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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.

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. 

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.

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. 

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