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Topics - CA Law Dean

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For those who might be comparison shopping: 2013 Law School Tuition Costs

California ABA Law Schools
$157,794   University of Southern California, Gould School of Law
$152,406   Stanford University Law School
$148,692   University of California, Davis School of Law
$144,204   University of California, Berkeley, School of Law
$140,418   University of California Hastings College of the Law
$135,663   University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Law
$134,940   Pepperdine University School of Law
$134,151   University of California, Irvine School of Law
$132,690   Loyola Law School, Loyola Marymount University
$131,580   University of San Diego School of Law
$131,550   Southwestern Law School
$131,100   California Western School of Law
$131,040   Santa Clara University School of Law
$130,608   Chapman University School of Law
$129,135   University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law
$127,092   University of San Francisco School of Law
$126,030   Golden Gate University School of Law
$126,000   Thomas Jefferson School of Law
$122,196   University of La Verne College of Law
$120,780   Whittier Law School
$118,800   Western State College of Law

California Accredited Law Schools
$77,400   San Joaquin College of Law
$74,250   Trinity Law School
$72,660   JFK Law School
$70,550   University of West LA
$68,000   San Francisco Law School
$66,650   Monterey College of Law
$59,724   Lincoln Law School - San Jose
$58,632   Glendale College of Law
$57,620   Empire College of Law
$56,760   Santa Barbara/Ventura Colleges of Law
$55,860   Humphreys College of Law
$40,420   Lincoln Law School - Sacramento
$40,236   Cal Northern Law School
$31,080   Southern California Institute of Law

M / Non-ABA law schools
« on: August 16, 2013, 01:33:11 PM »
Disclaimer: I am the Dean of a California-accredited, non-ABA law school who would be interested in your opinion. In case you are concerned, you can see my other posts under CA Law Dean to see that I am sincere in my interest and to confirm that I am not some type of undercover troll   8)

Spring grades are out and some students are realizing they are not at the right law school . . . it just wasn't the right fit. Some students scored higher than they expected and want to transfer to higher-ranked law schools. That discussion is in a number of other threads. However, what is rarely discussed is whether the talented student who got lost in a large competitive law school environment and received disappointing grades . . . can transfer to a smaller school that provides more academic support in a setting better suited for their learning style?

If a law student is in California (or is mobile enough to move to California), the answer may be a surprising "YES". Monterey College of Law is one of the law schools accredited by the State Bar of California that has a program designed around small classes (30 students), individual tutoring, and comprehensive academic support. The environment has proven to be a successful alternative to students who failed to thrive in traditional competitive law school programs. Most important, the law school's cumulative bar pass rate on the challenging California Bar Exam is one of the best (68% in 2011, 66% in 2012) out of the 18 California accredited law schools.

More discussion about Monterey College of Law is located under "M" on this board in the law school specific section.

Law School Applications / Post 9/11 GI Benefits and Law School
« on: April 06, 2013, 01:52:23 PM »
I wish more eligible Veterans and their families were aware how valuable the Post 9/11 GI benefits can be for Vets, spouses, and dependents. Just as an example, for applicants (particularly those interested in practicing in California), the Post 9/11 benefits can pay up to 100% of their tuition at one of the California accredited law schools. $17,500 per year if you qualify for the full benefit.

$17,500 may not go very far towards a $50K (per year) typical ABA law school degree, but most of the CBE (State Bar of California "Committee of Bar Examiner" accredited law schools - also known as CALS "California Accredited Law Schools") have annual tuition at, or below, this amount. These schools are approved for Post 9/11 benefits and many, such as Monterey College of Law (located near NPS and DLI), are also Yellow Ribbon schools that pick up the difference if your benefits don't cover the entire annual tuition.

. . . and this is for SPOUSES AND DEPENDENTS as well. Many Vets are being bombarded by unaccredited on-line degree offers, but an accredited CBE law school will be a much better legal education for most, if not all Vets and their families . . . and law schools such as Monterey  are located in Vet-friendly communities with VA resources, etc.

(for more info specifically on Monterey College of Law . . . see discussion post under "M")

Santa Clara / Rejected at Santa Clara
« on: April 05, 2013, 09:11:22 AM »
If you are a San Jose area applicant and didn't fit the Santa Clara 1L profile . . . but still are passionate about becoming a lawyer . . . don't overlook the California accredited options in your area. Lincoln Law School San Jose and Monterey College of Law provide an accredited alternative to the traditional ABA law school model. At least check them out before you check out on your dream of becoming a lawyer. Both schools are still taking 2013-2014 applications.

M / Monterey College of Law
« on: April 04, 2013, 01:17:55 PM »
IF you are a California applicant for the 2013-2014 cycle and are terminally wait listed or rejected . . . and Plan A isn't working out. Gut check time . . . What is your most important objective? If the answer is becoming a lawyer . . . and not just becoming a "________" law school graduate . . . then it is NOT too late to consider one of the 17 California accredited law schools (such as Monterey College of Law) for Fall 2013. These regional schools are accredited by the State Bar of California, not the ABA. Many of them have very respectable bar pass rates (competitive with the unranked ABA law schools), are a fraction of the cost of the traditional ABA schools, and offer part-time programs so that you can actually begin working in law related jobs to gain relevant experience before graduating. Most have strong ties to the local bench-bar that result in jobs after graduation Of course this is not the path if your goal is to work in a large urban center in a multinational law conglomerate. But if the idea of being a small firm lawyer, DA, Public Defender, Legal Services lawyer, or solo practitioner is what you are after . . .  select one of the California accredited law schools in an area that you might like to live/practice and get an application in . . . right away. Then go visit to see if it fits your goals. Ask hard questions about bar pass rates, costs, job placement, clinical,programs, etc. Most of the non-urban areas of California need lawyers (despite the articles in the national news) and many of them are great places to live and raise a family if you have not already decided to be a big city lawyer.

The biggest limitation is that upon graduation from one of the California accredited law schools you must take (and pass) the California bar exam first. You cannot go directly to another state and sit for their bar exam until you are licensed in California (and some states will require minimum years of practice as well). That is why the option is primarily for those who already know that they want to live and practice in California. Bottom line, if you really want to be a lawyer, make it happen.

If you have questions about any of the California accredited law schools feel free to contact me directly: or go to the MCL website at

Non-Traditional Students / Never too late
« on: April 03, 2013, 12:58:33 PM »
As Dean of one of the 17 California accredited law schools, our entering class last year ranged in age from 24 to 64. I just finished an analysis of bar pass results for the past 7 years and there is absolutely no difference on bar pass success based on age. Of course, the best option for an older student is combining your law degree with previous business or professional experience so that you are not starting from scratch. Non traditional (older) students frequently need help ramping back up to the classroom experience, so I recommend non-traditional students seriously consider a part-time program and if you are in California . . . look seriously at one of the smaller, state accredited schools that can provide better academic support. As Dean of Monterey College of Law I would be glad to share our experiences with non-traditional students. Don't let anyone tell you differently . . . law school at 40+ is very different from law school at 20-something.

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