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Messages - Maintain FL 350

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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.

Law School Admissions / Re: LSAC help!
« on: October 15, 2013, 05:55:35 PM »
Check with both the school you're applying to and LSAC. They can give you far better answers than anyone here.

Online Law Schools / Re: Distance Learning
« on: October 13, 2013, 08:10:44 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?

Online Law Schools / Re: Distance Learning
« on: October 08, 2013, 12:24:16 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. 

Online Law Schools / Re: St. Francis Law
« on: October 06, 2013, 11:08:37 PM »
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.

Online Law Schools / Re: St. Francis Law
« on: October 04, 2013, 04:39:22 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. 

Online Law Schools / Re: Distance Learning
« on: October 01, 2013, 02:05:20 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 Admissions / Re: 2.3 GPA, strong work history, 160 LSAT
« on: October 01, 2013, 01:53:51 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.

Law School Admissions / Re: 3.2 GPA LSAT???
« on: September 10, 2013, 10:53:13 AM »
I took my diagnostic (Never checking out the LSAT before! Also, I took the sections right next to each other, no breaks between and within 35-36 minutes each section.) and I received a 149. I intend to take the October class and given my game plan, any advice if this 170+ goal is achievable?

I sort of addressed this in a reply to another of your posts, so forgive me for being repetitive. Is it achievable? The answer is yes, but it's statistically unlikely. Only a tiny fraction of those who initially score 149 on the diagnostic score 170 on the actual LSAT. I know we all like to think that statistical probabilities don't apply to us and that we'll be the exception, but that's the reality.

I would advise making a back up plan, and think about what you're going to do just in case you don't score 170.

Also, I do a lot of community volunteer work (I act as a Team Leader  in numerous civic projects here in NYC!) and I was hoping to get some scholarship in the top 14.

The competition to get admitted to T14s, let alone to get scholarships from T14s, is very, very stiff. Those schools are flooded with applicants who have high GPAs, high LSATs, and amazing soft factors. Right now, all wishful thinking aside, you have a 3.2 GPA and 149 LSAT diagnostic. I'm not trying to be critical or negative, but those usually aren't T14 numbers.

For the purposes of T14 admissions, a 3.2 GPA is low. The only way to really counter that is to score very high on the LSAT. Even then, admission is by not guaranteed.

The fact that you have a couple of M.A.s and do community work is great, but it won't really replace your GPA or LSAT score. Numbers dominate the process, and top schools have so many well qualified applicants that there isn't really any incentive to take someone with less than equal numeric qualifications.

As I said before, I would advise developing a Plan B. 

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