Law School Discussion

Non-Bar Law Degree

Re: Non-Bar Law Degree
« Reply #20 on: January 31, 2008, 03:05:30 PM »
Again this is just my opinion.

I have indeed looked at the ABA requirements that make them superior; office for every professor and a seat for every student in the library.


sounds like you've already made up your mind, but just in case this isn't flame, here you go:

You've boiled it down to offices for professors and seats for students?
Let's assume that is correct (clearly, it isn't) - that means schools without the aba accreditation DON'T have offices for professors or seats for the students.  Sounds like a fun place.  I wonder what it would be like without professors office hours and the ability to sit down and study in the library......
A basic look at the standards reveals a reasonable structure.  Even a cursory glance over the rules should force you to ask the question that as an aspiring attorney, you should have come to by now:  Why ISN'T an unaccredited-by-the-aba school accredited?
Therein lies the answer.  The aba reviewed their school and denied them.  It would be a massive shock to me to think the aba wouldn't provide a school in that situation with a detailed list of reason why.
Which begs the next question:  Why haven't they made the reasonable changes suggested by the aba?
What exactly is the down side of getting an aba accreditation?  since it is clear that 43 of the 50 states in our great union will not allow an attorney even sit for the bar without an aba accreditation, wouldn't it follow that it is in the best interests of the public at-large and the students going to your school to get the stupid accreditation?
I'm sorry, but I haven't heard a reasonable answer to any of those questions that favor unaccredited law schools. 
Feel free to explain it to me, because those answers will be creative ones, likely loaded up with BS, but creative....

Re: Non-Bar Law Degree
« Reply #21 on: January 31, 2008, 03:24:38 PM »
Dante, non-aba law students are too dumb to get into aba law schools.  That should be enough of a reason to think they are inferior.  That is just my opinion, plus that of everyone with a pulse that can think either logically or coherently.

Oh, a few boos from the gallery.  One broad stroke and that's the end of it eh?  "non-aba law students are too dumb to get into aba law schools."  Said with such finality, yet without much thought.  I happen to know for a fact that there are many very successful attorneys out there, as well as judges, that went to non-ABA schools.

I have a pulse and am we are then at a crossroads at opinions, therefore, one of us is right and one of us is wrong.

Again...tell me HOW the law you learn in an ABA school, the ACTUAL subject matter, differs from non-ABA.  Don't tell me "it just does"; elaborate on it.  I've already made some points regarding this.  I've yet to see anyone convince me otherwise yet...and yes I'm open to being convinced.

I will reiterate in brief:
(1) Same casebooks/hornbooks...the same (granted... not every school uses the casebook at every school, eg. a Torts casebook, but even if they didn't the key cases are likely to be the same).  Marbury v. Madison is the same in an ABA school just as it is in a non-ABA school.  Mayhap the ABA school will spend an extra 16 hours on that case [insert smirk here].
(2) Same common law, doctrines, etc.  BarBri is BarBri.
(3) Multi-state & essay finals can't vary that much...I've seen the test bank archives at Harvard...didn't see anything too fancy such as a flaming Harvard logo on the exam...same crap-ola.
(4) Same Bar exam (go figure!?)

To be fair I WILL admit these items:
(1) Bar passage rates certainly are MUCH higher with ABA students when non-ABA students also take the exam with them although I'll need to double check the statistics but I'm failry certain that's an accurate assessment.
(2) ABA schools have Law Review..which is admirable and "good for the balls" as they say (ladies I mean no offense..just an's good for you too!).
(3) Career options are certainly disproportionate for non-ABA students when compared to their counterparts.

Ok now...but's also be fair...sometimes a person's 2nd career (hell maybe even 3rd) is the law profession.  These group's age range is probably 35-50 (yes wide range but I bet I'm close if you looked at enrollment at non-ABA schools).  Most people in this group will have a job of some sort, have a family with children, etc..  A non-ABA school is probably their only realistic shot at becoming an attorney.  More than likely they will continue to work (at least part-time but more likely full-time) and attend a non-ABA school in the evenings.  They will enter programs that will take them 2.75 - 4.5 years to complete.  They will be exhausted between work and school as well as juggling time for their familys...but from the sentiment I'm hearing in these posts, to hell with them right?  If you're older than 25 forget being a lawyer right?  Why bother?  After all, they're going to a non-ABA school and they're worthless anyways right?

Lack of empathy is a serious deficiency folks...but maybe that's why you're becoming lawyers right?  Walk in someone else's shoes, look at the whole picture some research (if you'd REALLY like to know) and see who are the non-ABA lawyers across the U.S. and how did they fare?
 (excuse any typos/misspellings....falling asleep reading about estate taxation)

Re: Non-Bar Law Degree
« Reply #22 on: January 31, 2008, 03:45:42 PM »
dear jeffislouie:

obviously the remark about offices and library seats was tongue-in-cheek.  I've yet to visit my professors in their offices but that's just me.  i just wanted to point out the discrimination towards non-ABA students...and clearly there is.  One almost feels a sense of a caste system (which still exist in some parts of the world mind you such as in Inida…but things are improving).

it's interesting how people are casting aside the points i've made...they're not absolute...but I can't ignore them either.  will all of you incessantly put down law students in these schools?  regarding your point on why some schools can't get accreditation, some schools probably will never even seek many new univeristies can a city have?  maybe some, sadly, are indeed JD mills.  if a state says "hey if you can pass our bar exam you can practice"  then what's the problem.

one last point.  Jones Law School in AL (attached to Faulkner University, some private, christian school) only just recently got ABA approval (they're on probabtion i think).  now they were seeking approval for quite some time and finally got it.  mostly a vast improvement to their law library sealed the deal.  same program now...same professors  but now ABA approved!  what about the class that JUST graduated before approval?  Will they be grandfathered in?  Nope.  So sad, too bas I guess huh?

I don't want this to turn into a d.ick-measuring contest in here.  this is really not about you or's about the discrimination of good folks who are tryin to become a lawyer.  stop the bashing is all.

these were only my opinions based on what i thought were just neutral observations.  if you want to be a poster-child for the ABA that's your business.  if you really want to shake this hornet's some research on articles that question whether or not passing a bar exam proves may find some interesting comments...perhaps slanted, sure...but "what if?".

Re: Non-Bar Law Degree
« Reply #23 on: January 31, 2008, 04:44:52 PM »
the thing is, not everyone is suppose to be a lawyer.  anyway, the education differs because of both the socratic method (learning from less intelligent students is less likely to benefit you, and, the quality of professors is severely disproportionate at unaccredited schools).  That being said, the bar passage rates are unbelievably disproportionate which suggests that both the professors and the students have serious problems.

1) The argument (these are second career people, etc, etc.) isnt really going to cut it, because lots of tier fours have part time programs and so do many state schools which means that both people on a budget and people with lower lsats have options.

2) Its crazy to me to think that anyone would chose a non-aba school over an aba school when they really have a desire to be a lawyer.  Its like going in to the lsat and choosing, voluntarily, to only fill out half the exam.  It just doesnt make sense.

3) Anyway, I will agree that some things are comparable at both schools, but clearly some things are not (level of education, quality of students, job opportunities).

4) anyway, on the point of schools choosing not to be accredited, the dean of liberty(I think?) was saying a while ago that he didnt want to be accredited because he didnt want to deal with the requirements and regulations that the aba has.  I think it was liberty, forgive me if I am attributing that statement to another school.

5) Anyway, even if it is the same casebook in a class, the professor wont teach it as well and the student wont comprehend it as well.

6) And, same bar exam, but ill pass it my first try and get a job, and those students, if they are even allowed to take it, are not likely to pass if they even graduate and are even more unlikely to get jobs as lawyers.

Oh, and I agree with you completely on one thing, tax puts you to sleep.  however, i am going to go back to it for now.

if you get a chance, explain why anyone logical would want to go to a non-aba school

Re: Non-Bar Law Degree
« Reply #24 on: January 31, 2008, 07:50:40 PM »
some interesting points thorc...i will respond since you took the time to chime in (according to your numbered comments):

1) does the "no work" (wink wink) psuedo requirement from ABA work on these part-time programs (i honestly don't know ..would have to research it)
2) while i agree with your point here to a degree, it would be for the same reasons i mentioned before; plus maybe someone couldn't muster LSAT, GPA, etc.
3) i agree with your examples in parens... except for the level of education one; quality of students is assumed to be higher based on reasons you give in # 2, and i agree 100% job opportunities blow away non-ABA...with that said also consider that many non-ABA seek a solo practice or to create a small partnership (usually with fellow non-ABA classmates)
4) would be interesting to know all the schools applicable here and reasons for being non-ABA...mayhap I'll reseach it further one day (hell who's got time now..aside from writing these posts hahaha?)
5) i have to totally disagree with your point here; until it could be shown otherwise
6) it seems to be true that ABA students will more than likely pass the bar on their 1st attempt whereas non-ABA struggle..but...again need to look at states with non-ABA schools and look at the passage statistics to see if the trend is still there or if things are improving.  jobs as lawyers...see my comment at the end of # 3

why anyone logical would want to go to an a non-ABA school?  well, i have 2 answers for that.  (a) circumstances only permit as such & (b) who said they actually "wanted" to go...might be their ONLY option....we all do things in life we don't "want" to do.

later gator.

Re: Non-Bar Law Degree
« Reply #25 on: February 01, 2008, 11:00:27 AM »
"it's interesting how people are casting aside the points i've made...they're not absolute...but I can't ignore them either.  will all of you incessantly put down law students in these schools? "

I'm not putting down students who attend non-aba accredited law schools (and I don't believe I ever did - if so, please accept my apologies).

I am also not casting aside points you've made.  Some of them have been valid - others not so much.

For instance, you talk about "same bar exam"....
That, of course, is only true if you sit for the bar in one of the 7 states that will allow you to sit.  And no other state will accept your law license.
Perhaps I should be a bit more clear:
Here are the major disadvantages to a non-aba approved law school (an incomplete list):
1)  You are limited to 7 states for practice.  That means you can't move.  Ever.  Unless of course you move to another of the 7 states, and then (in most cases) you may have to sit for their bar.  While it is not uncommon for states to allow for petition for bar standing from bar holders from out of state, there is no state with the aba/bar requirement that will allow such a petition.  That is probably the biggest negative.
2)  Quality of educators.  Given that the majority of well-qualified instructors will likely NEVER consider teaching at a non-aba approved school, the likelihood that you get a top flight instructor is minimal at best.  This means you will never be taught by a yale alum.  While I learn contracts from a professor who did graduate from yale. 
3)  Recognition in the industry.  The truth is that MOST attorneys DO graduate from aba approved schools.
4)  Bar passage rates.  While I cannot produce the numbers, it is widely held and a safe assumption that non-aba approved law school graduates have a lower bar passage rate.  If you can find hard numbers comparing aba and non-aba approved schools bar passage, I'd sincerely like to see them.  I don't have the time for in depth research on this topic, but I couldn't find the information I was looking for.

This opinion piece probably sums up the non-aba vs. aba issue:

It would appear from this piece that non-aba approved law schools focus on black letter law, which is only part of the equation, and bar passage prep, not quality legal education and a 'think like a lawyer' mindset.  That right there is a HUGE negative.

That said, if you choose a non-aba approved school, best of luck to you.  I harbor no ill will, as I suspect most of us don't.
and please take this next statement on it's face, it is not reflective of anything but what most of us believe to be true:
When you non-aba approved law school graduates meet us in court, we stand a good chance of winning.  Therefore, it is to our advantage that so many non-aba approved law schools exist, churning out graduate after graduate ill prepared to represent their clients best interest.

Regardless, I commend you for your desire to learn the law.  Best of luck.

Re: Non-Bar Law Degree
« Reply #26 on: February 03, 2008, 12:06:05 PM »
You say that professors who graduated from aba schools wouldnt teach at non-aba schools. There are many flaws with that. For starters then why are graduates from high level regionally accredited schools like harvard teaching at online nationally accredited colleges such as calcoast U? That alone should prove some points.

As for the average joe careing about aba, give me a break. All that counts is results, and let me tell you why in real world examples. Most people who have CDL's get them from truck driving schools, but some get a "TIP" and learn at under a friend without schooling. My friend got his CDL that way. At first NO ONE would hire him without schooling due to limited experience. I payed for the school, and found that he was able to get hired in quicker than me at that point, becuase even though I had the school  he had found a place to hire him for awhile at a low wage for experience and after that experience spoke louder than a diploma from a school.

If a lawyer wins cases for his clients, they give "word of mouth" and they keep coming in. You may  have to tighten that belt for a few years while proving yourself, but you will prove it. Also, if an ABA lawyer wants $100 an hour and blue coller Joe cant afford it, he may want it, but wont get it, period.  If you offer him it at $50 an hour, he will take what he can afford if he really needs it. Walmart sells stuff way cheaper than other stores yet has a higher profit due to bulk sales. You may want to drive a BMW but if you cant afford it then you will drive a geo to get around, dispite your thoughts on what you'd prefer if you weren't who you are. Period.

If no non-aba lawyers can find work, then why do they? Why dont they all strave to death or committ group suicide? Tell me why if you know so much about it.

If non-aba is so bad, then why do other starts also have non-aba program in some other states also.(Its not just Cali if you actually look it up). Tell me that too while your at it.

Re: Non-Bar Law Degree
« Reply #27 on: February 03, 2008, 12:17:41 PM »
that was painful to read... its is readily apparent from your writing that you go to one of the non-aba schools and are getting overly defensive about it. 

First, I go to an ABA school and clients will pay 300+ an hour for my time, but thats irrelevant.

Second, your commentary on truck driving school is in no way relevant to law school as lawyers and their clients are prestige whores (my brother got his CDL and got hired right away with some place, not sure how he did it, but doesnt matter).

I can understand your comment about non-aba lawyers being cheaper and people having no options, but I can almost guarantee that there are plenty of tier 4 grads willing to work for 50 an hour, probably even many top tier grads as well.

And, its not an issue of non-aba lawyers not being able to find work, its the fact that most of them will not find work as lawyers.  I dont know any non-aba grads, because I live in a city that requires you to have one, but I couldnt imagine they could get any jobs with any more relation to the legal market then as a paralegal.  There may be a few willing to hang a shingle, but I would imagine that most people without money to afford a lawyer would go to a clinic and get assistance or to a PD rather then to some guy who cant spell and bought his degree online. 

Thats really all I have to say about that.  Now, I am back to work since I actually have to go to class tomorrow...


Re: Non-Bar Law Degree
« Reply #28 on: February 03, 2008, 01:35:06 PM »
Non-ABA schools may use the same books and study guides and teach similar classes, but then again you can always buy those books on your own and teach yourself. A major reason people go to law school (aside from a "quest for legal knowledge") is to get a job - this involves being able to sit for the bar, and for most people the ability to get hired.

Going to a non-ABA school greatly affects your ability to sit for the bar and your ability to get hired. If want to practice in a state that allows non-ABA graduates to sit for the bar and have a job lined up at a relative's firm or want to go out on your own, maybe the difference won't be as dramatic.

I'd say virtually every applicant would choose an ABA accredited school over a non-ABA school if they had the option. A non-ABA school might be better than nothing (depending on your circumstances it might not) but a lot of it comes down to self-selection. If the top professors and students are choosing ABA schools and most employers are hiring from ABA schools, that alone says something. You learn from your classmates, and also build relationships with them and alum from your school.

I'm not saying non-ABA schools have never produced a successful attorney, but I find it hard to believe that anyone thinks non-ABA schools are on the same level as their ABA counterparts. I can't really speak to ABA schools like Cooley, etc but I'd imagine there's more to ABA accreditation than the number of seats in the library.

Re: Non-Bar Law Degree
« Reply #29 on: February 03, 2008, 02:13:38 PM »
Heres the real question folks. If you have ABA preference then why waste your time on the non-aba section of this forum that is meant for people who are into it? That would be like someone who hates state defence forces going to