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Messages - Maintain FL 350

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General Off-Topic Board / Re: The Sunk Cost Fallacy: Help me!
« on: August 23, 2012, 03:41:11 PM »
A decision like this volves so many aspects of your life that it's difficult to offer any advice. My father is a college professor, and several of my close friends are full time tenured professors. Here are a few things I'd consider, however.

Employment prospects
Full time college teaching positions are very, very competitive to obtain. I'd say the market is even tighter than the legal market. My dad teaches at a non-prestigious state university. When positions open up, which is rarely, his department has the luxury of choosing from several hundred applicants. The people who get hired, even at his state commuter school, invariably have Ph.Ds from places like Columbia, Berkeley, etc., and are well published. One of my good friends got his Ph.D from UCLA and spent years teaching part time community college courses before landing a full time gig.

Like law school, your employability is tied to your pedigree, but it's worse. You can't be a solo practitioner college professor, and even small colleges can be very picky about hiring.

Do you like research and scholarly publications?
The Ph.D will not be enough. You'll need to publish like crazy in order to build up a reputation so that you can get hired. Many people like teaching but aren't thrilled with the peer review/publishing aspect.

Are you willing to live just about anywhere?
If so, you may have a better chance at employment. A small college in west Virginia  will be less competitive than, say, NYU, but it will still be far more competitive than most people expect.

My views on Ph.D programs differ somewhat from my views on JD programs. Based on what I've seen, a Ph.D from a so-so university is probably not worth it. The field is simply too competitive.

The good news is that it's quite common to get substantial or full scholarships for a Ph.D. If they accept you, they'll probably offer you money.

Yours is one of those rare cases where your soft factors may very well come into play. Usually they don't, and the numbers determine your admission/denial almost exclusively. Hence, it's pretty easy to gauge your chances. The funny thing about being a splitter is that your admissions chances can be very unpredictable depending on which schools you're applying to.

175 is a fantastic LSAT score, and is probably sufficient to get into just about any school outside the top 25. The truly elite national schools (Harvard, Yale, etc) are probably out of reach with 3.0. Thus, your "battleground" will likely be the schools in the 15-25 range: UCLA, USC, Notre Dame, etc. If you look at the admissions grids on LSAC, you'll see that at many of those places the statistical probability of someone with your numbers being admitted ranges from 25-75%, depending on the school. This means that in similar situations those schools are looking at factors other than just GPA/LSAT. Youmight have a big advantage with your background.

Another possibility: depending on what you want to do after law school, and considering any applicable financial/family/personal concerns, you may want to consider seeking a full scholarship at a lower Tier 1 or Tier 2. A 175 LSAT is probably enough to pull off a full ride at many such schools, and the lack of debt may be more beneficial to you in the long term than a higher ranked school with a hefty price tag. If you get into an elite school, the cost may be worth it. But if it's a choice between the #24 school at full price versus the #37 school for free, you may want to carefully consider factors beyond rankings.

Good luck and congratulations!

Then you can try to qualify for the New York or another Bar Exam without a JD.

Since this is an online degree, wouldn't the holder be limited to the states that accept distance learning degrees for bar admission? Typically, a foreign degree is evaluated by the state bar to see if comparable to an ABA degree. Since the ABA won't accredit distance learning JD programs, I would think this degree wouldn't qualify in most jurisdictions.

Any better ideas?

I think you may be better served by focusing your time, energy, and money on the LSAT. On a strict cost/benefit analysis, the LL.B probably won't produce dividends commensurate with the effort and money you'll expend.

Law school admissions is a numbers game, and your GPA/LSAT profile will dominate the process. Additional degrees will be considered soft factors, and may help if you are on the cusp of admission. Otherwise, the conventional wisdom indicates that a second B.A., M.A., work experience, etc., will not come into play in most situations.

Secondly, I'm not sure that the UoL External LL.B would be viewed with any more respect than the M.A. in Philosophy you mentioned. My understanding is that while a standard LL.B from the University of London is certainly well regarded, the External program is similar to that uniquely European institution, the Open University. The admissions are comparatively open, and let's face it, online degrees are simply not viewed in the same way. (The merits of this issue are the subject of endless debate, but it is a fact.) The U.S. equivalent to the External Programmes might be the Harvard Extension School: Harvard, but with an asterick.

With a 2.5 GPA what you really need is a very high LSAT score. If you can acheive this, an LL.B won't matter anyway. Schools will admit you based on the high LSAT. Conversely, if you score low, an LL.B won't really help you either. Everything hinges on the LSAT. If you want to earn the LL.B for reasons of personal enrichment, go for it. It's a cool degree from a globally recognized university. If you're only doing in order to boost your admission chances, however, I'd say simply focus on the LSAT.

Distance Education Law Schools / Re: Mid-Atlantic School of Law
« on: August 22, 2012, 08:55:58 PM »
You guys make me laugh.You are snobs.Did any one of you guys graduate from a first tier law school. Did any one graduate from an ABA BRICK AND MORTAR SCHOOL.HARVARD ANY ONE MAYBE YALE ,NO WAY, I KNOW YOU HAVE NOT..TAFT CONCORD YES .Those schools do not mean any thing..Yes ALOT OF MONEY SPENT.IF ANY ONE OF YOU WERE ON law review i would love to chat.You make make beleve you are EXPERTS BY WHO..Passing a BAR FROM A NO MAME NON ABA SCHOOL SHOULD NOT MAKE YOU AND ELITESS..Get over your selfs..RON A.. BBA -MBA  PS..THESE SCHOOLS LIKE MASL EXCEPT ANY ONE AND DO NOT REQUIRE THE LSAT...


I graduated from a brick and mortar ABA school, not that it matters. Anyone with a third grade education should be able to spot the inherent problems with this approach to bar admission. Having been through law school and the bar exam doesn't make me an expert, but it is far more experience than you have, Ron. Can you point out one single thing that anyone here has posted which is inaccurate?

It's your life. If you think it's a good idea to spend $1500 at MASL, then an additional $30-40,000 racking up 26 ABA units in hopes of being admitted to DC under some special rule, go for it.

Distance Education Law Schools / Re: Mid-Atlantic School of Law
« on: August 22, 2012, 01:37:25 PM »
A previous post stated that two MASL students were admitted to Touro, an ABA law school in NY, to complete the 26 units. Even if this is true, the DC rules are open to reasonable interpretation (as Jon Levy pointed out). If I were considering writing a check to MASL, then spending tens of thousands of dollars on 26 ABA units in the hope that DC would admit me, I'd at least contact the DC bar first and ask some questions. For example, how many students have been admitted under this rule, and from which schools?

I'm not a snob when it comes to legal education, but this particular path to bar admission has a bright yellow "CAUTION" sign attached.

It's very difficult to obtain a work permit if you're not a doctor or scientist. The EU is very protective of its professions, far more than the U.S. My cousin recently took a job in Denmark, but was only able to get it because he's a dual U.S./Irish citizen. Without that, he said he wouldn't have been hired. The work permit process is too cumbersome on the employer.

Good luck!

Starting your JD is a huge but exciting undertaking. I also had kids when I went to law school, and although it's tough it can be done. You have to be disciplined with your time, and really focus when it's time to study.

I'm curious, what is the format that Concord follows? Do you take several classes at once, or one a time? And do you then take your exams with Examsoft?

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.

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