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Author Topic: ABA has a monopoly on Law Schools.  (Read 4650 times)

pacelaw2013

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Re: ABA has a monopoly on Law Schools.
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2010, 12:36:51 PM »
True the reality is if you go to law school and don't pass the bar your J.D. is almost useless.  The ABA - regulates the bar and makes sure any ABA school they accredit is capable of having graduates pass the bar at a high rate.  It is not a perfect system, but it is better to have to go through some kind of regulations etc to become a certified to appear in court and be a "Real" lawyer.

People can make it from CBA schools or Massachussets School of Law. The ABA regulates the CBA schools by making students pass the Baby Bar after their first year as they should. No school should let someone blow through 100,000 and 3 years of their life if it is pretty obvious they can't pass the bar. The ABA prevents that from happening at an outrageous number although it does still occur.

I know we both share the same opinion on low ranked ABA schools, that they are still ABA schools and are of good quality. But it is very rare for the student to come through only a regionaly accredited law school to make a huge impact, and I do feel that it is because of a lesser quality education. If the school was a good school, it would be accredited. The ABA has minimum guidelines that are set forth that determine if the school will be accredited. If you can not make the cut, it is because you can not meet MINIMUM guidelines. It is set to protect students who should not be law students from being screwed by a school like the California School of Law that requires a transcipt (just to look official) and a down payment and your in! There are too many degree factories out there that are not ABA, and unfortunatly, there are not enough jobs for ABA schools, never mind regionally acredited.

I don't want to sound cold saying law isn't for everyone, but its not. Whether you go to Harvard or Cooley, you are recieving an education that the ABA deems as satisfactory to the future of the field, however, if you go to a regionally accredited school, you need to recieve a waiver to sit at the bar (and it is usually only a few state bars you can sit at). The ABA protects you from scams, and most nonABA schools are scams.

You CAN go there and do well for yourself, I am not delusional. There are intelligent people that go there, but very few lawyers go there. Don't equate being a lawyer with intelligence, its not always about that. If you have a job lined up that requires to practice only in one state and its perhaps your brother's firm, sure, it might be a good investment (even though most operate on a C scale in order to prevent going a year then transfering), but overall, they are just poor investments.

I would say (though you might not need to listen to me) that unless its an ABA school, it is not worth it.
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pacelaw2013

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Re: ABA has a monopoly on Law Schools.
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2010, 02:47:55 PM »
Quote
Some people could get into an ABA school, but they have other issues. For example the legally blind guy who got a 173 on his LSAT could have gotten into some elite schools.

Yes, but for everyone one of those, there are 100 that did poorly on the LSAT, and wanted badly for law to be thier field so they went to that school chasing a dream. I am not against that, but I am saying that those schools are flat out worse. Its not much of an argument.  His options are very limited now, for instance, lets say his wife gets a great promotion to Boston, and they decide to move. His law career is now over. He is not a member or even eligible to sit at the Massachusetts bar.

I love stories where somebody works thier way through a disablility, and that mans story is great. However, no, not everyone can have a 4.0 and a 180. But people with a 2.0 and a 130 shouldn't be in law school, plain and simple. There needs to be a cutoff to make lawyers have any legitamcy. Now if a school takes a chance on those numbers (ABA school), then power to the person, they must have impressive factors, however, in general they will not be accepted. Those are (generally) the people that go to those regional schools. Again, I am not saying there is no chance to make it, statistically its 30% for most schools. Thats not job placement, that bar passage. Then you are limited in the states in which you can practice.

The facts are the facts, non ABA schools are worse, really no argument for the contrary, if for no other reason that the fact that you can not sit at most bars. Not everyone that goes there will fail, but for every feel good story, are 50 that are upset with the fact that they even went to law school.

Sure, some feel that way at ABA schools too...but its not even comperable to people that would feel that at the regional level.
Independence forever.

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bigs5068

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Re: ABA has a monopoly on Law Schools.
« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2010, 04:35:54 PM »
No question ABA schools are better than CBA or online schools. Harvard is better than Western New England and Stanford is better than GGU. I don't think anyone could make a rational argument disputing any of that. I probably would not have attended a CBA school, but there are people with poor LSAT scores who go to unaccredited law schools and succeed. The mayor of L.A. is an example of that although he never did pass the bar, he is more successful than I will probably ever be. The ABA makes a school more legitimate and I am glad it is there regulating schools , but if someone chooses to go to a CBA or unaccredited school it is their choice. All those schools explicitly say on their website check with a state bar and this only certifies you to do this and that. There is no misrepresentation from any of these schools, but going to Cal Northern or something is more of a risk than an ABA school and an ABA tier 4 is more of a risk than the Ivy Leagues.  Nobody can dispute any of that.

However, someone with a 130 LSAT and 2.0 GPA might be an amazing lawyer. LSAT, SAT, all that stuff is just MC questions which has absolutely no bearing to the real world or even actual education. The SAT/LSAT are the most objective and fair way to measure admissions etc, but I don't necessarily think it is a good indicator of someone being an outstanding lawyer or even law student. It is an indicator for being able to pass the bar and if you get a 130 on your LSAT then there should be a concern that maybe the test taker doesn't think fast enough,  see the nuances well enough, or handle pressure well enough to pass the bar. However, if they want to take the risk I don't think there is anything wrong with that. Especially considering these unaccredited schools or at least the ones I have seen are forthcoming with their limitations. 


financialandtaxguy

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Re: ABA has a monopoly on Law Schools.
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2011, 07:58:20 PM »
I agree with ShangChi, but for different reasons.  In the better days, when good character mattered, you could become a lawyer by studying case law, apprenticeship, and good sense.  Yes, we say we have a democracy here, but our heavy regulatory environment proves otherwise - Go Teaparty!  I have attended online law school since 2007, it is what I can afford and have time for.  I am a Financial Adviser and Tax Accountant by trade and 51 years old now, and I don't appreciate the delay I am getting because of bar exams.  I have done my research, and to use some of the regulatory minded lingo some of you have used, California "regulates" its registered non-traditional law schools.  That layer should be good enough.  Furthermore, we all get tested well enough in law school that adding another layer of "weeding out" of lawyers with a Bar Exam, that is generally a mind game to test your time limit skills, does not and has not produced a population of skilled and ethical lawyers. 

The Bar Exam has proved to be a good source of revenue for the states, do the math, especially with repeat test takers, and then add all the bar prep courses, the ridiculously high tuition at law schools, and their is great revenue to be made in the Legal Industry (if your not a student).  Unfortunately, everyone just puts up with the system, and no one in state government has had the guts to stand up and change it!  As I agree with the Free Market System, it should also apply to law students as well, and let the free market system of employment and business determine who becomes a successful lawyer, and not an unrealistic bar exam!

john4040

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Re: ABA has a monopoly on Law Schools.
« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2011, 11:31:02 PM »
As I agree with the Free Market System, it should also apply to law students as well, and let the free market system of employment and business determine who becomes a successful lawyer, and not an unrealistic bar exam!

I do agree that the bar exam really isn't all that useful to predict who will be a successful lawyer, however, the bar exam is a test of minimum competency.  If you fail the bar after having enough time to study for it (and assuming no other serious problems e.g., death in your immediate family), you should not be practicing law.

financialandtaxguy

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Re: ABA has a monopoly on Law Schools.
« Reply #15 on: June 05, 2011, 03:58:55 AM »
I respectfully disagree with you john4040, and would say that as a Financial and Tax Consultant, I have refused to do business with many lawyers who demonstrate lack of competence even though they have passed the bar exam.  I was tempted to report one lawyer to the Bar in particular who sold a client (not mine thankfully) 48 Trusts with a willing CPA who I also wanted to report to the AICPA!

john4040

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Re: ABA has a monopoly on Law Schools.
« Reply #16 on: June 05, 2011, 09:06:36 AM »
I respectfully disagree with you john4040, and would say that as a Financial and Tax Consultant, I have refused to do business with many lawyers who demonstrate lack of competence even though they have passed the bar exam.  I was tempted to report one lawyer to the Bar in particular who sold a client (not mine thankfully) 48 Trusts with a willing CPA who I also wanted to report to the AICPA!

I fail to see how we disagree.  The bar is a test of minimum competency.  If you pass the bar, you have demonstrated that you have met the baseline standards of the legal practice -- not that you are a decent attorney.

financialandtaxguy

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Re: ABA has a monopoly on Law Schools.
« Reply #17 on: June 06, 2011, 01:08:14 AM »
I respectfully disagree with you john4040, and would say that as a Financial and Tax Consultant, I have refused to do business with many lawyers who demonstrate lack of competence even though they have passed the bar exam.  I was tempted to report one lawyer to the Bar in particular who sold a client (not mine thankfully) 48 Trusts with a willing CPA who I also wanted to report to the AICPA!

I fail to see how we disagree.  The bar is a test of minimum competency.  If you pass the bar, you have demonstrated that you have met the baseline standards of the legal practice -- not that you are a decent attorney.

Well I guess we are agreeing to disagree.  No one has been able to convince thus far, that a timed exam with trick questions on the MBE portion, is a realistic reflection of even minimum competency, since as one post put it, and I paraphrase, "law schools teach you about law and how to think like a good lawyer, and Bar Prep courses teach you how to pass the Bar Exam, they are unrelated."  Best of the Best to you john4040!

FalconJimmy

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Re: ABA has a monopoly on Law Schools.
« Reply #18 on: June 06, 2011, 11:43:15 AM »
Well I guess we are agreeing to disagree.  No one has been able to convince thus far, that a timed exam with trick questions on the MBE portion, is a realistic reflection of even minimum competency, since as one post put it, and I paraphrase, "law schools teach you about law and how to think like a good lawyer, and Bar Prep courses teach you how to pass the Bar Exam, they are unrelated."  Best of the Best to you john4040!

I don't mean to be confrontational, but seriously?  As far as I'm concerned, the Bar Exam is sort of like the exam to get your driver's license.

You're displaying minimal competency.  Nothing more, nothing less.

Of course it doesn't show that you're going to be a great attorney or even a good one.  Getting your driver's license doesn't mean you're going to race in the INdy 500 or even that you'll be a safe driver.

But honestly?  Would you want to get in a car where the driver wasn't capable of passing the driver's license test?

I think most folks would agree that there are some absolutely horrifically bad attorneys out there.  They passed the bar and they can practice law.

But somebody who can't pass the bar?  I mean, that's a test that anywhere from 80% to 90% of all test-takers can pass. 

You have to draw a line somewhere, and a line where only 10 to 20% of folks don't make it is not exactly a stringent standard.

(And yes, California has that astoundingly bad bar passage percentage, but they also have a huge number of astoundingly bad law schools, too.  So bad that in virtually every other state, they're not considered of sufficient quality to produce a minimally competent attorney.)

john4040

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Re: ABA has a monopoly on Law Schools.
« Reply #19 on: June 06, 2011, 02:04:15 PM »
No one has been able to convince thus far, that a timed exam with trick questions on the MBE portion, is a realistic reflection of even minimum competency, since as one post put it, and I paraphrase, "law schools teach you about law and how to think like a good lawyer, and Bar Prep courses teach you how to pass the Bar Exam, they are unrelated."

I don't think the bar and legal practice are completely unrelated.  When a client walks in your office, you'll have to be able to spot a myriad of legal issues on a time crunch (which requires a broad, but basic understanding of the law).  Your broad understanding of the law will allow you to narrow the legal issues and be able to formulate appropriate questions based upon the issues that you spot. 

I think the gravamen of your complaint is that there are more effective ways to test legal competence. If so, you are absolutely correct. There are many different methods to test legal competence (some probably better than others) -- but, you sacrifice efficiency and objectiveness.  The bar is great, however, for testing your broad knowledge of the law, your ability to spot issues, and your ability to work under pressure in an efficient and objective manner.  As I've noted, it's not perfect, but it's a start.