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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. 

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?

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.

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.   

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. 

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.

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.

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. 

Distance Education Law Schools / Re: Distance Learning
« on: October 01, 2013, 04:05:20 PM »
Wow, under 5k for a JD is amazing. Distance learning can be the right choice for the right student. I think the key is understand what you're getting into before you start and to be fully informed as to any potential obstacles. The people I know who went the DL route with their eyes wide open did fine. The ones who were either uninformed or simply refused to acknowledge the realities were usually disappointed. It just depends on the individual.

Miami's advice is solid. I would just add that at this point you just have to do the very best that you can and not get consumed by overthinking the test. I know that sounds simplistic, but it's true. Narrow each question down to two choices, pick one, and move on. Don't fall into the trap of spending too much time on any on question, and rack up as many "easy" points as possible.

Lastly, go into the test with a clear, calm mind. There is no point in fretting about the score until you know what you actually got. Frankly, most people don't score as high as they thought they would. The LSAT can be a sharp reality check in that way. After you get a real score, you can weigh your options.

Good luck!

Law School Applications / Re: 2.3 GPA, strong work history, 160 LSAT
« on: October 01, 2013, 03:53:51 PM »
I don't feel too bad for you. With a solid application you have a chance to get into the lower T-14.

The chances of getting into a T14 with a 2.3/160 are next to zero. Those schools are inundated with applicants who have very strong soft factors and very high GPA/LSAT profiles. The incentive to take a chance on a less numerically qualified applicant just isn't there.

The OP mentioned NCCU and Howard, however. I think the OP would have a decent shot at both schools based on their LSAC admissions info. The OP could also consider seeking a scholarship at a T4, which might make more sense considering his family situation. Accruing a huge debt when you already a family is a serious issue.

I would encourage them OP to think about his long term goals, be realistic about what it will take to achieve them , and let that guide the process.

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