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Messages - Maintain FL 350
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« 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?
« 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?
« 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?
« on: June 26, 2012, 10:53:41 AM »
Is an ABA-accredited school allowed to accept any transfer credits from an unaccredited school?
Yes. Contrary to what some other posters have said, ABA schools CAN accept non-ABA credits. They can even accept credits from non-law schools. (For instance, Joint JD/MBA programs accept credits from business schools.)
Very, very, very few schools do, though. To the best of my knowledge, there are only 2 or 3 and they're all in California. Not to be demeaning, but generally speaking, look for the worst ABA accredited schools in California to begin your search.
Outside of those very few schools, no other ABA accredited schools accept non-ABA law school credits, to the best of my knowledge.
That's interesting, I didn't know that. I had looked into transferring when I was in law school, and I remember that the various law schools' policies always stated that credits from an ABA school would be accepted, period. But, if any ABA school would accept credits from a unaccredited law school it would be in California!
What do you think about the OP's status as a member of the bar? I think that might be a much bigger hurdle to overcome. Sorry, OP, I'm not trying to be rude. I'm actually kinda interested by the question: can you get accepted to an ABA JD program if you're already a lawyer?
« on: June 25, 2012, 08:50:32 PM »
I'm kinda fascinated by this place. Most DL law schools will gladly accept anyone who's willing to pay the tuition, but perhaps these guys are trying to do something else. Perhaps they are actually trying to start a respectable, selective online JD program. It's interesting. Do you know anything about the school's history, and who founded it?
« on: June 25, 2012, 07:55:48 PM »
If you plan to practice tax law an LL.M is a good idea, if you plan to work as an accountant only, it might not be worth the extra expense. Taxation, as I said before, is one of the few areas in which LL.Ms are often required/beneficial.
As far as programs in the LA area (my hometown too!), I'm not sure. I imagine that UCLA and USC have tax programs, and maybe Loyola. If you plan to open your own office it doesn't really matter where you go, you'll be your own boss. If you want to get into a decent sized firm, however, it matters alot. The bigger firms will want to see a bigger name, ideally someplace like NYU. Hiring at those places is very competitive.
« on: June 25, 2012, 05:17:57 PM »
I worked at a very successful entertainment firm (as a clerk, not a lawyer) in LA. Some of the attorneys were from Ivies, others were from Loyola, and one was hired while still in law school at Southwestern. I met tons of lawyers from other entertainment firms at local bar association gatherings, etc as well as in-house counsel from the studios. Some went to T14 schools, but plenty were from Loyola, Southwestern, and Pepperdine. The people hired at the firm I worked at didn't have industry connections, but they did have extensive contracts/negotiations experience. I also worked at the largest film distribution and marketing association in the United States, and it was the same story. I don't remember all of the attorneys' bios, but we had T14 as well as Loyola/Southwestern, etc.
I agree, however, that specialty rankings (especially at non-elite law schools) are highly overrated. The fact that you can take a few classes in entertainment law will not really matter too much. As Jack24 said, a focus on agency/contracts is really what they look for. Think about where you want to live, because outside of truly elite national schools pretty much all law is local.
Of course, it will be easier to get internships and a job if you go to an elite school. But if you go to someplace like Loyola and focus on obtaining good, marketable experience, you can do fine. Just be realistic and informed about the costs and options.
« on: June 25, 2012, 01:29:30 PM »
That's exactly right. Syracuse's mean is 2.9 - 3.11, which is not bad at all. Most of the people at my law school would have been thrilled with a mean that was anywhere close to 3.0. Grading was very harsh at my school, and many classes had a 2.5 - 2.7 mean. They actually got even tighter on grading in my last year because too many people were skating by with 2.0 -2.2 grades, and then failing the bar.
« on: June 25, 2012, 01:21:50 PM »
From the horse's mouth: Standard 308 of the ABA Standards for Approval of Law Schools states "The ABA does not formally approve any program other than the first degree in law (J.D.)."
As far as I know, ABA approved schools will not accept credits from an unaccredited law program. I have seen some ABA schools which will accept a certain number of transfer credits from a California state bar approved school, but never from an unaccredited program. I think you'd be starting from scratch if you decided to get another J.D. from an ABA approved school. In addition, since you're already a member of the bar, it's possible that you're more or less prohibited from attending law school again. You'd have such a huge advantage over your non-lawyer classmates that schools might be very skeptical about admitting you. I imagine that neither the ABA nor the individual law schools themselves want to encourage people to obtain bar admission first, then seek admission to law school. You may even want to check with the CA bar, they may have some restrictions on acquiring a second J.D.
You're already admitted to the CA bar, which is no small task! You should be proud of that accomplishment and focus on building a career either in law, which you're already qualified for, or in another field which doesn't require an ABA degree. I don't know you or your situation, so everything I say might be totally wrong and misguided. If so, ignore my advice. But based on the small amount of information you've provided, I don't see how an ABA law degree (which would cost possibly $100,000+) would be especially useful. What field do you want to work in?
BTW, your undergrad degree would only matter in terms of J.D. admissions. This is just my personal opinion, but I have a strong suspicion that most law schools absolutely, positively will not want to admit a student to a J.D program who is already a licensed attorney. I would contact the individual schools and ask them directly. I might be wrong.
« on: June 25, 2012, 12:18:24 PM »
Well, there are a few things to consider.
First, the ABA does not accredit LL.M programs, only J.D. programs. A particular law school may have ABA approval and may also grant LL.Ms, but the LL.M program itself will not be ABA accredited. Even if you got an LL.M from Harvard, for example, that would not qualify you to sit for most state's bar exams. Most states require that you have an ABA-accredited J.D. Foreign lawyers can sometimes get an LL.M and practice in the U.S., but it really depends on where they went to law school (some foreign degrees are recognized by some states, others aren't), and what state they want to practice in. In short, your J.D. really determines whether your legal education is ABA approved.
You need to find out what accreditation your law school has. If it's non-ABA and non-CBE (CA state), then it's probably unaccredited. Sometimes these school advertise themselves as being "Registered with the California State Bar" or something like that. This is important because many LL.M programs will require that your J.D. be from an ABA accredited school. Some, however, don't. You'll need to check out each individual school.
Here is the main issue: you said that you don't want to practice law. If that is the case, spending tens of thousands of dollars on an LL.M is pointless. Please understand that I'm not trying to be rude or overly critical, it's just a fact. For the vast majority of legal jobs (other than tax and maybe natural resources law) an LL.M is usually uneccessary. For non-legal jobs an LL.M is completely uneccessary. For non-legal jobs an LL.M, even from a big name school, is probably not going to help.
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