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Author Topic: Stop Hiding behind your ABA school...  (Read 21818 times)

fullitaliandmr

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Stop Hiding behind your ABA school...
« on: February 14, 2007, 09:25:17 AM »
I just wanted to write something here because I think it is absolutely ridiculous for ABA students to critize DL students. For one, we ALL take the bar exam. Just because you attend Harvard or Yale doesn't mean you will pass the bar OR even be a good attorney. I am glad California is the first state to recognize DL because it will soon be mainstream. ABA schools are very expensive because of how much it costs the school to get approval. Again....nothing to do with the teaching methods....so what if you have a bigger library! I would also like to inform everyone that MANY individuals, including Abraham Lincoln, learned law on there own. This is NOT medical school....it can be done through self-study. One can argue that you need moot court....No, you simply go to your local court house and ask to observe. You inform them that you are a law student and that you would like to sit in. They are very helpful. Besides, law school teaches you NOTHING about actually practicing the law....why the hell do you think larger, more civilized states like California and New York have law office study programs???? Because they KNOW that going to an ABA school is NOT required....Get Real. I cant stand these people who hide behind the ABA accredidation....deep down inside they hate the fact that DL students will graduate with zero debt while they are down 120k without a job. Please...I have an MBA, CPA and a BA. Doing law school online has allowed me to continue working in my current profession while pursuing my ultimate dream. By the way, the California Bar Exam is the HARDEST in the United States...actually the BABY BAR is harder than some states actual bar exam. SO if you think DL students are retard or unable to make it in an ABA school than why are we PASSING THE HARDEST BAR IN THE U.S.???????? My advice is to stop being jealous and congratulate those who made a better choice by choosing a DL school. Get a life....and to those who are current DL students...Keep up the hard work.

TDJD84

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Re: Stop Hiding behind your ABA school...
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2007, 10:36:48 AM »
I personally have no problem with distance learning and applaud anyone who goes that route.  I will say however, schools like harvard, yale and most other tier 1 and most tier 2 schools tend to have a higher bar passage rate than DL schools.  It is probably easier to get a job coming from a traditional school.  A lot of people are into big law, big law lite, and government jobs, which are competitive enough to get into. I don't think those kinds of jobs generally hire DL students; at least not yet.  In addition, I think it is harder to network at a DL school and rely on an alumni database, which another key factor in getting a good job.  I am sure that things will start to change in the next 10-15 years with the evolution of the internet as well as the curriculum as DL schools.  You seem to be quite accomplished, and this JD is merely another degree to help further your career.  People who don't have an MBA or CPA to fall back on are in a slightly different boat than you.   

LegalLatin78

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Re: Stop Hiding behind your ABA school...
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2007, 07:31:46 PM »
Excellent post TDJD84.  Very good points.  There is nothing wrong with getting your JD online, and I think many mature B&M students understand this.  There are tons of kids running around this board bashing everyone and anyone they can get a rise out of.  I think that many B&M students would respect most people who could pass the bar while studying on their own.

Also, good point about the lack of networking and social interaction opportunities that many online DL schools do not provide.  One day they will probably address this and figure out a way to improve this aspect.  Unless you are already established, it is tough to get any kind of job without knowing the right people.

Sako

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Re: Stop Hiding behind your ABA school...
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2007, 03:53:18 PM »
Some interesting points.  I do agree with one time that an online JD will face significant hardships entering the legal field, but I think that there are several other positive points about DL schools that often do not get mentioned:

1) The business world is becoming more remote.

In the past, people being in the same physical location was how things were done.  More and more now, business is conducted remotely.  Whether by email, video conferencing, phone conferencing, faxing, or some other sort of medium, the environment is increasingly becoming a remote one.  Considering this, the experience that DL students get achieving results outside of the B & M model is actually a very positive experience for moving into the "real" world.

2) The law is demanding more specific knowledge.

The days of lawyers doing anything and everything are dwindling.  Increasingly, a level of knowledge of a field outside of the law is being demanded.  DL school are a great step forward in allowing actively practicing professionals in a given field to add a legal education to their current skill base.  As is continually emphasized in the course work, knowledge of the black letter law counts for little without the ability to apply it to a set of facts.  In this capacity, people who add a law degree to existing degrees and experience will have a significant edge. 

I know that with out the DL school allowing me to continue to work my full time job while studying, I would not be able to attend law school at all.  When I am done, I will be able to combine a MS in Software Development, and 10 years of experience in the field with a JD degree.  I think it will allow for some interesting opportunities. 

As a further example, when I was taking the Baby Bar this past October, I was standing around with two of my class mates (who I had just met for the first time).  One was a surgeon with 20 years of experience, and the other was a CPA and tax investigator for the government.  You can see the opportunities that they will have that a person with just a law degree would not be eligible for.

3) The DL model is closer to what will be expected in the "real world".

I have attended both B & M and DL schools, and the methods of studying, the habits required, and means of feedback of the DL schools much more closely match what I experience in the business world.  I think that the business world will eventually come to recognize that a person who has the drive and discipline to learn law through a DL program possesses several of the qualities that they are looking for in employees.

4) Something is better than nothing.

A lot of the comments that I see on this board against DL are along the lines "why don't you just go to a B & M school", "If you were serious, you would just find a way to go to a B & M school".  I always assume that most of these comments come from people who don't have a family and a mortgage.  It is nice to think that you could just stop your life and drop everything for three years, and move to a law school.  This sounds good on an internet chat board, but it is not really that easy.  Perhaps it does not yet carry the full prestige  and have all of the opportunities of a Tier 1 degree, but sometimes you have to do the best you can with what you have.  I had the choice that I could sit around and wish that I could go to a B & M law school and whine that I couldn't, or I could attend a DL school.



In any case, ultimately the acceptance of the DL degree will be determined by the quality of the students that it produces.  I'm sure that this process will take at least a decade, but eventually the functionality of the graduates will determine the fate of DL programs.

PSUDSL08

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Re: Stop Hiding behind your ABA school...
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2007, 07:50:03 PM »
I just wanted to write something here because I think it is absolutely ridiculous for ABA students to critize DL students. For one, we ALL take the bar exam. Just because you attend Harvard or Yale doesn't mean you will pass the bar OR even be a good attorney.

Can't argue with you there


 
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ABA schools are very expensive because of how much it costs the school to get approval. Again....nothing to do with the teaching methods....so what if you have a bigger library! I would also like to inform everyone that MANY individuals, including Abraham Lincoln, learned law on there own. This is NOT medical school....it can be done through self-study. One can argue that you need moot court....No, you simply go to your local court house and ask to observe. You inform them that you are a law student and that you would like to sit in.

I'd say the law is a little more complex now than when good ol' Abe Lincoln learned it. Back in the day, people became lawyers by apprenticing with other lawyers. Nowadays I'd rather have professors hash through the complexities of the law than try to pick up a book and do it myself. While the third year of law school is completely useless and a way for schools to suck more loan money out of you, I think the first two years teach you a way of thinking that you'd be hard pressed to learn on your own.

And you don't need moot court, or law review, or any of the other extracurricular activities. However, alumni connections and on campus networking activities are things that tend to be very helpful, and things which you won't get from an online law learning process.

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Besides, law school teaches you NOTHING about actually practicing the law....why the hell do you think larger, more civilized states like California and New York have law office study programs???? Because they KNOW that going to an ABA school is NOT required....Get Real.

By the way, the California Bar Exam is the HARDEST in the United States...actually the BABY BAR is harder than some states actual bar exam. SO if you think DL students are retard or unable to make it in an ABA school than why are we PASSING THE HARDEST BAR IN THE U.S.????????


Hmm...then why do you continue to mention later on in your soapbox piece that you're passing "the hardest bar in the US?" Does passing the hardest bar in the US prepare you for being a lawyer?

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I cant stand these people who hide behind the ABA accredidation....deep down inside they hate the fact that DL students will graduate with zero debt while they are down 120k without a job.

I think you can't stand the fact that you were never admitted to an ABA accredited school, and are destined to sock it to everyone that is happy with their choice to attend an ABA accredited school. I can relate to you. I didn't get into any of my desired choices b/c of my LSAT, grinded it out at a T4, and I'm now at my initial first choice. I can now say F-you to all the T2's and other T3's that didn't admit me...just like you can say F-you to all the "stupid ABA law schools" that didn't admit you

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Please...I have an MBA, CPA and a BA.

Ok...we get it. You've accomplished a lot...You've done other types of graduate work. You'll probably make a fine attorney. Step down from the soapbox.

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Doing law school online has allowed me to continue working in my current profession while pursuing my ultimate dream.  My advice is to stop being jealous and congratulate those who made a better choice by choosing a DL school. Get a life....and to those who are current DL students...Keep up the hard work.

No...it seems like you've already congratulated yourself enough that there's no way any of us could possibly fit in any more congrats. Doing law school online has been a choice that has worked out well for you. Going to ABA accredited schools has been a choice that has worked out well for the vast majority of us. Yet you proclaim that getting your degree online is a better choice than going to an ABA accredited school on the basis of time and money alone. What about the students who are receiving full rides at their current schools? What about the part time students who are receiving full rides who are able to continue their employment (like yourself)?

Call me crazy, but I'd bet that the average ABA accredited grad will have not only more employment opportunities coming out of school, but more lucrative ones at that. The $120K  (give or take) in loans could very well be worth every penny once we hit the job market. With a decent salary, there's no reason that all of us will have to live on pork n' beans just to pay for the cost of our education.

At the end of the day, I understand where you're coming from. I think online degrees will be the wave of the future, and I think your program could very well produce some fine lawyers who earn great livings. But if you are so firmly convinced that your decision was the right one to make...do you really (a) need confirmation from internet forum posters, and (b) need to act high and mighty to prove a point?

UChi2L

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Re: Stop Hiding behind your ABA school...
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2007, 08:01:59 PM »
why the hell do you think larger, more civilized states like California and New York have law office study programs???? Because they KNOW that going to an ABA school is NOT required....Get Real.

Cute!
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JoeBob

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Re: Stop Hiding behind your ABA school...
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2007, 10:57:58 PM »
The funny thing I find about hiding behind the ABA school argument is from the articles I have read all the schools are trying to get ABA approved.  If the ABA is soo bad then why are the DL schools trying to get approved?  I do not think ABA students are scared of change or competition from DLs, I think they just get mad when people who are not qualified to go to law school go to a diploma mill and call themselves lawyers.  As for larger states accepting people who do not go to ABA schools or law school at all, last check of CA I could not find a single bar passer who did not go to law school.  True ABA is not required, but if your school is going for ABA status then your school disagrees with you that the ABA status is important.  As for all people taking the bar exam, that is kind of true, however most DL's never get to take the bar as the baby bar pass rate is very low.  Those who do get to take the bar have a low bar pass rate, and then signifigant hurdles in finding a job.

Ronald Hyatt

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Re: Stop Hiding behind your ABA school...
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2007, 03:07:15 AM »
I am actually curious. I don't know anything about these DL schools. So I went to a couple of their websites (Concord, Taft & Abraham Lincoln popped up on Google first). I must admit that I was shocked to see that the tuition was so high. Concord is almost $9k per year ($36k for all 4yrs). Abraham Lincoln is $6,750. Taft was more reasonable at $5,400 per year. Still, at the low end, you are shelling out $21k for the four years.

I'm sure this is due to my own myopic view of schooling, but what exactly does that get you? You don't have a law library. You don't have law journals or a moot court team. You don't have clubs or interest groups or special guest speakers. Or do you? I assume you have classes of some sort? Are you able to ask questions or is it just a lecture? Do they use the Socratic method? Do you chat with the professor and other students? How does it work? I mean, why not just go out and buy a dozen casebooks, read them from cover to cover and take the Baby Bar and the Bar on your own? Does a J.D. after your name from one of these schools really carry enough weight to justify spending $20k on it?
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brewha

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Re: Stop Hiding behind your ABA school...
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2007, 09:25:52 AM »
I am actually curious. I don't know anything about these DL schools. So I went to a couple of their websites (Concord, Taft & Abraham Lincoln popped up on Google first). I must admit that I was shocked to see that the tuition was so high. Concord is almost $9k per year ($36k for all 4yrs). Abraham Lincoln is $6,750. Taft was more reasonable at $5,400 per year. Still, at the low end, you are shelling out $21k for the four years.

I'm sure this is due to my own myopic view of schooling, but what exactly does that get you? You don't have a law library. You don't have law journals or a moot court team. You don't have clubs or interest groups or special guest speakers. Or do you? I assume you have classes of some sort? Are you able to ask questions or is it just a lecture? Do they use the Socratic method? Do you chat with the professor and other students? How does it work? I mean, why not just go out and buy a dozen casebooks, read them from cover to cover and take the Baby Bar and the Bar on your own? Does a J.D. after your name from one of these schools really carry enough weight to justify spending $20k on it?


My understanding is that while you may come out of these schools with little or no understanding of the law, you are well rested because of DL schools' emphasis on "nap time" and are one hell of a finger painter. 
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O.B. Wan

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Re: Stop Hiding behind your ABA school...
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2007, 10:43:28 AM »

I would think the professional world would look down upon you.  Similar to a degree from University of Phoenix, SOME employers may have the attitude that a degree is a degree, but these will most likely be individuals who have no education; are in their position due to starting work the day the company opened.

All I know, is if I was doing the hiring, and someone was setting across the desk from me, who did their undergrad at U. of Phoenix, then got their JD by way of DL, there is no way I would consider offering them a job.

DL has it's place, and if you live in Juno, AK, then employers would be understanding of the circumstances.  But beyond situations where DL was the only option, it just gives the impression of being lazy, or taking short cuts. 

Grades wouldn't even matter, because it's simply not the same.  It's not just the schooling, but the entire experience of going to law school that counts.  The best analogy I can think of would be to think of the attitudes natural bodybuilders, who worked their butt off to get in the shape they are in, would have towards someone who got into the same shape in 3 months by taking roids.

I'm not saying any of this is 100% true, or that DL does not provide a good education.  But the stigma of DL education is something to consider.  The attitudes towards online degrees is definitely not good.  And almost anyone who has earned the same degree by actually going to school, will think it is a complete joke.  Sorry.  I'm sure someone will repost with some story of someone they know, with an awesome job, etc; who went the DL route.  But these people are the exception.