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Question about career plan

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I realize that is this going to get me flamed (and having lurked on here for a time, I can even speculate who will do the flaming  ::)) but I really want input on this question.

I have worked for state government for fourteen years.  I have a Masters degree in my field, and have risen steadily during my employment.

My employer is interested in sending me to law school.  As we have no attorneys on staff, I currently assist with as much of our legal work as possible without engaging in the unauthorized practice of law.

The only local option for a night law school is located about 1.5 hours away from my home – a three hour round trip.  Because of this we are investigating an online law school – William Howard Taft, specifically.  I know they are accredited (though not ABA) and this is what allows my employer to pay tuition, they cannot fund non-accredited school tuition.

In this state, admission to the bar is governed by the Supreme Court Rules.  They state:

“Every attorney not a member of the Bar of this state who performs legal services in this state solely for his/her employer, its parent, subsidiary, or affiliated entities, shall file with the Clerk of the Supreme Court on a form provided, an application for limited admission to practice law in this state.  Such application shall be approved and a limited admission to practice law shall be granted.”

As I will be practicing law solely for my employer (the state) this is the rule I would fall under.

My question is:  can anyone think of any reason that this is not a practical plan?  I realize that this would severely limit my employment opportunities, but I intend to stay with the state until retirement.  I love my job, and I make reasonable money (I’m happy with it, at any rate). Any comments on Taft?

Any advice or comments would be greatly appreciated.

Yes I also know the annointed will flame you as distance law school is a waste of time, you are stupid, and a waste of money, but I will not.  I too worked for state government until I retired and with the price of even traditional in-state law schools I would have had to bear a significant debt load. Combine that with working 50 to 60 hours per week on average, it left very little other time and combine that with caring for a mother in law with Alzheimer's disease, traditional law school when I was younger was NOT an option.  IF you have some assurrances that you can take your state bar AFTER passing the California Bar, then you will do alright.  Also, there are several ABA approved law schools which will allow us to study for an LLM degree from a correspondence school, specifically St. Thomas, and then we could take the bar exam.  Before ANY of you state, NO you can't, I have already been in contact with St. Thomas, an ABA approved school and was assured what I have typed IS CORRECT.

I have been a student with Abraham Lincoln School of Law and have had some concerns regarding the length of time it takes to get feedback.  I am seriously considering transferring to Taft after I complete and pass the FYLSX.  To aide me in my quest I have already signed up for a bar review for same.

That's very unfortunate about your experience with Concord.  So far, they have been rather responsive to me, but that's just my personal experience.  Their program is much more comprehensive than the local brick and mortar state-accredited college of law and the materials provided are excellent.  One thing you might want to keep in mind about Abraham Lincoln University and Taft is their FYLSE pass rate and the California Bar pass rate.  Concord seems to score consistently high in both categories.  The only other school that surpasses Concord is Oakbrook.  The caveat with Oakbrook is that they are driven by a fundamentalist Christian ideology and that may not be something your state will fund.

Best of luck in your endeavors.

Gov Law:
I too was accepted into Concord and was looking forward to attending that school.  My wife had serious health problems and I had to defer, but when I tried to reenter, I was told I had to wait another year, no exceptions, that is another reason I am attending ALU at present.  My complaint about them is the serious lag time to be advised of your work/progress or lack thereof.  I would love to be readmitted into Concord, but I guess I have to wait and see.


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