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Messages - Maintain FL 350

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I have no personal experience with ALUSL, so I can't speak as to the education it offers. I would, however, advise you to really think about the fact that this law school does not have either ABA of CBE (California state) accreditation. That doesn't mean it's a bad school, or that you can't get a good legal education there, but it does mean that you'll have limitations placed on your ability to practice in other states. It also means that that your degree will be viewed very differently by a lot of employers, and not in a good way.

Generally, I'm not one of those people who says "Oh my god, you're not going to (insert name of random T1)! You'll never get a job!" I've met enough lawyers from all tiers to know that that's not necessarily true. However, graduating from an unaccredited law school does present some pretty big challenges and you should be totally aware of these before committing yourself to four years and tens of thousands of dollars.

1) You'll have to take the First Year Law Students Exam (the "Baby Bar") at the end of your first year. ALUSL's pass rates are pretty low, for both first and repeat takers. Check the Calbar website. That doesn't necesarily mean tha the education offered at ALUSL is inferior, or that you can't be one of the few who passes, but it isn't meaningless either. It's something to note and to ask ALUSL about.

2) The bar pass rates are equally troubling, in my opinion. Again, it doesn't mean you can't do it, but it's legitimate to ask why are these numbers so low? I'm not talking about the 50-60% that some CA T4s have, I'm talking under 10%. Check the Calbar website.

3) You will not be able to practice in many states. Some will let you apply after a certain amount of time spent practicing in CA, others won't. ALUSL's website says that theeir degree may not qualify you to take the bar in a particular state, and you should check to be sure. Fair enough, but I think unaccredited schools should be absolutely clear and offer full, frank disclosure on this issue. The majority of states will not admit you, period.

4) CHEA and DETC accreditation are fine, but don't mean anything in the law school context. ABA and (to a lesser extent) CBE are the only forms of accreditation that matter. CHEA and DETC do not help you qualify for practice outside of CA.

5) When it comes to getting a job, you may very well be entirely on your own. My undertsanding is that most correspondance schools offer little or no career services. This may not be an issue with you. You may want to go into solo practice and be your own boss or you may already have a job lined up. If you plan on solo practice, spend some time looking into that option first. It's very difficult straight out of law school.   

Bottom line, I think a school like ALUSL can be a good choice for the right student, but I think most people are not that student. Think hard about whether or not you are.

I seem to remember that there is a Lincoln Law School in San Jose (and maybe Sacramento?) which is California state bar accredited, and another with a very similar name which is not accredited. Which one is this?

Maybe you could try emailing a specific person? Find out who is the head of each state bars' admissions dept., or whatever they call it, and email that person directly. The bar won't be able to help you with answering questions about law school admissions, that's up to the individual schools. You should, however, be able to get a better answer regarding bar admissions.

Where should I go next fall? / Re: I want to go back to law school
« on: June 29, 2012, 02:29:21 PM »
Are you a scary vampire? I think you're a vampire.

Contact the bar associations of the states you're interested in and ask. They can give you a much better answer than anyone on this board. Each state has different requirements, and some are stricter than others. In California, for example, I don't think you'd have any problems as long as you were completely honest and fully disclosed all legal issues. Full disclosure without excuses is very important to all bar associations, when the time comes be entirely honest and accept full responsibility. The bar doesn,t demand perfection, but they punish evasion very harshly.

If I had to guess, I think you'll be fine. Stay squeeky clean from this point on, and contact those state bars! And Falcon is right, $220 for a felony!? What a bunch of nonesense (not you, OP, the charge).

Where should I go next fall? / Re: Non-American Law Schools
« on: June 28, 2012, 04:46:45 PM »
I'm not sure what European law school entrance exams consist of, but I'm sure it varies from country to country. Like I said before, in many EU countries a law degree is an LL.B or some other undergraduate degree. Standard university entrance exams are required for admission and resemble the SAT more than the LSAT. Math, history, biology, etc. Whether or not another law-specific test is required varies from country to country. Sometimes a separate exam might be required for law or medicine only if the major is impacted.

Here's the real issue, however: do you want to live in the U.S. after graduation? If so, there really is no point in pursuing a European law degree. Civil law degrees (most of continental Europe) are useless in the U.S. Common law degrees (U.K. and Ireland) may permit you to take some U.S. bar exams, but will not really help you at all when it comes time to get a job.   

The next issue is immigration. It is very difficult to move to Europe, they tend to be far stricter on immigration and employment than the U.S. Even if you were permitted to attend a European university, you would then have to begin the laborious task of seeking a work permit. Without joint US/European citizenship, this is very difficult. Most European countries have small economies and highly protectionist regulations. They really don't want foreign students or lawyers competing with the local talent.

General Off-Topic Board / Re: Obamacare upheld
« on: June 28, 2012, 12:20:46 PM »
I'm blown away. I figured maybe some of the bill would survive, but the individual mandate would be struck down 5-4. I thought there was a good chance the entire bill would get tossed.

It's still a far less comprehensive system than Europe, contrary to what conservatives argue. It's essentially a compromise: not socialized healthcare, but not pure free market either.

Where should I go next fall? / Re: USC vs GULC ????
« on: June 28, 2012, 12:15:05 PM »
I'm not sure I'd agree that both are "global", which I assume means that they have international reputations? Both are very good schools, but the vast, overwhelming majority of grads from either school stay in the U.S. In fact, in the case of USC, the majority of grads stay in California. Of course it's possible to score an international job from either school, but I think of "global" law schools (if they exist) as being Harvard, Yale, etc.

As far as taking the parent universities into account, I'd agree with you that Georgetown has an edge. There's always been a dichotomy with USC: some of its grad programs (law, medicine, film) are very well respected, but undergrad not so much. If you can afford the tuition, it seems that SC undergrad will accept just about anyone. Paris Hilton went there, need I say more?

L.L.M. Board / Re: Getting ABA after the bar.
« on: June 26, 2012, 07:43:40 PM »
However, I do think that the system is unfair, or at least clumsy, in that it does not provide a reasonable way for someone like me to prove competency, since most state's bar exams, by themselves, are apparently inadequate indicators of competency.

I would say that your ability to pass the toughest bar exam in the country is the best indication of your competency. If you can pass the CA bar exam you're doing better than the vast majority of wannabe lawyers. You'll always have to deal with some people who are clueless as to what you've accomplished, but that's life. I've always found it to be absurd that someone could pass the CA bar but be denied admission to Wyoming. Seriously?

Is it unconstitutional to prevent people from seeking a second J.D.? I dunno, but I would think not. Lots of law schools are private and can discriminate as much as they want as long as it's not based on suspect classification. As far as public schools like Berkeley, perhaps the rational basis is thatt hey don't want to create the legal version of community  colleges: institutions with open admissions which are used as a stepping stone to higher education.

I'm curious, what was your experience in law school like? I imagine that you still used the same books and followed the same general format as most ABA/CBE students?


L.L.M. Board / Re: Getting ABA after the bar.
« on: June 26, 2012, 03:10:58 PM »
Golden Gate, Western State, TJSL, and La Verne will accept only CBE/ABA units. Further, the general tone of their admissions info seems to indicate that CBE units may be accepted. La Verne's website further states that if accepted, CBE units will be limited to 29, while an ABA student can transfer 44. If none of those schools are willing to accept unaccredited units, who is?

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