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Author Topic: Why I chose NSL  (Read 22798 times)

Chuck Milam

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Re: Why I chose NSL
« Reply #30 on: September 24, 2004, 10:59:14 AM »
We hates Kentucky.
Kentucky is where I currently reside.   :-\

Here is an excellent resource for ABA accreditation battle research:

http://www.lc.org/misc/aba_index.htm

Especially good work (but long!): 
Lifting the Veil: An Expose' on the American Bar Association's Arbitrary and Capricious Accreditation Process, 49 Wayne L. Rev 1

Guarenteed to get your Non-ABA blood boiling.   >:(

Frank_Galvin

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Re: Why I chose NSL
« Reply #31 on: October 03, 2004, 02:50:12 PM »
(long post..please be patient)
I am still perplexed as to how a non-ABA law school student can work during law school, attend school at night, and find time to study, and get the equivalent law education that gets you an accredited JD.

How can this be?  I am seriously considering attending Birmingham School of Law, but I have to question what one is actually getting from the non-ABA environment.  If the education and exams of these schools are good enough to let you practice law, how can students be allowed to work a regular job, attend law school full-time, and come out as good as an ABA school that won't let you work while attending the 1st year??

You would think everyone would take the non-ABA approach then.  Again, if the curriculum in non-ABA schools is very similar to ABA schools (torts, contracts, etc), and you attend the same amount of credit hours, how in the world can working adults even find the time to study when ABA students are struggling to find time to study when they don't even have jobs (most anyways)??

I am NOT putting down non-ABA schools...I just want the facts so I can make a good decision.  I am considering a non-ABA school so that I can maybe work part-time and so that I don't graduate with a huge debt.  On the other hand..Birmingham School of Law is non-ABA, therefore you can't get ANY federal student loans AND you can't ask for a forebearance on any student loans you have going in.  PLUS, you have to pay as you go ($300 a course x 5 courses + books, fees, etc).

Anyone who can really answer these questions will be my hero.  Thank you in advance.

Frank Galvin (real name Ronnie..also known as Dante Hicks in Pre Law msg board).

ps...Jeff @ NSL, I'm sure we kinda went over this before but I'm still confused.

jeffjoe

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Re: Why I chose NSL
« Reply #32 on: October 03, 2004, 03:27:57 PM »
NSL has only part-time programs.  The maximum load is 12 credit hours or four classes.  That's what I'm taking.  I go two nights a week and classes go from 6:45 to 10:15.

I think there is enough time to do the work, but I'm in a squeeze because I work, live and attend school in three widely separated places.  I spend 18 hours a week just commuting.

NSL does not have a law review or a journal or those sorts of things.

We have generally the same courses as ABA schools, but I suspect we approach the subjects differently.  We spend less time on theory and more on practical matters and with an emphasis on Tennessee law. 

BSOL, I believe, has a "full time" program that gets you a JD in three years.  The way the make that work is you go to school year round instead of having summers off like NSL and "regular" schools.

lawschoolafterdark is attending BSOL.  Have you 'talked' to him?
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Frank_Galvin

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Re: Why I chose NSL
« Reply #33 on: October 03, 2004, 03:48:29 PM »
Jeff:

I have talked to him but I think he got really sick and had to drop.  He pretty much said you study on weekends and whenever else one could find the time.

I would also have to communte since I live just outside of Huntsville, AL (Madison).  It's about an hour and 15 minute drive or more (depends who's driving LOL).  I even heard about people who carpool to BSOL from Huntsville but I'm afraid to depend on it and someone can't "make it" one night.  I would think they go over things for that night's class on their drive over.

I'm going to call BSOL this week and see what THEY have to say about it (I'm sure they'll paint a pretty picture while at the same time saying it's a challenging curriculum).

Two nights a week isn't so bad I guess since you have the rest of the nights to study after work.  At BSOL, you go 5 nights a week from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM (if you pick that "graduation" plan..they also have part-time).  They have a different class each night!

Thanks for your response.  I would like to hear from others as well if they can.

 :)

jeffjoe

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Re: Why I chose NSL
« Reply #34 on: October 03, 2004, 04:32:19 PM »
I work in Huntsville, so on school nights I drive from Huntsville to Nashville.
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Coregram

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Re: Why I chose NSL
« Reply #35 on: October 03, 2004, 10:57:32 PM »
Frank,

I think you are confusing the ABA vs. Non-ABA question with Full-time vs. Part-time programs at either type of school.  Many ABA accredited schools have part-time/evening division programs.  Students in these accredited programs attend 10-12 credit hours, do the required homework, and still work full-time.    And they get the same education and degree as the full-time students.  In fact, sometimes they sit in the same classes as the full-time students.  So the difficulties in going part-time is there whether the school is accredited or not.

For some reason, the ABA has no problem with that.  Their only rules regarding work is for full-time students; a 20 hour limit.  Of course, why the ABA thinks you can work at least 20 more hours yet take only 3 less credits (and save may 9 hours of study time) isn't clear, but it's what their accrediation standards say.

My non-ABA accredited school (Mass School of Law) does have both full and part-time programs.  The part-time programs takes 4 years, 2 semesters a year, similar to the ABA part-time programs.  We are taught the same basic courses as the ABA schools, in socratic style, with case books.  What we don't have that the ABA schools do are lots of highly paid, full-time tenured faculty teaching one section of one course per semester (and still not finding the time to write their own books without plagerizing.)  We are taught by lots of practicing attorneys and judges and a small core of full time faculty.  We pay less tuition and still have fewer students in our classes than the ABA schools near by.

Also, I'm not sure how accurate your assumption that you can't get student loans attending a non-ABA school.  I don't have any loans myself, but our school's financial aid office offers Stafford Loans, both subsidized and non-subsidized.  I'd research that a little more.  It may just be that some schools don't participate.

All I can say is take a good hard look at both the ABA and non-ABA schools you can attend and see which one fits best for you.  Look at the ABA accrediation standards and try to figure out why the school isn't accredited, and is that reason important to you.  But I wouldn't assume a school is better or worse just because one private organization with a vested interest has or has not given it "their stamp of approval."

lawgroupie

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Re: Why I chose NSL
« Reply #36 on: October 04, 2004, 12:04:22 AM »
Frank,

I am struggling with finding the time to study. I have a very demanding job that I love that is more than 50 hours a week. So it is a struggle. I am sure I would learn more if I could just study and not work, but that is not in the cards for me. I used to work at an elite law school, and I have to say that one main difference between NSL and and most regular law schools (elite or not) is the community. You learn a lot from the community, which NSL doesn't have. By community, I mean, time to drop by the professor's offices (there are no professor offices) to pick their brains, and there are no panels and lectures, featuring primo law professors and practitioners from across the country talking about cutting edge topics and topics of interest to lawyers. These extra curricular events are sometimes where you can really learn what "being a lawyer" means. We do miss out on this at this school, and that is a shame, but again, that is what our package is. That is the tradeoff. If we didn't have this school, I couldn't go to law school at all.

jeffjoe

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Re: Why I chose NSL
« Reply #37 on: October 04, 2004, 11:19:20 AM »
We miss out on all the on-campus opportunities that 'regular' schools have.  It is definitely a disadvantage, but even if I was going to a 'regular' school, I'd have to go part time and would miss all those things anyway.

One advantage of our school is that we have practioners as teachers, rather than pure academics.
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lawgroupie

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Re: Why I chose NSL
« Reply #38 on: October 04, 2004, 11:26:40 AM »
Most regular schools also have a long list of practitioners who teach law.

jeffjoe

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Re: Why I chose NSL
« Reply #39 on: October 04, 2004, 11:55:06 AM »
Most regular schools also have a long list of practitioners who teach law.

Yes, but how many of them work full time as lawyers and judges?   :D
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