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Messages - CA Law Dean

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71
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.

72
M / Re: Monterey College of Law
« on: May 27, 2013, 11:31:02 AM »
Reply to off-line question: MCL is not a subscriber to LSDAS, therefore you need to send your application, certified transcripts, and personal statement directly to the law school. Contact Admissions Dean Wendy LaRiviere (wlariviere@montereylaw.edu) for specific requirements or check the school website at www.montereylaw.edu. The school will consider copies of unofficial transcripts for an initial admissions review, but must have official transcripts before the admission becomes final. Most admission decisions are made within a week of a completed admissions file being submitted to the Admissions Committee. MCL notifies applicants promptly and does not use a (frustrating and stressful) wait-list process.

73
M / Re: Monterey College of Law
« on: May 25, 2013, 12:10:05 PM »
Reply to off-line question: Monterey College of Law will take the June LSAT and in certain special circumstances will admit conditionally subject to the October LSAT (since the deadline for registration for the June LSAT has passed). Contact the school for details.

74
Non-Traditional Students / Re: Never too late
« on: April 23, 2013, 12:59:22 PM »
. . . I am disappointed that my Texas license doesn't count . . . particularly since the current Texas Governor kicks around the idea of secession from time to time.

75
Non-Traditional Students / Re: Never too late
« on: April 21, 2013, 01:09:36 PM »
I think we completely agree on this . . . how could it be that lawyers who are perfectly capable, licensed, and experienced in one or more states and then come to California and only have a 20-30% pass rate on the California bar exam? Reciprocity is virtually non-existent in the US. The only real explanation is the unionism/cartel approach to American attorney licensure.

76
M / Re: Monterey College of Law
« on: April 21, 2013, 01:02:34 PM »
I just received an important clarification from a veteran on another Board. Note that public law schools (there are 5 in California) all provide 100% tuition for qualified veterans under the Post 9/11 GI bill. The cost difference only comes into play with the private California law schools (16 ABA and 18 California accredited) that are limited to the $19,200 cap on annual tuition. It is in this context in California that a veteran, spouse, or dependent might find a California accredited law school a better financial option than taking out loans for the difference between $19,200 and $50K per year at an ABA private law school. Of course significant scholarships at private ABA schools might also make up the difference as well. Just suggesting there might be a broader range of options when the California accredited law schools are considered.

77
Law School Applications / Re: Post 9/11 GI Benefits and Law School
« on: April 21, 2013, 12:58:20 PM »
I just received an important clarification from a veteran on another Board. Note that public law schools (there are 5 in California) all provide 100% tuition for qualified veterans. The cost difference only comes into play with the private California law schools (16 ABA and 18 California accredited) that are limited to the $19,200 cap on annual tuition. It is in this context in California that a veteran, spouse, or dependent might find a California accredited law school a better financial option than taking out loans for the difference between $19,200 and $50K per year at an ABA private law school. Of course significant scholarships at private ABA schools might also make up the difference as well. Just suggesting there might be a broader range of options when the California accredited law schools are considered.

78
Non-Traditional Students / Re: Never too late
« on: April 20, 2013, 07:20:44 PM »
Put another way, if you have a Harvard JD you could clerk for a Federal Judge or have the option of representing SSI claimants if that's your cup of tea; unranked and lower ranked school graduates don't have the same band width of options. The lower ranking your school, the fewer options you will have straight out of school.  However, in the scheme of things helping SSI claimants may indeed do more good for society than being the hatchet person for a corporate schill  judge or an insurance company or god forbid a bank!

JL, I think you have merely re-stated the obvious . . . and it it just as true in other graduate programs as well, business, engineering, architecture . . . top schools and top graduates get different choices. However, you provide such a one-dimensional view of life after law school. I graduated in the 70's from what is now appx. a 50th ranked school (they didn't rank the schools when I graduated) from a southwestern state, but even then I knew that SCOTUS was out of the question and my mid-class ranking wouldn't get me in to the urban high-rise BigLaw practice. None of that is new information. Wasn't then, isn't now. However . . . there are really interesting things that can be done with a law degree . . . business, finance, entrepreneurship, non-profit . . . many of which could care less about your school and class standing and much more about your initiative, creativity, drive, work-ethic, etc.

79
Law School Applications / Re: Post 9/11 GI Benefits and Law School
« on: April 16, 2013, 02:21:21 PM »
We just received the update Post 9/11 GI benefit summary and students starting after August 1 could qualify for up to $19,198.31 per year. This means that even without our Yellow Ribbon status, any veteran, spouse, or dependent that receives eligibility for 100% benefit would get their entire Monterey College of Law tuition, fees, and books paid for under the program. This would be true for other California accredited law schools as well. This is an extraordinary opportunity for veterans and their families . . . particularly if they have the flexibility to relocate.

80
M / Re: Monterey College of Law
« on: April 09, 2013, 03:53:13 PM »
On-line answer to an off-line question -  If you apply and are admitted to MCL this cycle (note: the application deadline is still open), but are still waiting for responses and to clear wait-lists (or financial offers) from other law schools . . . MCL will gladly hold open your seat offer until you have had the chance to hear from all of your other law school applications. We know that this decision is huge and we strongly believe you should have the benefit of all possible information about your choices before you commit anywhere. If we have accepted you, of course we hope that you will choose MCL, but our feelings are not hurt if we are your "safety" school.

However, what we have seen too many times in the past is that potential applicants who have all their eggs in one (wait-list) basket and get turned down at the last minute . . . don't rally from the disappointment in time to get additional back-up applications submitted in time . . . and miss the current admission cycle completely. If this could be you, and you have determined that MCL is a possibility for you, we strongly encourage you to get an application (and hopefully an acceptance) in place while you wait for the other decisions . . . nothing beats the feeling of that first "acceptance" . . . even if it isn't where you finally attend.

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