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Author Topic: Non-Bar Law Degree  (Read 28372 times)

thorc954

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Re: Non-Bar Law Degree
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2008, 03:14:17 PM »
1) many of the professors at the elite schools practiced at some point or continue to practice while teaching
2) law school learning is somewhat socratic still, and so most of the learning comes from what is said by the students in your class.  That being said, non-ABA law schools are filled with either students that either i) werent smart enough to get into an ABA school, or ii) werent smart enough to realize the importance of going to a school with options upon graduation.  You may say, some people couldnt go to ABA schools because of monetary reasons.  Well, almost everyone at my school could have gone to a tier 2 for free.  In addition, many of them go here for free and done even have to pay for some of their living expenses.
3) very few states allow you to sit for the bar from non-aba schools. who wants to go to a law school and not be able to be a lawyer?


That being said, I will agree that there is a monopoly in the legal education market.  That is a good thing though.  If you read through the posts on this board, there are tier 1 and tier 2 students struggling for jobs for after graduation.  With the state of the economy, tier 3 and tier 4 students must have extreme difficulties finding jobs (except maybe towards the top of their class).  There needs to be a limit on the number of schools.  Not everyone is meant to be a lawyer and non-ABA schools are a way to drink less-then-intelligent people out of money and time.

Now, the OP was talking about an executive-JD which is completely different then what you refer to as non-ABA schools.   I still think it is a waste and dont see the point of it, but that is for the reasons expressed by most people above.

and, I am guessing you go to a t14, cause you write moderately eloquently.  that being said, i really dont care if i am right or wrong.


jeffislouie

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Re: Non-Bar Law Degree
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2008, 03:17:52 PM »
All valid points, but you left one out.
And it's a big one.
In some states, you aren't allowed to sit for the bar unless you attended an ABA accredited law school.
Period.
They don't care if you got the same education.
Based on my lackluster and rather quick research, I found only 7 states that will allow you to take the bar and practice law without an ABA accredited law school degree:
California
Maine
New York
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
Wyoming

And I disagree with you on another point:  the quality of education.  I know that some of my professors are excellent and are recognized experts in their fields.  It is hard to imagine that highly qualified experts would teach at a law school that wasn't ABA approved.
If you think that doesn't matter, I submit that you are wrong.
While you CAN teach yourself the law, it is much more difficult to teach someone to think like a lawyer, fine tune skills and ensure complete mastery.
Before you throw around accusations of unfair treatment, understand that the point becomes:
Would you retain an attorney that you knew didn't attend an accredited law school?
I wouldn't.
For that matter, would you hire a plumber who learned to be a plumber exclusively by reading books about plumbing and had no real world experience?
Of course not.
While I agree the accreditation is strangely monopolistic, it does mean something - namely that the ABA standards for legal education has been met.
However, I'm still not sure that a financial advisor needs a law degree to give clients information and advice about trusts, estates, wills, etc.
You can give the advice, but refer them to an attorney.  Or, be smart about it and set up referral fees with qualified attorneys.  That way, you don't have to spend any money learning everything about the law to give advice about trusts, estates, and wills...
Justice is tangy....

jd2008

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Re: Non-Bar Law Degree
« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2008, 05:29:58 PM »
I for one only plan to practice in CA, although many states would let you transfer after a few year of practice. Several other states also have local only JD programs. I plan to practice private on the real street with real people not corporate raped my daughter and want to get away with it in jamaica type crap. I dont think the average factory worker sueing for back wages will care as long as you are licensed and he can afford you.

jeffislouie

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Re: Non-Bar Law Degree
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2008, 11:19:49 AM »
I for one only plan to practice in CA, although many states would let you transfer after a few year of practice. Several other states also have local only JD programs. I plan to practice private on the real street with real people not corporate raped my daughter and want to get away with it in jamaica type crap. I dont think the average factory worker sueing for back wages will care as long as you are licensed and he can afford you.

That's cool.
But you are wrong about other states.
I'm not criticizing you, per se, but if you honestly think that other states, one's with ABA requirements, are going to allow you to practice under their bar after not following their rules, you are delusional.
I'll try to make this as simple as possible, because it is pretty clear you don't understand how it works.
The bar exam is the entry point to a law license, conferred by a bar association.
In all but 7 ststes, one requirement for taking the bar exam is that you graduated from an aba-approved law school.  On this, there is no wiggle room.
Once you sit for the bar in a particular state, and presumably pass, you are only authorized under that license and in that state.
Now, some states do allow bar members in good standing the ability to practice in other states.  To my knowledge, California (a state where anyone can take the bar even if he got his degree online) will accept most states bar license.  This is not true going the other way (in most cases) PRIMARILY BECAUSE other states don't want lawyers who didn't learn at aba law schools to come to their state and practice.  Bad things can happen. 
As for your arguement that the average factory worker would hire you even though you didn't go to an ABA approved school - how wonderful it is that you think so highly of your potential clients.  What a shame.
People are not always as stupid as you think.
I still believe that given the choice between an attorney with a degree from UCLA law school and a degree from some law school that isn't aba approved, they will choose the aba lawyer over you at least 9 times out of 10.
It's okay that you don't understand the deficiency of a degree from an institution that failed to receive accreditation from the ABA.  It really doesn't bother me that you think that your potential clients will be too stupid to realize that they are hiring an attorney who thinks they are too stupid to choose an aba lawyer over a guy who took his law classes on line and wouldn't be recognized as an attorney is 43 other states.  It's your world....
"ABA accreditation is important not only because it affects the recognition of the law schools involved, but it also impacts a graduate's ability to practice law in a particular state. Specifically, in most jurisdictions, graduation from an ABA-accredited law school is expressly stated as a prerequisite towards being allowed to sit for that state's bar exam, and even for existing lawyers to be admitted to the bar of another state upon motion. Even states which recognize unaccredited schools within its borders will generally not recognize such schools from other jurisdictions for purposes of bar admission."

But you'll never leave California, right?  Ever. 
And it's not like there are any lawyers in California that are members of the aba, went to aba approved law schools, and have the ability to practice in almost any state.
Nope.
The majority of california attorneys went to non-aba approved law schools, took the bar, and practice law.
Right?
Oh, wait.
You must know something that most of the attorney's in cali don't?
Attending an ABA approved law school should be the goal.  Trying to convince people, even tacitly, that non-aba law schools are just as good is an empty, baseless argument that is counterproductive to the legal community at large.
Justice is tangy....

jd06

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Re: Non-Bar Law Degree
« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2008, 12:08:55 PM »
To my knowledge, California (a state where anyone can take the bar even if he got his degree online) will accept most states bar license. 

Slight correction.  CA will allow attorney's licensed in other states to sit for the CA bar exam.  (Attorney's do not have to take the MBE portion.)  Zero reciprocity in CA. 

Agree with most of what you're saying re quality of attorneys but, depending on what kind of law you're practicing, in my experience as a CA lawyer, most clients don't ask nor do they care where you went to school.  Your level of experience is much more important to them (as it should be).  They just want to know how you're going to help solve their problem and how much it's going to cost....

jeffislouie

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Re: Non-Bar Law Degree
« Reply #15 on: January 30, 2008, 03:28:07 PM »
Fair enough.
My experience with attorney's is limited as my representation has always been family.  There is no question they were qualified.
I asked a friend of mine in California though to see what he said and he chose his attorney based on discussions with several attorneys.  One of the questions he asked was "where did you go to law school."  If he hadn't heard of the school, he checked with the ABA and saw it as a negative if the school wasn't ABA approved.
It wasn't necessarily THE determining factor, but it is A determining factor.
To restate:  An ABA approved law school is going to provide a better education because they have met or exceeded ABA requirements, have a better draw for educators, and the schools develop some level of prestige.  There is a distinct advantage.  Graduates from ABA approved law schools can apply to sit for the bar or motion for bar admittance, whereas JD's from non-ABA approved law schools are not permitted to practice in 43 of the 50 states in this union, giving aba approved JD's a distinct advantage to live where they want.

Justice is tangy....

DanteHicks

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Re: Non-Bar Law Degree
« Reply #16 on: January 31, 2008, 11:30:58 AM »
Excellent...so you all DO agree that the ABA is just a monopoly!

Those arguing that the ABA is superior because the ABA says they are proves my point for me.  Thanks!

Once again I beg the question, please tell me how different is ABA compared to non-ABA education wise?

Again these comments are only my opinions based on observations and nothing more...what I think means nothing to anyone else.




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jd06

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Re: Non-Bar Law Degree
« Reply #17 on: January 31, 2008, 12:24:16 PM »
The ABA is not a monopoly.  Each state sets its own standards for admission.  They are free to disregard the ABA.  LSD could set up its own accreditation committee and lobby the state for recognition.  But the ABA, because of the long list of objective/subjective parameters that it requires a law school to satisfy for its stamp of approval, simply serves as a convenient quality control mechanism.  It has a relatively long history as the industry's gold standard. 

If you really want to learn about the difference between an ABA-approved and a non-ABA-approved education, simply do a little research on the ABA's minimum requirements.  I think you'll find that most of those requirements are a strong indicia of a quality legal education and that they help ensure that students are getting what they paid for. Out here in CA, we've got non-ABA, non-CBA, for-profit institutions that charge big bucks and rarely produce a graduate that can pass the bar exam.  Certainly, some of that can be attributed to the quality of the student, but the statistics are so glaring, year after year, that one can't help but assign at least some blame to the instituion. I would imagine the results would be similar in other states were they to adopt our model.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that, even in your world of no accreditation process, not much would change because, while "inferior" schools don't necessarily produce inferior lawyers, they rarely produce a lawyer at all.       

DanteHicks

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Re: Non-Bar Law Degree
« Reply #18 on: January 31, 2008, 02:10:42 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.

 ;D
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thorc954

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Re: Non-Bar Law Degree
« Reply #19 on: January 31, 2008, 04:22:02 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.