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j23

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What exactly is a non-traditional student?
« on: October 03, 2008, 12:40:26 PM »
What exactly is a non-traditional student, and how does it help or hurt chances for acceptance into law schools?

Ninja1

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Re: What exactly is a non-traditional student?
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2008, 01:57:20 PM »
The old (no real solid number, but certainly anything older than 30), those with children in tow, foreigners, full time workers, occasionally the crippled, occasionally the married. Pretty much anyone that leads a second life outside of law school.

We call them non-trads, for short.
I'mma stay bumpin' till I bump my head on my tomb.

picflight

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Re: What exactly is a non-traditional student?
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2008, 02:25:36 PM »
Can some advice on online courses or route to take for studies? I am in California and the from what I read you do not have to go to a traditional law school to pass the bar and practice in CA.

Thanks

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Re: What exactly is a non-traditional student?
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2008, 05:21:00 PM »
Can some advice on online courses or route to take for studies? I am in California and the from what I read you do not have to go to a traditional law school to pass the bar and practice in CA.

Thanks

You do not have to go a "traditional" school to sit for the bar in California, that is true.  However, if you are going to not go the traditional route (which I'm assuming means going to an ABA-approved school), you had better understand what you're getting yourself into.

Firstly, if you don't go to an ABA-approved school in CA, you must go to a California Accredited School and after your first year, you have to sit for the "baby bar."  There are rumors that this test is even harder than the actual bar (which is not a piece of cake either).  A lot of people never make it past the baby bar to go on studying law.

Secondly, going to a non-ABA school may severely be a disadvantage in trying to secure legal employment.  Big law firms and highly-sought after government positions will almost certainly be out of the question.  Most other firms probably too would be out of the question.

Thirdly, going to an non-ABA school is probably going to make passing the bar, in general, that much harder.  I don't really have facts for this or anything, but there seems to be correlation.

With that being said, is there a reason you're not looking at ABA schools?  Consider these first and see what your options may be.

picflight

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Re: What exactly is a non-traditional student?
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2008, 06:14:00 PM »
Thanks for the prompt response Changed Name.

My main reason at the moment for not considering the traditional route is my age and finances. I am early 40's and if I manage to complete any sort of program, I will be close to 50. Big IF there, as I am also raising a child and only source of income, so I will be going the part time route.

At 50 there might not be that many options open for employment so I have to consider this fact as well in the program I choose.

Hence my search for opinions, advice on different feasible paths to take in California.

On the non-traditional route what courses and schools I can attend to sit for the mini-bar? I guess passing the mini-bar would let me know if I can continue?

Thanks for your input.

Matlock!!!!

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Re: What exactly is a non-traditional student?
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2008, 10:20:26 PM »
Hello.  I feel I can add something here.  I'm 40 years old, living in Los Angeles, and looking to start law in the fall of 09. Congrats on logging on LSD for help.  A wise choice.  She can be a sassy lady, but most on here are very helpful.

First CBE accredited schools.  I believe these are what you are refering to.  These schools cater to the non traditional students and offer part time programs at night for 4 yrs.  This is a link to UWLA which has a campus in the west valley and one by LAX.  http://www.uwla.edu/ This school I believe also has a FT day program for 3yrs as well.  Another school I know is the University of Glendale College of Law.

The Good: You do not need to sit for the Baby-Bar.  And yes, this is considered even harder than the actual bar.  Most of these schools are on-line programs.  The reason for the BB-Bar is that the LSAT is not required for these schools.  Neither is a college degree for that matter.
Anyway, CBE schools do require the LSAT, but a 143 or above and you're in.  You also don't neccessarily need a bachelors degree either, an AA or 60-80 CLEP credits suffices.  They cost about 1/2 what the ABA charge and at UWLA if you score a 150 or above on the LSAT, they'll give you a 1/2 ride.

Now, THE BAD:  No federal financial aid.  All private loans and most schools, UWLA being the exception, offer no scholorships.  The CA Bar passage rate is below 25%.  What good is the degree if you can't practice.  For five years, once licensed, you will only be able to practice in CA.  After that, about 1/2 to 2/3 of the states will let you sit for their bar if you are in good standing.  The career placement centers at these schools, if any, are nothing but glorified Craigslists.  The networking of alumni that most students utilize at their schools is slim to say the least.  UWLA touts the have 100 sitting judges in LA. A tiny drop in the bucket.  Can anyone succeed.  Yes.  Some have made it work and work out well for themselves.  But the numbers are miniscule.  Your law degree will always be on your resume and for good or bad, the school you go to has a stigma attached.  Let me put it another way.  Look up on the various threads here what people say about a T4 school in Michigan, Cooley.  Cooley would be considered the Yale/Harvard of the CBE world.

The more research I did, and yes, many here came to my rescue, the more I realized an ABA school is the only logical choice for me.  I too have a family, and even though it will cost more, it's an investment I can't afford not to make.  As a result, I am studying my ass off for the damm LSAT.  Part-time ABA night programs are a little more forgiving on the GPA/LSAT scores, but not by a huge amount.  I'm lucky in the fact I at least have my B.S. already.  I do adimire your courage in finishing your degree.  There just is too much money involved to make any poor decisions here.

Study hard, do some research, and good luck to you.

If there's one thing America needs, it's more lawyers.  Can you imagine a world without lawyers?                         |
-Lionel Hutz

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Re: What exactly is a non-traditional student?
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2008, 11:45:45 PM »
Hello.  I feel I can add something here.  I'm 40 years old, living in Los Angeles, and looking to start law in the fall of 09. Congrats on logging on LSD for help.  A wise choice.  She can be a sassy lady, but most on here are very helpful.

First CBE accredited schools.  I believe these are what you are refering to.  These schools cater to the non traditional students and offer part time programs at night for 4 yrs.  This is a link to UWLA which has a campus in the west valley and one by LAX.  http://www.uwla.edu/ This school I believe also has a FT day program for 3yrs as well.  Another school I know is the University of Glendale College of Law.

The Good: You do not need to sit for the Baby-Bar.  And yes, this is considered even harder than the actual bar.  Most of these schools are on-line programs.  The reason for the BB-Bar is that the LSAT is not required for these schools.  Neither is a college degree for that matter.
Anyway, CBE schools do require the LSAT, but a 143 or above and you're in.  You also don't neccessarily need a bachelors degree either, an AA or 60-80 CLEP credits suffices.  They cost about 1/2 what the ABA charge and at UWLA if you score a 150 or above on the LSAT, they'll give you a 1/2 ride.

Now, THE BAD:  No federal financial aid.  All private loans and most schools, UWLA being the exception, offer no scholorships.  The CA Bar passage rate is below 25%.  What good is the degree if you can't practice.  For five years, once licensed, you will only be able to practice in CA.  After that, about 1/2 to 2/3 of the states will let you sit for their bar if you are in good standing.  The career placement centers at these schools, if any, are nothing but glorified Craigslists.  The networking of alumni that most students utilize at their schools is slim to say the least.  UWLA touts the have 100 sitting judges in LA. A tiny drop in the bucket.  Can anyone succeed.  Yes.  Some have made it work and work out well for themselves.  But the numbers are miniscule.  Your law degree will always be on your resume and for good or bad, the school you go to has a stigma attached.  Let me put it another way.  Look up on the various threads here what people say about a T4 school in Michigan, Cooley.  Cooley would be considered the Yale/Harvard of the CBE world.

The more research I did, and yes, many here came to my rescue, the more I realized an ABA school is the only logical choice for me.  I too have a family, and even though it will cost more, it's an investment I can't afford not to make.  As a result, I am studying my ass off for the damm LSAT.  Part-time ABA night programs are a little more forgiving on the GPA/LSAT scores, but not by a huge amount.  I'm lucky in the fact I at least have my B.S. already.  I do adimire your courage in finishing your degree.  There just is too much money involved to make any poor decisions here.

Study hard, do some research, and good luck to you.



Nice post.  Very informative.  To the poster who is considering California Accredited schools, I'd heed the above advice.

As an anecdote:  I know of a few attorneys who graduated from Monterey College of Law, and they have done well for themselves; however, one was fortunate because her husband owns his own firm (he graduated from Berkeley).  The other ended up in the district attorney's office.

It's rather bleak.  Depending on where you live:  NorCal or SoCal? (or elsewhere?) There probably is a decent ABA program with a PT program.  Consider these more carefully.

picflight

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Re: What exactly is a non-traditional student?
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2008, 12:32:35 PM »
Matlock, thanks for the great advice and I will certainly heed your advice. I am even more excited about pursuing my goals after reading your response to my queries.

Matlock!!!!

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Re: What exactly is a non-traditional student?
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2008, 01:43:44 PM »
Matlock, thanks for the great advice and I will certainly heed your advice. I am even more excited about pursuing my goals after reading your response to my queries.
No problem, my pleasure.  You can always feel free to PM me if you have specific questions as well.  I don't know everything, but sure have learn a lot these past few months.
If there's one thing America needs, it's more lawyers.  Can you imagine a world without lawyers?                         |
-Lionel Hutz