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Messages - Maintain FL 350

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Online Law Schools / Re: Distance Learning
« on: October 22, 2013, 12:51:53 AM »
"False truths"? Good grief.

You don't have to pass a foreign bar exam but you do have to have a foreign law degree plus have a US LLM in American / US Law to take the California bar if you are not a licensed attorney somewhere.    

You will be dismayed to learn that basic reading comprehension is an important part of the bar exam. Read my post, compare it to the bolded portion above. You don't even understand what you're talking about. There appear to be two options:

1) LL.B + licensure in the U.K. = ticket to CA bar exam.
Getting licensed in the U.K. requires you to take the qualifying exams, thus you would take the UK exams and the CBEX. If you go this route you will have to pass two bar exams, hence my comment.

2) LL.B, no U.K. licensure + ABA/CBE LL.M = ticket to CBEX.
This option requires more time and money, but only one bar exam.

I know from your past comments you find it distastefull that this is a real option but get over it.

I don't find it distasteful in the least. I've spent lots of time in the U.K., some of it at Oxford, and I have a very high opinion of U.K. higher education. I have no doubt that Northumbria offers a fine education. 

I do, however, think that this plan is a waste of time if your goal is to pass the CBEX. Why spend four years studying law that isn't tested? Look at the abysmal pass rates for foreign educated lawyers. They are low for a reason.

I came on this site 2 yrs ago before I started my law studies and you still trying to discredit folks that are trying to find alternative ways especially the ones that are going or inquiring about the foreign route.

I am skeptical of "alternative" routes to bar admission because they seldom work! Don't take my word for it, look at the recorded pass rates. They are very low. Look, if you're going to post stuff on a public forum people are going to respond. Don't take it personally, but understand that people are going to be skeptical when you extol the virtues of a path to bar admission with an extremely low success rate. How many people have passed the CBEX via this route? Do you even know?

Some people here (myself included) have actually taken the CA bar exam, and might be in a better position than you to determine what is (or is not)adequate preparation.     

Online Law Schools / Re: Distance Learning
« on: October 21, 2013, 09:42:12 PM »
So if you complete an online LL.B you have to either take and pass the exams to get licensed as a solicitor, or get an LL.M before you can take the CA bar. Two bar exams? Yikes.

Golden Gate / Re: In Vino Veritas Competition
« on: October 21, 2013, 02:12:00 PM »
And when the economy improves and there is a shortage of lawyers due to closing down law schools, then what? Re-open them?

That's the problem with reactionary thinking, the long term ramifications are seldom considered. Here's another facet of the problem: let's say you close down GGU, USF, and Santa Clara. You're left with the higher ranked Bay Area schools like Hastings, Berkeley, and Stanford. Who will do the small firm family law jobs? Public defender? Juvenile court? I'm not sure if you're a lawyer yet, but schools like GGU fill these types of niches.

By advocating shutting down schools with low employment stats, you seem to be arguing that people need to be protected from themselves. It's an unreasonably paternalistic argument. No one is forced to go to law school and the employment data is readily available to anyone who bothers to inquire. People choose to go to schools like GGU for lots of different reasons, and some will fail and some will succeed. As long as schools are being honest about the data, I say let people make up their own minds. 

Law School Admissions / Re: Undergrad institution
« on: October 21, 2013, 11:56:54 AM »
Another question, would veteran status be a big help in getting admitted?

Veteran status will definitely help, but your grades and LSAT will still need to be within the acceptable range for any given school. Soft factors like veteran status compliment your numeric qualifications, but don't replace your numbers. If two applicants have similar numbers the one with veteran status might get the nod, but significantly higher numbers seem to almost always win out.

Again, really focus on getting the highest LSAT score possible. Lots of people have high GPAs and many of those people will apply to law school. Very few people, however, will have high LSAT scores. I believe only about 1000 people will score above 170. A high LSAT score is worth its weight in gold. 

Golden Gate / Re: In Vino Veritas Competition
« on: October 20, 2013, 11:12:00 PM »
You can make all the excuses you want, but GGU's employment outcome is significantly lower than most law schools.

I think that's probably true, but the question is why?

I don't think it's due to some failure on the part of GGU. I think that GGU is fulfilling it's obligation to adequately teach the law, and that the low employment rate is due to the factors which are beyond GGU's control. These factors include those listed by Citylaw , the fact that GGU is located in a very competitive legal market, and the fact that the national and local economies stink.  What can a law school really do about that? What do you suggest?

Since law schools can't force firms to hire their grads, the only way to effectively increase a school's employment rate in a stagnant economy is to somehow peg the incoming class size to market fluctuations, graduating less people when the economy is slow and more when it's growing. That's not very practical, however. In fact, it would probably be a huge headache. Budgets, hiring decisions, and other institutional goals which are made years in advance would be subject to imprecise economic prognostications.

Maybe a better option (for all law schools) is to focus on practical skills training as opposed to theory, and to prepare students to work as solo practitioners and small firm attorneys. One of the schools here in L.A. has made great strides in this area. Don't get me wrong, I agree that the employment rates at many schools are low. I just think there is much the schools can realistically do about it until the economy improves.   

Online Law Schools / Re: Distance Learning
« on: October 20, 2013, 08:26:32 PM »
Depending on what country your degree is from, an applicant may not need the LL.M. I believe CA has a reciprocal agreement with the UK which allows LL.B holders to take the CA bar. I know an attorney from Ireland who got admitted without the LL.M.

Golden Gate / Re: In Vino Veritas Competition
« on: October 20, 2013, 11:26:07 AM »
You're assuming it's the responsibility of the law school to find jobs for it's graduates. Once a student leaves the school, isn't the responsibility of finding a job the student's? Law schools have very little (if any) control over what people do once they leave.

Law School Admissions / Re: Undergrad institution
« on: October 19, 2013, 02:02:00 PM »
Citylaw's advice is essentially correct. The reputation of your undergraduate college usually won't make a difference unless you happen to graduate from an elite institution like Harvard. In that case, it is a soft factor and at least some preference will given based on pedigree. This is especially true at prestigious law schools, who like to admit students from peer institutions.

For example, I have a good friend who graduated from Yale undergrad and it definitely helped him get into a top ten law school. However, the vast overwhelming majority of law school applicants do not graduate from Harvard or Yale. They graduate from places like CSUF. In that case, your admission to law school will be based almost entirely on GPA and LSAT score. 

As far as online schools, however, I wonder of there is price to be paid in terms of admissions? I don't really know if there is, I'm just thinking out loud here. Generally, online education is considered somewhat inferior in quality and standards.

I agree with Citylaw's statement that an admissions committee would prefer a 3.8 from an online school vs. a 3.4 from a traditional college, but when you're talking about Tier 1 schools they won't really be forced to make such a choice. I think a more realistic scenario might be that both applicants have a very similar GPA and LSAT, but one went to an online school and the other went to UCLA, Berkeley, or a state university.   

Highly respected Tier 1 schools receive many more applicants than they have spaces open, and can afford to be very selective. If a school has enough applicants with high GPA/LSAT profiles from traditional universities to fill their class, I'm not sure if there is an incentive to accept the student with the online degree. I think it's possible that an online graduate could be at a disadvantage when they are competing against similarly qualified traditional applicants.

As Citylaw said, there are also other schools to consider besides UCD. Don't get too attached to the idea of one particular school, because the simple fact is that until you have a real live LSAT score you have no idea where you're going. The LSAT is hugely important.

If you do stay with the online school, I think your best bet is to hit the LSAT out of the park.

Hofstra U School of Law / Re: Paul Campos on Hofstra Law
« on: October 18, 2013, 10:15:32 AM »
Did you know that according to the latest ABA job placement statistics (for 2012), only 51.2% of Hofstra's graduates had long-term, full-time legal jobs? That means that 48.*% didn't. Almost half the graduating class []  Is this acceptable?

It's terrible, but it's not too different from most non-elite schools. This is what happens when you have a crappy economy, there are fewer jobs. In fact, many T1/T2 schools have similar (or worse) numbers. I just don't understand the particular gripe with Hofstra.

Law schools are not surrogate employment agencies. Their first duty is to teach you the law, and you may actually have to find a job on your own, believe or not. It's a harsh reality check for all the entitled special snowflakes who have lived off  mom and dad for 25 years and think they "deserve" a job. It is not, however, the school's fault that after you leave the school you can't get a job. The school may provide assistance with OCI, mock interviews, etc., but the ultimate responsibility lies with the graduate.

Is it acceptable that Hofstra only placed 4% in biglaw?

Yes, it's acceptable. In fact, it's acceptable if Hofstra places 0% in biglaw as long as they don't claim to be a biglaw feeder school. Biglaw represents a tiny fraction of all the available legal jobs, and is considered the most competitive. In a bad economy, this is even more pronounced. It should not be surprising that these handful of prestigious jobs go almost exclusively to elite law school grads, and it isn't a failing of a particular school if they choose to hire elite grads over non-elite ones. Does it actually surprise you that NYC biglaw firms prefer Harvard and Yale grads over Hofstra? This should be common sense.

Hofstra U School of Law / Re: Paul Campos on Hofstra Law
« on: October 18, 2013, 09:45:58 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.

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