't necessarily require the broader foundation.

367
L.L.M. Board / Re: LLM in tax without a JD
« on: November 04, 2013, 12:18:06 PM »
As far as I can tell, UF currently requires a JD for admission to the LL.M in Taxation program. It's listed as a basic requirement.

http://www.law.ufl.edu/academics/degree-programs/ll-m-in-taxation/admissions

Villanova, the school the OP asked about, appears to draw a clear distinction between LL.M admissions and M.T. (Master's in Taxation) admission. I do not believe that an LL.M in taxation can be earned by a non-JD, but an M.T. is a possibility.

 http://www1.villanova.edu/villanova/law/academics/gradtax/faqs.html

Not to get too caught up in definitions, but I think that LL.Ms are specifically limited to JD holders, whereas MTs are more open.

368
Law School Applications / Re: Biology Major Law Student
« on: October 31, 2013, 02:57:11 AM »
I really enjoy Biology and I would like to continue pursuing a degree in it, but will this hinder me for law school acceptance?

No, a degree in biology will not hurt in you when it comes to law school acceptance. If anything, it may help you stand out from the sea of English/Poly Sci/Business majors. Law schools don't seem to care much about your undergrad major. I suppose a degree like Dance or Landscape Architecture might not be considered especially good preparation, because there is very little reading, writing, and logical argumentation involved. Even then it might not matter much.   

Should I switch majors to get a higher GPA? Any help would be appreciated!

This is a somewhat different question, because law schools do care about your GPA. I can't tell you what you should major in, but whatever you decide you've got to get high grades. Your GPA and LSAT will almost entirely determine your law school options. It is very much a numbers game, and they care more about the actual numbers than they do about specific majors, grade trends, major vs. overall GPA, etc. People worry about these things, but in most cases they make very little difference.

Personally, I wouldn't drop something I loved just to boost my GPA. It's difficult to divine the future, and you may end up doing worse than you think. The upper division humanities seminars you'll take in your junior and senior year are considerable more demanding than the intro lecture courses. I think most people do better when they study something they like. Just my two cents.   

369
Golden Gate / Re: In Vino Veritas Competition
« on: October 24, 2013, 01:41:35 AM »
The best post I've read all year, Amen.

If the people who whine about not being able to find a job would spend half as much energy on developing marketable skills, they'd be employed. I meet lawyers every single day who graduated from lower tier ABA and Calbar schools and who have thriving solo and small firm practices, are prosecutors and public defenders, even judges. The one thing that these people have in common is that they are assertive go-getters who bust ass every day.

I know a girl who worked at a family law firm during the day and went to law school at night. She gained enough experience over four years to feel competent opening her own office after graduation. She now has a couple of lawyers working for her, makes a couple hundred grand a year, and has only been an attorney for a few years.

Two things that hold back many new law grads are immaturity and unrealistic expectations.

Immaturity
Many law students go straight from high school to college, college to law school, then hit the job market for the first time at age 25. They've been financially and emotionally supported by someone else their entire life, and have been told that they're a precious snowflake. They feel that they are entitled to a job, and expect their law school or the legal profession to supply them with one. Or, perhaps they expect the government or ABA to save them from even going to law school by shutting down schools which won't supply them with the jobs they think they deserve.

It's a classic Freudian transference of parental reliance, and smacks of the nursery.

Expectations
Unless you make a concerted effort to develop practical, marketable skills during law school, you really don't have much to offer when you graduate. The fact that you got an "A" in civpro is nice, but it doesn't bring in clients. Especially in this economy, firms and government offices don't have the resources to train a smart but clueless new lawyer. People that need lots of supervision are out.

Thus, most people (and especially the ones who are graduating from non-elite schools) need to be very realistic about their options. At least for the first couple of years, your choices are likely to be low pay/long hours vs. unemployment. It sucks, but it's the way it is. I've met people who literally refuse to work because they think the legal jobs they've been offered are beneath them.

Conversely, a buddy of mine from law school has an entirely successful criminal defense solo practice and is only two years out of school. It may not always be the most glamorous work, but he's doing better than the people who are unemployed and holding out for a better offer.

Bottom line: take some responsibility for your own life.   

370
Golden Gate / Re: In Vino Veritas Competition
« on: October 22, 2013, 06:30:45 PM »
If there is a long term problem, then the market will correct it anyway. People will compare the high cost of attendance to the low employment rates, and schools like GGU may go out of business anyway. You already see some correction in the market based on the lower number of law school applicants this year.

I just don't like the idea of a nanny state which seeks to protect me from making my own decisions. Investing in law school is like investing in a business or a piece of real estate. Most people will be successful, but some will not. But for lots of other people schools like GGU offer an opportunity to become a lawyer that would not otherwise exist, and they go on to have successful legal careers.

I graduated from law school recently, so I'm aware of the cost. I chose to attend law school on a scholarship for that very reason. Without a scholarship, I probably wouldn't have gone. 

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