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Messages - Maintain FL 350

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I also wonder if the State Bar stacks the deck, the pass rate never seems to go above 20%.  I wonder if the Cal Bar is purposely fiddling with the grading curve to maintain this low pass rate?

I don't see any evidence of that. If you look at the FYLSE questions and model answers, they don't seem any tougher than most first year law school exams. In fact, I'd say that my first year contracts exams were considerably more complicated. The answers provided by Calbar are pretty straightforward: general rule, applicable exceptions, brief analysis and conclusion.

I'm not saying it's an easy test, it's not. I think the high failure rate has more to do with the fact that online law schools have open admissions and will take most applicants, even those lacking adequate academic qualifications.

The low pass rate may also be evidence that Concord's program is not rigorous enough. If the Concord exams are comparable in difficulty and scope to the FLYSE (and they should be at least that hard), then you would expect a higher pass rate.

Capital's median GPA/LSAT are 3.16/150. Although your GPA is higher, your LSAT is significantly below median. Your good GPA will definitely help, but law schools seem to give more weight to the LSAT. I would suggest re-taking the LSAT if you really want to go to law school.

21 credit hours and a soon to be born baby made it difficult for me to study for the LSAT, which I made clear in an addendum.

This should be a huge red flag for you. If you had a hard time preparing for the LSAT with school and a baby, you have to ask yourself how you'll do with law school exams and a baby. Law school exams make the LSAT look like a joke, and you'll have four or five of them every semester. I went to law school part time with kids, and it was very difficult.

Before you drop $30,000 or $40,000 on a year of law school, make sure that you are in a position where you can succeed. Law school is brutal, and you will not be given one inch of slack because you're dealing family stuff, or a job, etc. 

Current Law Students / Re: Summer Earnings
« on: August 13, 2013, 12:00:56 AM »
Honestly, it's impossible to even guess what you might make during your 1L or 2L summer at this point. The range is very broad, and your options will largely be based on grades and connections.

That said, there are some general rules which are applicable to just about everyone. First, many summer internships (especially nowadays) pay little or nothing. There are so many well qualified law students competing for experience in big cities like L.A that employers don't have to offer high pay (or any pay) to entice good applicants. Most government internships will pay nothing, or maybe a small stipend.

I was fortunate enough to work at a very good, highly regarded government office during law school. Even though the internship was unpaid we had something like a few hundred applicants for three or four spots.

Big firms can pay well, but the competition to land those positions is intense. It helps that you're at UCLA, which has a great local reputation and strong alumni network. Nonetheless, the big firms will be inundated with applicants from UCLA, USC, Stanford and Berkeley, not to mention Harvard, Yale, etc.

I don't know if biglaw firms are still doing this, but a few years ago I knew 2Ls who were getting paid the same monthly salary as first year associates for the summer. I think they were making about $20,000-$25,000 total for the summer (10K per month, or so). Again, I would caution that these positions are highly sought after, and they will expect stellar grades to even be considered.

Obviously, small and midsized firms re going to pay a lot less.

Online Law Schools / Re: American Heritage University College of Law
« on: August 09, 2013, 02:32:08 PM »
I understand where you're coming from. For many people, a DL degree is the only option. Some employers will be suspicious, and others won't really care. As I said before, a DL law school can be the right choice for the right kind of student.

I would strongly encourage you to research whether your state has ever admitted a DL/non-ABA/non-state bar accredited grad. For example, KY may admit grads of the TN state bar-accredited schools next door (Nashville, Lincoln Memorial), but that doesn't mean they'll admit an unaccredited DL grad. Some DL schools hold DETC or some other form of accreditation, but that usually doesn't matter for the purposes of bar admission.

The point is, you don't want to spend $30,000-$40,000 on a JD and then have to take on the state bar to get admitted. Although your state may allow you to petition, that does not mean they're obligated to admit you. Some states are slowly warming up to the idea of DL, and others are flat out hostile. If your state does not admit unaccredited students, you need to understand the uphill battle you're facing, and decide whether or not it's worth the fight.

Again, before you drop tens of thousands of dollars on a DL degree contact your state bar. Get a clear picture of what they expect. They are the only source you should trust on this issue.   

Online Law Schools / Re: American Heritage University College of Law
« on: August 07, 2013, 10:42:01 AM »
I have tried to search for alumni or information about the current staff, but I can't find anything.

The info regarding faculty/FYLSE/general bar exam pass rates is available on AHU's website. According to AHU, the bar exam pass rate for 2007-2012 is 0%. 

The same caveats apply to AHU that apply to all online/distance/non-ABA programs. These programs can be a good choice for the right student, but you need to fully understand the inherent limitations of such degree. As jonlevy pointed out, most states will not admit non-ABA students. I know that everyone loves to point out the handful of cases to the contrary, but those examples are few and far between.

Additionally, most employers will be suspicious about the quality of an online degree. Maybe that's unfair, but it's true nonetheless. If your goal is to take the CA bar and open a solo practice, that may not matter.

I think the main thing is just to be realistic about the implications. In my experience, then people who were bitter and disappointed after law school were the ones who had unrealistic expectations in the first place. Understand that attending an online school is going to present obstacles that traditional law schools won't, and go from there. 

Online Law Schools / Re: Mid-Atlantic School of Law
« on: July 28, 2013, 02:06:42 PM »
Tens of thousand ?1 year at Toro is not that high,Thank god,,

Tuition at Touro is $42,000 (full time) or $32,000 (part time). 

Online Law Schools / Re: Mid-Atlantic School of Law
« on: July 28, 2013, 12:32:06 AM »
Can MASL provide you with proof that even one single student has successfully done this, or are we just talking in hypotheticals? I'd be highly skeptical before dropping tens of thousands of dollars on a hypothetical. 

Online Law Schools / Re: Mid-Atlantic School of Law
« on: July 27, 2013, 03:15:08 PM »
IWhat is wrong with a mentoring in a top NY law firm .Read the rules about the NY bar.....

There is nothing wrong with it, but I believe the option is limited to applicants who have first completed at least one year at an approved school. I'm not familiar with NY's rules, but I know that here in CA the law office study method still has to meet some formal requirements. Reports of hours, subjects studied, etc. have to be provided to the bar and approved.

Getting accepted to any BAR is passing a test and convincing  the committee you are ready to be a lawyer.. 

In the most literal sense I suppose that's true, but it's overly simplistic. Before you can attempt to convince the committee of anything, you've got to pass the bar. Passing the bar isn't just about memorizing rules. It's about learning to recognize what the bar examiners are looking for, and how they want it presented.

Based on the incredibly low number of applicants admitted via the office study route, it seems that this method is not very good at developing those skills. It doesn't mean that it can't be done, but look at the numbers.

I'm going to answer your question, but let me first suggest another option: LSU.

LSU has a good regional reputation, cheap tuition, and the median LSAT score is 157. The great thing about in-state tuition is that, unlike scholarships, it can't be taken away. Something to consider.

As far as your other options, I'd probably just go for the cheapest one. If you can avoid racking up a huge debt by obtaining a scholarship and/or living at home, that might be a great choice. Graduating from any of these schools you probably won't be in the running for Biglaw and a high starting salary. Therefore, you really need to consider the implications of a huge debt.

If you are seriously considering NYLS, take the time to research the NYC job market as well as living expenses. NYC is one of the most expensive cities in the world, and you could easily rack up a six figure debt from living expenses alone. Additionally, you could end up as a small fish in a big pond. I don't get obsessed with rankings, but the fact is there is some heavy competition for jobs in NYC. You'd be up against NYU, Columbia, Cornell, and Fordham grads.

The same would go for Mercer or Texas, although to a lesser extent. Even if you score a substantial scholarship you will likely have to go into debt for living expenses. Also, it's very easy to lose most law school scholarships.

You should also consider where you want to live and what kind of lawyer you want to be. Are you comfortable with the idea of working at small office doing wills and trusts or being a public defender? Or do you want to live in Manhattan and work on Wall Street? If you go to school in Georgia, Texas, or NY that is likely where you will end up doing your internships, making connections, and getting your first job. Unless you graduate from a prestigious, nationally recognized institution it's difficult to attend law school in one region, then show up somewhere else and expect to find a job. It can be done, but it's tough.

Contrary to what you may hear elsewhere, going to a local, non-elite law school can be a good choice. The trick is that you need to get as educated as possible about the job market, the cost of attendance, and your realistic options after law school. (By realistic options, I mean don't assume you'll be the one person out of 500 who gets a federal clerkship or Biglaw offer).

What you want to avoid is a $2000 per month loan payment in a market where the median starting salary is $45,000.

Good luck with your decision!

Law School Admissions / Re: 3.2 GPA LSAT???
« on: July 25, 2013, 06:25:41 PM »
Take a look at the admissions info for Charleston on LSAC, it will give you a very good summation of the entering class profile. It looks like the median LSAT scores are 152 (full time) and 148 (part time).

Livinglegend offered good advice, especially regarding scholarships. Although you can probably get admitted with a low-mid 150s score, you should do everything possible to maximize your score and increase your chance of obtaining a sizable scholarship. The tuition at Charleston, like most ABA schools, is high. You could easily accrue $150K+ debt.

The problem is that smaller markets like South Carolina don't offer a lot of high paying jobs which will allow you to service that much debt. The few high paying jobs that are locally available probably go to UNC/Duke/Emory, etc grads. Going to a local school like Charleston can be a good choice, but you really need to be careful about the debt.

I would advise taking the time now to research the local legal market, talk to newer attorneys, etc. Get a feel for what kind of salary you can realistically expect to make, and go from there. Good luck! 

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