I've done quite much research to justify whether I should enroll with Concord or other correspondence schools. I've already started the process with them. If you're currently enrolled with Concord, please let me know how your experience is.Disclaimer: This analysis is to help me or anyone who is trying to determine if Concord makes sense. It's not meant to put down any school. If you find Abraham Lincoln or NWCU works out for you, then please feel free to add your opinion.
I compared it with Abraham Lincoln and NWCU.Cost
Concord's cost is the highest of all correspondence school that's why I'm trying to justify it. I hope it's true that "You get what you pay for" but at the same time not all expensive things have high quality.Requirement
Abraham--at least two years of college (and exam?)
Concord--at least a bachelor (GPA 3.0 is desirable) and 15 questions exam
NWCU--60 college units (I think that's two years)
Concord has the toughest requirement so far. That MAY explain why their bar passage rate is higher.Bar passage 1st time
(starting Feb '03)*
*Even though Abraham and NWCU have info before Feb '03, Concord did not since it was new. As a result, I only used the data that date forward to have a somewhat fair comparision. If you want to verify my numbers, please visit calbar.ca.gov and do your own calculation.Accredidation
Out of the three only Concord is accredited by www.DETC.org
. That's supposedly recognized nationwide. Of course there are other schools that is DETC also like www.taftu.edu
but I'm only comparing with a small sample. I wonder if the high cost justifies a school being DETC.Format
Concord Online only
This is the thing I wish Concord can improve on. Somehow "Online only" doesn't sound good to me. It sounds like one of those spams that say you can buy your degree online. I'm somewhat disappointed that a school costing so much doesn't have a physical facility for its students.Web sites
I thought NWCU's site was a little tacky probably due to low budget. The other two schools probably charge more to maintain their professional sites. Now you know where the money goes.Media Exposure
I originally heard about Abrahm Lincoln through an ad on National Public Radio www.NPR.org
. I also received a few calls from them since I was registering for the LSAT. When I decided to attend correspondence school, I found out about Concord and NWCU through articles posted on their site.
I've done internet searches and found more instances of Concord than the any other virtual law schools even though it's the newest. Concord's parent Kaplan/Washington Post probably have some influence in that. Afterall, it's a news company.
They also hired a famous Harvard professor and even "persuaded" the ABA official who criticized them in the first place by making him dean of Concord. (Very clever move. I think that contributes to the high cost also.)Conclusion
If my research is accurate, I would get my money's worth. I hope their stringent entrance narrows those who would do well with this type of school to maintain a high bar passage stats. If the stat stays up then employers would set its students apart from other correspondence schools.
I hope Kaplan's experience add value to the quality of Concord's material delivery. I hope the attention received from Concord would help me stay on track and perform well on the bar. I hope Kaplan/Washington Post continue to use its influence and network to make me proud of being a graduate from Concord. If all those hopes come true then the high fee is justified.
But when it all winds down, passing the bar is the ultimate goal regardless of what school. Although it may not have a prestige as a traditional law school, I anticipate any virtual school to be as challenging. If you don't get good training then you can't pass the bar. I'm shooting for whichever school that can help me achieve that in my current situation.