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Messages - Maintain FL 350

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Distance Education Law Schools / Re: Mid-Atlantic School of Law
« on: August 21, 2012, 09:16:58 PM »
At least one measure of the legitimacy of a JD is whether it qualifies the degree holder to take the bar exam. As far as I can tell, the MASL JD, by itself, does not permit the holder to take any state's bar exam, with the possible exception of California (and I'm not even sure about that, since they're not registered with the state bar). How can that possibly qualify as a legitimate JD?

Personally, I don't think operations such as MASL should be allowed to claim that they grant JDs. I think it misleads the public, who assumes that the holder has completed a standard, rigorous legal education. I think the same should apply for B.A./M.A./Ph.Ds. 

Distance Education Law Schools / Re: Mid-Atlantic School of Law
« on: August 21, 2012, 12:10:19 PM »
I apologize if I offended you, that's certainly not my intention.

It's not snobby to raise questions about a school that lists no faculty, no  physical address, and whose degree (by the school's own admission) is "primarily a non-bar JD", whatever that means. It's nothing against you or any other MASL student, but it's not clear to me that they're providing you with anything of value in exchange for your hard earned money.

I'm not picking on MASL or any other distance learning school. MASL has established a website, and holds itself out to the public as a law school. The term "law school" has certain characteristics and expectations associated with it. Those include actual legal instruction and training, and some form of accreditation or at least registration as distance learning school with the CA bar. The fact that MASL is not accredited by anyone, as far as I can tell, means that its degree holds the same weight as a degree that you print up yourself. Page 2 of the MASL student manual says something like they're "seeking approval from various organizations".

Really? Which organizations?

Yes, I have a problem with a business that calls itself a "law school", takes peoples' money, and issues "degrees" while abiding by none of the commonly held standards. You could literally study on your own and print your own degree, and it would be equivalent (and cheaper). 

At the very least I'd encourage you to check out E&E, or some other publications along with the Gilbert's outlines.

Distance Education Law Schools / Re: Mid-Atlantic School of Law
« on: August 21, 2012, 02:53:50 AM »
Roald - these guys do not understand that the statutes involved are open to reasonable interpretation by the Bar examiners. 

That's a hugely important point. No bar association is required to accept a non-ABA degree. They may choose to do so on a case by case basis, but they aren't required. The DC rule, as far as I can tell, permits a non-ABA grad who has completed 26 additional units to take the DC bar exam. It does not say that the applicant will be guaranteed admission if they pass. Passing the exam and getting admitted are two different things.

I think that there are some good non-ABA law schools, but this place raises numerous red flags.

The fact that they have been around for five years and have not obtained accreditation or even CA registered status (as per their student manual) is suspicious.

Their website does not list a single faculty member. Who grades the summaries? Are they lawyers? Does anyone ever not pass each module? What are the grading standards?

A business that offers no legal instruction, but offers to grade summaries of commercial outlines for a fee, and whose degree does not permit the holder to sit for the bar exam, should not be calling itself a law school.

Distance Education Law Schools / Re: Mid-Atlantic School of Law
« on: August 20, 2012, 05:31:58 PM »
Relax, there's no need to be so defensive.

I have not taken any online classes (other than BARBRI), but I have graduated from law school and taken the CA bar exam. I do have some idea as to what it takes to prepare for the bar, and I believe that studying and summarizing Gilbert's outlines is insufficient. This is only my opinion, but it is based on first hand experience. The fact is, the model adopted by every ABA and CBE law school (reading and briefing cases, socratic method, written exams) seems to work pretty well. Most students who follow the program will pass the bar. There is zero evidence to suggest that reading and summarizing outlines will produce the same result. That is not my subjective opinion, that is a fact.

I agree with you that legal education is ridiculously overpriced (as are books), and I love the idea of cheaper options for working adults. I went to law school at night while I had a family, a mortgage, etc. Believe me, I understand the cost issue, and I believe that online education has a place in the legal field. Unlike many of the people you'll encounter on these boards I'm not a snob when it comes to legal education.

MASL's website actually states that their JD is primarily a non-bar JD. That should give you pause if you intend to use the degree to practice law. If you can go to MASL, then Touro, and qualify to take the DC bar, maybe it's worth it. I dunno.

It's your time and money, knock yourself out.

Distance Education Law Schools / Re: Mid-Atlantic School of Law
« on: August 20, 2012, 12:59:43 PM »
I understand that not everyone has the opportunity to attend a brick & mortar school, and I have no doubt that some very smart people attend online law schools. Nonetheless, I see some huge issues with MASL's program.

The fact that they use Gilbert's outlines as the primary teaching source is a red flag. Commercial outlines are supplemental materials, I cannot imagine trying to learn the law by reading and briefing from outlines. Personally, I didn't like commercial outlines because they present the law without context, it's like trying to memorize a schematic diagram. I think that using Gilbert's as a primary source would make learning the law more confusing than it needs to be. I think it would be very difficult to prepare for the FYLSE using commercial outlines.

Secondly, if all MASL does is tell you to study Gilbert's why not just do it on your own? If MASL is not at least registered with the CA bar, I'm not sure that the degree is worth any more than paper it's printed on. CA allows students from unaccredited registered law schools, students who have studied in judge's chambers, and students who have studied with a lawyer to sit for the FYLSE and bar exam as long as some specific documentation is provided.

Those are the only three non-traditional exceptions of which I'm aware. I'm not sure about unaccredited, un-registered law schools. Are such grads allowed to sit for the CA bar, absent some other qualifications? That's a question I'd want to ask MASL if I was contemplating giving them my money. I'd also ask if any MASL grads have been admitted to the CA or DC bar. 

As far as the DC bar is concerned, my understanding is that the exception applies to non-ABA schools, not necessarily unaccredited schools. (A school can be state accredited, for example, without being ABA accredited). I would ask MASL if they have ever graduated a single student who is a member of any state's bar.

If you do choose to go with MASL, I'd recommend using the Examples & Explanations series along with Gilbert's. Also, seriously study the past FYLSEs on the Calbar website. If possible, take a FYLSE prep course.

hi ,i have seen many posts from people like you  down grading any one trying to get ahead through on line education .Have you ever tried it and what schools did you graduate? RON A. BBA-MBA


The OP's original post was asking whether a JD or EJD from Concord would be sufficient to land a college teaching position. He wasn't interested in obtaining the degree for puposes of self-improvement, but had a specific career goal in mind.

The fact is, an online JD (and especially an EJD) is basically useless for 99% of college teaching positions. Teaching positions are ridiculously few and far between, and the competition is brutal. I have several close friends who are academics, and even with PhDs from places like UCLA and U Chicago they spent years teaching part-time, adjunct, etc before landing tenure track positions.

There is a small, newly accredited law school near me whose library I sometimes use. They recently hired a new professor with a BA from Berkeley, JD from Yale, and who clerked for the 10th Circuit. Even at a small school, that's the caliber of applicant the OP would up against. A Concord JD/EJD simply won't cut it. It's nothing against Concord, or people who are trying to improve themselves, it's just that it's a buyer's market for academic positions and colleges can afford to be very, very picky.

Law School Applications / Re: My chances
« on: August 15, 2012, 06:20:17 PM »
As I said before, work experience (especially non-legal) will be a soft factor at best. If you are on the cusp it may help push you into the "admit" category.  The main point, though, is that you need to be numerically competitive in order for the soft factors to count. I had nearly ten years of legal and scientific career experience when I applied. My resume was many magnitudes stronger than the average 22 year old applicant who worked at Quizno's for a semester. Nonetheless, my offers of admission and denials were totally predictable based on GPA/LSAT alone.

A high (or low) LSAT score will make your resume almost irrelevant. I know that's not especially encouraging, but it seems to be true. 

Since obtaining ABA accreditation WSU has dramatically raised it's bar pass rates, but clearly relies on brutal attrition to accomplish this. I believe that WSU ranks in the top 5 nationwide for attrition. I have no doubt that the substantive education at WSU is solid, and is equivalent to any other ABA school, but that grading policy is awful.

The ABA now demands higher pass rates in order to obtain/retain accreditation, but disapproves of high attrition. It'll be interesting to see what happens when WSU gets it's ABA review in (I think) a year or two. Didn't Whittier and GGU get placed on probation for admitting a big class of unqualified students and then attriting a huge percentage? The ABA views this type of practice very negatively.

Law School Applications / Re: My chances
« on: August 15, 2012, 12:15:16 PM »
If anybody as any insight they can toss my way, I would greatly appreciate it.

Maintain your grades and boost them if possible (Legend's advice here is very good), but make the LSAT your singular focus. In your case I really think the LSAT will be the dispositive factor. A high LSAT can overcome a low GPA, but not the other way around. If you can score high , you'll be a splitter (like I was), and soft factors like an addendum or letter of recommendation may be taken into account. However, if you have a lower LSAT score, you'll probably be auto-rejected and those things won't even get read.

Do everything you can to max out that score. Start seriously studying now, take timed practice exams, and take the time to understand why you got certain answers right or wrong. The LSAT is a standardized test, and you can definitely improve your score by understanding what the testmakers are looking for. The more you practice, the more you'll see predictable patterns and you'll be able to anticipate the answer.

Lastly, if you are confronted with the choice of going to a local (CA, AZ, NV) T3-T4 vs. an out-of the-region T2, don't make your decision based on rankings alone. A student at Phoenix or Whittier, for example, might very well have better internship/clerkship opportunities in Las Vegas than a student from Syracuse who has to fly across the country to compete with local talent.

Good Luck!

Law School Applications / Re: My chances
« on: August 14, 2012, 07:41:02 PM »
Without an LSAT score it's nearly impossible to handicap your chances at a given school. Law school admissions is a numbers game, and your GPA/LSAT profile will pretty much determine where you'll get win. Factors like work experience, grade trend and distribution, biographical factors, etc are all "soft" factors. They will only come into play if you are on the borderline of admit/not admit, if at all. The vast majority of applicants are simply admitted based on numbers.

Assuming that you can raise your GPA to 2.75 (3.0 seems like a stretch with only three semesters left), I think you'd need something like a 160-165 to have a good shot at UNLV/Marquette/Syracuse, and 155-160 (maybe even lower) for Nova. Although UC Irvine is new, it's admissions criteria are high. You'd probably have to score 170+, and even then your GPA might keep you out.

If you haven't taken the LSAT yet, start preparing now. A high score will not only give you a better shot at admission, but may even get you some scholarships. Even with a low GPA an LSAT of around 165 would probably get you some scholarship offers at T3-T4s. Something to consider if you have a family.

One last thing:
if you want to practice in LV, look at local schools. Going to school in Milwaukee or Florida is not conducive to obtaining internships in LV, or making connections that will help you land a job after law school. The job market is tight, and you'll need to gain some experience in the area in which you intend to practice. It's much easier to obtain that kind of experience if you're already in the region. Along with UNLV, you might want to check out Arizona, Utah, and California schools too.

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