Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: Provisional Accreditation  (Read 6890 times)

Prismpunk

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 24
    • View Profile
Provisional Accreditation
« on: July 09, 2010, 07:48:27 PM »
Hi,

I was accepted at a law school that is provisionally accredited. Does anyone have any information on what provisional accreditation means? Would I be allowed to sit and take the bar exam or potentially transfer to other schools from a school that is provisionally accredited? Thanks.

Cicero

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 201
  • UF 2012
    • View Profile
Re: Provisional Accreditation
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2010, 08:49:10 PM »
I looked into going to a school with provisional accreditation because of the need to live in a particular area, but I decided against it. Why are you considering going to to a provisionally accredited school? If it is because of a scholarship, then you need to look carefully at the GPA requirement for you to keep it. These schools tend to have extremely steep curves to make it very hard to keep the scholarship.

From Charlotte School of Law (http://www.charlottelaw.edu/about/aboutcontent.aspx?id=49)
A student at a provisionally approved law school and an individual who graduates while the school is provisionally approved are entitled to the same recognition given to students and graduates of fully approved law schools. Graduates from an ABA provisionally approved law school are qualified to sit for the bar examination in nearly every state.

An individual who matriculates at a law school that is provisionally approved . . . and who completes the course of study and graduates from that school within a typical and reasonable period of time is deemed . . . to be a graduate of an approved law school, even though the school loses its provisional approval status while the individual is enrolled in the school.

Prismpunk

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 24
    • View Profile
Re: Provisional Accreditation
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2010, 09:03:26 PM »
I don't have a need to live in a particular area. I just got very few acceptances because of a bad lsat score and I am currently waitlisted at 3 other schools. I have no other choices for law school besides Charlotte and Cooley. Is going to Charlotte worth it?

Prismpunk

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 24
    • View Profile
Re: Provisional Accreditation
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2010, 09:10:57 PM »
Also I do not have any current scholarship offers. Would going to a provisionally accredited school be worth it?

Cicero

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 201
  • UF 2012
    • View Profile
Re: Provisional Accreditation
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2010, 10:51:18 PM »
I was trying to find an area where my husband and I could both go to school and we looked at Charlotte because UNC-Charlotte was close by. If you are not married and not tied to an area, I would advise against going to Charlotte. I actually chose to go to CSL's sister school Florida Coastal (ABA accredited) instead, and am transferring to a T-1 (so transferring is an option from the Infinilaw schools, but don't go there expecting to transfer). If CSL is anything like FCSL, which I'm pretty sure it is, your 1L curve will be really bad. Ours was 2.5 1st semester and 2.7 2nd semester. The curve, while completely passable, adds an element of stress to law school that T-1/2 students don't have to deal with. Also, if Charlotte isn't giving you a scholarship, then you will be looking at $150K debt (tuition + living expenses) when you graduate, unless your parents are helping you, and coming from a provisionally accredited program is going to make it a lot harder to find a job to repay the loans. (Especially since you will be graduating at a time when the legal bubble has burst and jobs are hard to come by in general.) Another thing to think about is whether you are willing to take the gamble because it is possible that the school won't get accreditation, though highly unlikely because the other 2 infinilaw schools got it pretty quickly.

On the positive side, if it is anything like FCSL, the teachers will be excellent and will be helpful outside of class if you have questions, give lots of examples of what you are up against on the final, and hold review sessions. The school will have you take a PASS class to help you figure out how to prep for finals, and this class is extremely boring but very helpful. They will also give you midterms the 1st semester so that you can be more prepared for what you will face at finals time. If it is anything like FCSL, the career services department will be excellent. They also have a number of other programs to help you succeed like mentors, the shadow program, and bar prep counselors & weekly free lunches with other students studying to take the bar. One last positive thing is that you will often find free food at club meetings and lectures, generally pizza, and a lot of students take advantage of it (myself included) as a way to cut down costs.

Some people on this site will tell you not to go to CSL and that you should retake the LSAT and try again because of the cost and the fact that the amount of available legal jobs has shrunk. Other people on the site will tell you that if you are willing to work really hard and really want to be a lawyer then you should go. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide what is best for you. Just make sure that you consider all of your options and their potential consequences.

bigs5068

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1474
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Provisional Accreditation
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2010, 04:58:46 AM »
Provisionally approved schools give you the same rights to sit for the bar in any state that an ABA school does, but as I understand it they can lose accreditation overnight, but I don't think that has ever happened. I do think certain jobs might be closed to you if you go to a provisionally approved school, but if you REALLY want to be a lawyer then go for it. The lower down the ladder you go the harder it will be to find a great job, but if being a lawyer is something you want to do then a provisionally approved school will probably be ok.

If you did not study your ass off for the first LSAT then retaking it would be the better option, but if you did everything you could do and got the LSAT score you did then that is what it is. It would be really dumb to have put a half ass effort into your LSAT though if that was that case, which I assume it is not.

Prismpunk

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 24
    • View Profile
Re: Provisional Accreditation
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2010, 01:59:17 PM »
I have taken the LSAT 3 times and my score has not improved at all. I have to wait to retake the LSAT again and I do not know if my score will improve. I really do want to become a lawyer otherwise I would not be putting myself through this in order to get into any law school. I really don't know what to do at this point.

Cicero

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 201
  • UF 2012
    • View Profile
Re: Provisional Accreditation
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2010, 02:17:03 PM »
Well, if you have taken the LSAT 3 times already then it will not likely improve by much if you take it again. If you really want to be a lawyer, then you should look at the pros and cons of the schools where you've been accepted and determine which one is the best fit for your needs. I don't know if there is a difference in the cost of living between Charlotte & Jax, but you could apply to FCSL. If you got into Charlotte, then you would most likely get into FCSL since they are sister schools. FCSL is accredited and is more generous with money than CSL. It's still T-4, but it's a little bit better than Cooley (and it's right by the beach). FCSL tends to still accept people much later than most other schools. It is also possible that you will still be accepted where you are waitlisted. Sometimes those decisions are made right before school starts.

bigs5068

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1474
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Provisional Accreditation
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2010, 07:45:48 PM »
Yea I mean if you took the LSAT 3 times your score is your score. The LSAT means ja*k s**t once you start law school though.  If you finish in the top 10% of your class at the end of your first year you finished at the top 10% and if you had the worst LSAT score in your entire school nobody would really care. On the flip side if you have the best LSAT score at whatever school you go to and finish in the bottom 20% people will not care about the fact you did good on the LSAT you will be the guy who finished in the bottom 20%.

That happened a lot at my school a couple thought they were the s**t because they got a 160 on the LSAT. I shouldn't know that, but they let everybody know it and it's like great you got a good scholarship and you could have gotten into better schools, but your here with me so I don't care what you did in the past. Guess what a lot of those people didn't do well on finals and lost their scholarship money. You don't write your LSAT score on your final and really nobody cares what you got on it once the first day of law school starts.

Honestly, If you have taken the test 3 times and want to go to law school then do it already. It could end up terribly, but it probably won't and even if you do fail out or something, which probably won't happen at least you put yourself out there and tried to accomplish something.


SASS

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 261
    • View Profile
Re: Provisional Accreditation
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2010, 07:09:49 PM »
I advise you not to attend a provisionally accredited school for all the reasons you have probably heard before.  But that is obviously a decision you need to make for yourself.

The one thing I caution you to look into is whether or not you can get federal loans from a provisionally accredited school.  I had a friend who attended one I recall this person telling me s/he had to take out private loans because of the lack of accreditation.  I don't know this for sure, call someone about it though.  Could be a big deal b/c no fed loans, no fixed rate, no loan forgiveness for public service.