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Messages - ChasingPaper

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I agree with Roald, try a Calbar school with no FYLSE. but first I would also talk to admissions at Cooley candidly about the situation.  Why Cooley?  Because it supposedly has about lowest admission standards of any ABA accredited school.  Any ABA accredited degree is always bertter than non ABA and a Cooley degree will let you take an easy bar like Illinois as opposed to the hard one in California.

Thanks, jonlevy.  Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it) I'm stuck in California and really cannot move due to family obligations.  If I move anywhere it will be to New Zealand once I retire.  The school I want to attend is a CBE accredited school so I wouldn't have to take the baby bar.

I'm still on the fence about all of it because I know just how much of a commitment it will be, and I'm not sure it is worth it.  Many of my friends from law school wound up in my industry, albeit as counsel and they make about 50% more than I do, and some are not happy with their choices.

I'm not sure if anyone else had this happen to them, but I had a few lawyer-friends try to talk me out of law school before I went in 1997.  I didn't listen to them then and I'm pretty sure the same people will say the same thing now.  I'm pretty sure that they will think I'm crazy to want to go back right now.....which is why I haven't talked to them about this idea yet.

Current Law Students / Re: Addicted to Student Loans
« on: October 23, 2012, 01:26:27 PM »
I forgot before to add that student loan interest in normally tax deductable too (for what that helps in negating it as too big of an issue).

Actually, avarist, if you make >$65,000 adjusted gross income (as a single filer) then you are not able to deduct your student loan interest payments.  This tax rule is entirely unfair for those of us that live in high cost areas and for those that have high interest rates. 

I consolidated many years ago and secured a 2.25% interest rate which is mostly unheard of now.  But I pay down a lot every month so I'm not still paying off this debt when I retire, but I am unable to deduct any part of it due to this rule.  It is most frustrating.

avarist, I really hope that you haven't any private loans.

Thanks Roald & avarist.  I wish this site was in existence in 1998 when all of this happened to me because I had no one to talk to at that time to properly set out my options.  The ability to bounce off ideas and get honest feedback is something I wish I had years ago.

The EJD is really not something I want to pursue because it is a worthless degree in the marketplace (at least in my industry) and it would be a waste of time and money.  Even a non-accredited MBA is worthless, and there are many so-called business programs that are not AASCB accredited.  Many employers do not consider a MBA from these 'schools' as valid, and I know that even a non-ABA, but CBE, JD is pushing the envelope in employer recognition.

If I actually jump through all the hoops and get into this school, I would want the option of taking the bar.  I just need to mentally prepare myself for four years of hell to get there.

Thanks again....

Thanks, avarist, for the links and information.  My interest is to further my current career so much of the criticisms in the linked information doesn't really apply to my situation but great to know.

I stated that I am getting tired of standardized tests, not that I hate standardized tests.  If I hated them, I wouldn't have all of those letters behind my professional name.  I've found my own economical method for self study that has proven to be effective because I was not impressed with the Kaplan LSAT prep I took almost 20 years ago and steer clear of costly prep courses.  I prefer self study and solo projects, which was quite a challenge in Business School where everything is team oriented.

I have read about the low pass rates on the Baby Bar, and this is concerning for me.  I want to approach a possible return with open eyes and realistic expectations, and I realize that not passing the baby bar is a potential outcome.  Because I am risk adverse, and this venture would be a risk, I'd rather minimize my risk with a $5000 loss instead of a $27000 loss.

It is true that California lacks a low cost ABA school, I wasn't aware that other states had at least one low cost ABA option.  But the low FYLSX pass rate presents tough odds.

Thanks for the tips.  I've enjoyed the feedback that I've received here.  I'm glad I stumbled onto this site. 

What LSAT score do the CBE schools usually require? I assume 140s? If so, you should be fine if you previously scored high enough to get into a T2.

I'm not sure of the CBE school LSAT requirement, but it is probably around 140 or lower.  If I decide to do this (I am getting tired of standardized tests, for sure) my LSAT retake circumstances will be much different than my first time around.  The first time I was in undergrad summer school for 16 units, working 6 days a week, plus taking a LSAT prep class on my only day off.  By the time the test rolled around, burn out was starting to set in.  This time around I will take my time really practicing logic games and reasoning prep.  I am not in any rush.

I'm not sure why it's recommended that I go to a Michigan school (Cooley), but I do know that I will have to work on improving my LSAT score if I am serious about going back.  I realize that there are considerable limitations on a California Bar Accredited - only school, but I'm not looking to be a corporate or district attorney.  I've read too many sob stories from recently unemployed attorneys (from top tier schools) that are unable to find work, and I don't want to be one of them.

I'm looking for the degree to supplement and stregnthen my experience in regulatory compliance in the financial services industry, to which I am currently employed.  It is a definite niche, but one that I was recently passed over for an employment opportunity because I lacked this degree. 

If I decide to further things and actually attempt the California Bar, then I would go for a private practice on the side (if that doesn't prove to be a conflict with a day job) or use existing contacts within the financial services industry.

On the other hand, I got my MBA by having my employer foot the bill and I know that most employers will not pay for a JD at a non-ABA accredited school.  But most large employers stopped covering unlimited amounts for their employeess' secondary education, so I'm back to footing the bill myself.

All avenues point in the direction of a non-ABA, CalBar Accredited school.  I suppose I have some serious thinking and planning to start.

Thanks, Roald, for the quick reply.  I haven't retaken the LSAT, and I know that is my next step.  I was never a stellar test taker although I've taken quite a few (SAT, GMAT, LSAT, and GRE).  My scores usually come in the 80th percentile range although I don't think my LSAT score was very good (I took it last in 1996 and don't remember the score).  I'm not interested in a high-pressure, high-tuition, big-name law school because I already experienced that and did not do well.  I had some undiagnosed medical issues, immaturity problems, and a distaste for where I moved that caused me to tank my second semester the first time around, and that was a very expensive mistake.

To prevent making the same mistake twice, I'd prefer a smaller, less expensive, and local alternative that I can attend while still holding my current job.  The tuition at my target CBE school is $5000/academic year (part time) while another 3rd tier school is $27,000/academic year (for part time).  Because student loans are not an option (due to my past defaults and wanting to pay my existing ones off before I retire) my only option are schools of this caliber.  Besides, if I am able to get into this school but then not able to pass the baby bar, my sunk costs would have been considerably less.  I am not being pessimistic here, just realistic.

I suppose my next step is the LSAT and then I can assess my position and/or advantage points from there.  I may also meet with the Dean or admission counselor to have a face-to-face discussion over my packed resume instead of a one-lined question of "do you accept applications from disqualified students from a past law school experience?"  It's somehow easier to say 'no' when you are not looking the person in the eye.

Any other comments or anecdotal information would be great......from anyone.... 

I've been lurking and searching for some answers to my particular issue, and thought I would post my question here as I doubt I'm the only one asking....

I went to a 2nd tier school in 1998 and was academically disqualified after completion of my first year (I was .02% away from a probation consideration).  It was very difficult to recover from that blow, and I pretty much ran from my problems and mounting student loan debt at the time.  I went into default on all of my loans and was working at non-law related crap jobs for a few years.  Then I got myself together around 2001 and got serious about trying to clear up my mistakes, including paying back all debt, getting a real job, and getting my loans back on track.

In 2006 I went back and got my MBA from an accredited Business School and also received a professional certification from another well known business school.  My MBA academic career was slightly above average (3.3 GPA) and my undergrad was great too (3.6 GPA).  I got my MBA in 2008.

Here's my challenge - I want to go back to law school but I cannot (and will not) dig my student loan hole bigger than it is right now.  I've read where one can re-apply to any ABA law school after 2 years absence from your disqualifying school this true?  When I contacted the CA State Bar (I'm in CA), they indicated that they have a specific form for disqualified students to start over their studies.  There is one evening, non-ABA accredited but CA State Bar (and very affordable) accredited law school near my house that I'm wanting to attend.  But they've told me (twice, actually) that they do not accept students that were academically disqualified.  How can that be if the ABA allows students to start over (assuming that they allow this)?  Does anyone have suggestions on fighting this?

This is most frustrating to me because no matter where I find myself professionally, my mind always comes back to finally achieving my law degree.  I have been toying with the idea seriously since 2008 but not sure it was worth the potential hurdles and expense.  I am emotionally on the fence because I saw how incompatible law school is with life relationships the first time around, and I'm not sure I can ask my husband to be super patient with me for four years.  On the other hand, the degree would actually be of assistance for my current line of work, which sometimes deals with legal and regulatory compliance.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions.

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