Law School Discussion

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Messages - Maintain FL 350

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451
Distance Education Law Schools / Re: Novus Law School
« on: September 10, 2012, 12:03:23 AM »
No idea what a SCALE is, its 4 years for DL California law schools.   Can't imagine anyone passing the bar with 2 years.

Southwestern has a program called SCALE. The acronym stands for something-something Accelerated Legal Education, and you get a J.D. in two years by taking extra heavy courseloads all year and during summers. I think it's a more selective program, and isn't open to all SW students.

As I have said before, the best candidate for a DL law school is someone already working in the legal system with a phenomenal memory who can't attend a regular law school.

I completely agree. For a highly motivated, smart, disciplined person DL is probably a great format. I think that a lot of people think that they possess those qualities, but don't, and thus the high attrition rates.

452
Distance Education Law Schools / Re: Novus Law School
« on: September 09, 2012, 05:15:37 PM »
Quote
On campus is easier, for one main reason (no fxbx) even ABA grads who sit it fail it the majority of the time. That alone makes it easier.

I'm not debating whether one is "harder" or one is "easier". Those are qualitative assessements and are subject to individual opinion. DL may be harder, I don't know. I'm taking issue with several specific claims made by the poster, which I've seen repeated elsewhere. The fact that most ABA students who take the FYLSE fail is not surprising, since the only ones who have to take it are those that failed out of law school and are seeking readmission.

The first claim, that "everybody pretty much passes", is objectively verifiable nonesense. Especially among T4s it not uncommon to have a 20-30% academic attrition rate. Clearly, everybody does not pass.

The second claim, that tests are open book and you don't have to show up for class, probably varies from school to school. I've never heard of any law school, however, where open book tests were the norm. I'd be willing to bet that at the vast majority of ABA, state accredited, and DL law schools students take closed book, difficult exams.

[/quote]
And yes, many "Top" lawschools are either no exam, all open book, and a P/F grade scale.

Can you provide one example of a top law school, or any law school, that has no exams or all open book? Even if one exists, I think you'd have to admit that it's the exception, not the rule. Berkeley is the only law school I'm aware of that grades High Pass/Pass/Low Pass/No Pass.

Lastly, I've never heard of anyone graduating in two years except from the SCALE program at Southwestern. Again, even if a few students do manage to graduate in years, you can't say that it's common as the OP implies.

453
Distance Education Law Schools / Re: Novus Law School
« on: September 07, 2012, 06:20:41 PM »
I think brick and morter law school is easier. Although I have not attended one, I heard that everybody pretty much passes and they have open book tests and you do not even have to attend class for the lectures. You just have to show up for the open book tests. You can also take classes though the summer and get it over with in 2 years insted of the 4 years that online law school makes us do.

Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but I've come across this same sentiment from other posters and had to comment. Is this a commonly held belief among DL students? Who is telling you guys this nonesense?

I can't speak for every brick and mortar grad, but that description is not even remotely close to what I experienced. Everybody at my school was a stressed out basket case (especially during 1L) when exams rolled around. I never took a single open book test during law school, and all of my exams, without exception, were demanding. My school also had a mandatory attendance policy, only three absences were permitted, and you could be marked absent for being unprepared. 

Further, everybody definitely did not pass. The academic attrition rate at my school was usually around 4-6%, but a larger percentage could fail a single class without being dismissed. Lastly, I have never heard of anyone taking extra classes and graduating in two years. Southwestern has the SCALE program which is two years long, but that's unique. I believe my school limited summer school to six credits for full-timers, nine for part-timers. 

454
All lawyers are not created equal and my experience is that you better be ready to start at the very bottom with a DL Degree - solo practice with very few lawyers willing to mentor till you prove yourself.  This involves taking cases others won't touch with a ten foot pole.  In California this means Social Security, Workers Comp, never ending cutody disputes, parole hearings and misdemeanors.
so basicly the legal internships that the rest of us do while in law school.

Yeah, except that unlike a law school internship your ability to pay rent and buy food depends on getting paid from these cases. Not an easy task. 

455
Non-Traditional Students / Re: Novus Law School
« on: September 06, 2012, 03:20:12 PM »
They're not breaking any laws.

456
Studying for the LSAT / Re: Study books?
« on: September 06, 2012, 03:18:32 PM »
Sorry, I completely missed the topic. Try Powerscore. Also, if possible, I'd recommend a prep course. I took Kaplan and found it more effective than studying on my own.

457
Studying for the LSAT / Re: Study books?
« on: September 06, 2012, 02:04:50 PM »
It's a really personal choice based on your learning style, but I liked Examples & Explanations. They put the law into context, as opposed to just providing you with a schematic diagram like many commercial outlines do.

458
As far as a law degree, it really doesn't matter which online school you go to.  In the end, the degree is the same and only allows you to sit for the bar in California.  Regardless of the pass rate for the bar or for the First Year Exam, you make what you want out of it. 

I'd have to disagree with you on that point. As Jon said, these places are not all created the equally. Taft's first time CA bar pass rate for Feb 2012 was 75% (4/5), and for Feb 2011 was 5/7. Oak Brook is routinely in the 50-60% range, and Concord is usually about 25-35%.

Although the number of exam takers from these schools is relatively small, the results are repetitive. Compare that to other schools that routinely have a 0-5% pass rate, and I think it's clear that some places are offering a much better product than others.

459
What if the law student is hired, signed contract and all that, what if he did not pass the bar, will he be dismissed?

Usually firms will hire you on as a law clerk with the undertsanding that you'll be promoted to associate upon passing the bar. Your promotion is simply contingent. A lot of places will give someone two chances to pass, but some won't. 

460
Are law schools the same thing? 

Essentially, yes. That's the entire point of ABA accreditation. Legal education in the U.S. has become standardized to an amazing degree. When a school has that seal of approval, so to speak, it means that it has adopted a predictable, accepted format. Most ABA schools use the same books, teach the same courses, and use socratic method. In fact, most schools even teach their classes in the same order. Even exams are pretty much the same. I once saw an Evidence exam from Harvard and it was nearly identical to the exam I took at small local law school.

I think the same is true for the California accredited schools, too, who seem to have adopted the same system. I can't speak for the handful of other states that have state accredited law schools.

The difference, of course, is in the student body. At Harvard you'll be surrounded by a bunch of future Chemerinskys and Dershowitzs. At a local law school you'll be surrounded by chumps like me.

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