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Messages - Maintain FL 350
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« on: October 07, 2014, 01:15:18 PM »
So my question is, is it going to make a difference if I get my Bachelor's Degree through a distance education program? Is there any rule that only regular college students can get into a law school like NYU, Columbia, etc?
No, there is no rule that prevents distance learning graduates from entering law schools in the United States. The main factors will be your LSAT score and grades.
Schools like NYU and Columbia are highly competitive in terms of admission. They have literally thousands of applicants to choose from, many of whom graduated from peer institutions (Harvard, Yale, etc) or well respected public universities (Michigan, Berkeley, UCLA, etc).
In that type of hyper competitive environment a graduate of a foreign distance learning program might be at a disadvantage. If the foreign university is well known and respected internationally, then alright. But if it's a program that is not well known it may be difficult to compete with the other applicants.
« on: October 06, 2014, 01:19:40 PM »
It's an interesting question. What is the scope of the Establishment Clause?
I suppose in the most basic sense Scalia is correct. The EC does not prevent the government from ever favoring religion, it only prohibits an establishment of religion. Presumably, there are situations in which religion could be favored over non-religion, but the favoritism would result in something less than an establishment of religion.
The issue I have is that Scalia is willing to pretty far before he considers it an improper establishment. For example, I don't have a problem with Christmas trees in public schools, but Scalia doesn't have a problem with prayer in schools. Again, I think the issue is scope.
As far as whether the Constitution actually favors religion, that's a tougher question. The First Amendment clearly protects religion, but the EC seems to act as a counterweight.
I guess I fall somewhere in the middle. I'm not sure if the intent of the First Amendment was to necessarily favor religion (as Scalia has argued), but I'm also not convinced that the EC prohibits any favoritism (as some secular organizations argue).
Although I'm a secularist, I find the Pastafarian/Spaghetti Monster stuff childish and annoying. I don't think the Constitution entitles the Pastafarians to place a display next to a Nativity scene on public property. Why? Because one is a satirical construct and an expression of political sentiments, not a sincerely held religious belief. As a political statement Pastafarianism enjoys First Amendment protection, but that doesn't mean that they are entitled to disrupt protected religious expression.
« on: October 04, 2014, 04:21:12 PM »
What I mean is that an LL.M program does not teach the skills required to be a good lawyer. They assume that you learned those skills in your JD program. LL.M programs are more like a standard master's.
Therefore, someone who doesn't learn that stuff in a real law school but does get an LL.M (and perhaps a ticket to the bar exam), is seriously lacking IMHO.
And yes, for the purposes of this discussion I assuming that most people with a non-bar qualifying JD enroll in a bar-qualifying LL.M program in order to take the bar.
« on: October 03, 2014, 05:46:52 PM »
Groundhog makes a great point. A reasonably smart individual could probably learn enough "bar law" to pass the exam without any legal training. Does that mean they are prepared to be a lawyer, and should be entrusted with matters of huge significance? No!
In most states the bar tests minimum competency in limited, predictable, repetitive subjects. Even the essays themselves are frequently recycled. This is why most states have fairly high pass rates, not because most JD grads are brilliant. It's a learnable test.
The harder part is getting good at thinking like a lawyer, seeing all the angles, and issue spotting. The fact that an individual might be able to pass the bar does not mean they've had sufficient legal training.
« on: October 02, 2014, 03:46:41 PM »
In CA the state bar can and does accredit law schools, but this is inapplicable to Novus since they have not (to the best of my knowledge) sought CA accreditation. It seems like the only power the bar has is to threaten accredited law schools with a revocation of accreditation. But if you're not accredited anyway...
The State Attorney General is probably the one who has the real authority here. Considering that Kamala Harris doesn't seem interested in anything except becoming governor, I doubt if anything will happen.
« on: October 02, 2014, 01:07:21 PM »
There are many threads here which discuss the impact of "soft factors" such as graduate degrees, the OP may want to read them.
It boils down to this:
A graduate degree is not useless in terms of law school admission, but it's not very helpful either.
A graduate degree may give the applicant a small boost, especially if it is in a hard science and/or from an elite university. Thus, an M.S. in Biochem from Caltech may help but an M.A. in English from Unknown State U will not.
Graduate studies are very different from law school, and one is not preparation for the other. The fact that someone completes an M.A. does not mean they are more likely to do well in Property than someone who hasn't.
LSAT and GPA however, do tend to be reliable indicators of law school aptitude.
In the scenario that the OP has described, both applicants are so close numerically that they would have very similar chances of admission. In that case, an M.A. might help. The majority of admission decisions are, as Groundhog stated, going to be made pretty quickly based on numbers. If the M.A. holder is a few LSAT points below the non-M.A. applicant, that soft factor is not going to overcome the lower LSAT score.
I understand this is frustrating, but when you get to law school you will see that your M.A. is of little use in terms of studying the law. That's just the way it is.
« on: October 02, 2014, 12:45:35 PM »
Just curious, how did Touro establish standing? Because former Novus students applied to Touro? I can see how the former students would meet the requirements for class certification, but not Touro.
Either way, good fr them. I hope they win and that the state bars crack down on this nonsense.
« on: September 26, 2014, 02:41:03 PM »
Maintain FL -- thanks for your words of advice. I have done quite a bit of research at this point and am (unfortunately) very confident that I would have to start over with a JD, especially in Florida. The very best that you can do here is find a university that will award you some credits from your past studies and shave a maximum of a year off the JD study time. Thus, my principal concerns are finding working with an LLB/LLM.
Is it possible that FL would allow you sit for the bar exam if you obtained an LL.M from a ABA school? Or do they actually require the JD?
Either way, it's a couple of years of your life, but I think you can at least complete an ABA LL.M online which would allow you to work during that time and minimize debt.
As far as finding work in the U.S. with a German LL.B, I think it would be tough. Firms that practice international might be interested, but they'll likely want someone who is admitted to the bar as well.
Just think about your long term goals, be realistic in your expectations, and let that guide your decision making.
« on: September 26, 2014, 11:55:54 AM »
I see "partner" and assume you mean same sex partner. Doesn't Germany have a HORRIBLE track record when it comes to that? I'd factor that in.
Germany is quite progressive on this issue.
« on: September 26, 2014, 11:54:58 AM »
If your goal is to practice in the U.S., then you should go to law school in the U.S. If your goal is to practice in FL specifically, you may want to attend a FL law school.
A German law degree will not be sufficient to sit for the bar in most states. They will require you to obtain an LL.M (from an ABA school) first. Even CA and NY don't really have true reciprocity with any European jurisdictions, meaning that even if your degree is acceptable you still have to take the bar exam.
In CA (which is more open to foreign degrees than other states) your foreign degree will be evaluated to determine whether an LL.M is required. Usually, only common law degrees (UK, Ireland, Canada, etc) are exempt from the LL.M requirement. Some other states may not even accept a German degree with an LL.M, and will require a JD. The German civil law system is so different from the U.S. system that the degree is of very limited use in terms of understanding U.S. law.
A German law degree will not prepare you for any U.S. bar exam, so you'd basically be starting from scratch. The pass rate for foreign educated lawyers is very low.
If you plan to stay in Germany after law school or attend law school in the U.S. and then move to Germany, then you need to look into immigration policies. Most EU countries are quite strict on immigration. It's not easy to get a work permit, especially if you are seen as competing for a job that a citizen might desire (like lawyer). Usually, you have to get sponsored by an employer, which means they have to really really want you.
Something else to consider is language. Is your German good enough to get through a university course in law?
I don't know any JDs working in Europe, although I'm sure they exist. I'm not sure if most EU countries would accept a JD as sufficient to practice, with the possible exception of the UK. The systems are very, very different.
Your best bet is to contact individual countries in which you would like to live and ask about their policies. You may be able to gain admission to the local bar, or as you said, work as a consultant. Also contact any states here in the U.S. in which you are interested and ask them about their policies on foreign degrees. The best information is that which you get straight from the source, so go there first.
Good Luck with your decision!
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