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Author Topic: Western State College of Law, Thomas Jefferson, Whittier Law..HELP!  (Read 4006 times)

BigFudge

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First post here, I really hope to find some answers, I have been very confused.

I was accepted into all three schools, I got some money to Western State, and I heard they were just accredited. Has anyone heard of this school? Some people tell me it's an up and coming school. My real goal is Southwestern or Chapman Law. I am waiting on both of these.

My real question here is, does it matter? I live in the valley in LA, I'm going to move out regardless, where would you guys go? Could someone give me a list in order?

MikePing

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Re: Western State College of Law, Thomas Jefferson, Whittier Law..HELP!
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2011, 04:09:51 PM »
I am not familiar with those schools.  Smaller schools such as these, tend to place lawyers in jobs regionally.  Where do you want to live/practice?  Answer that question, and then rank the schools by the likelihood of getting a job where you want to live after graduating each school. 

Good luck!

BigFudge

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Re: Western State College of Law, Thomas Jefferson, Whittier Law..HELP!
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2011, 04:35:38 PM »
I would want to work in LA, or anywhere near it. Southwestern is where I want to go, but I might want to experience life on my own living out in OC. I'm very confused.

lovelylaw4

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Re: Western State College of Law, Thomas Jefferson, Whittier Law..HELP!
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2011, 05:01:21 PM »
Whittier just got off of probation for having low bar passage rates.  Western is the oldest law school in Orange County and does seem to have a large network of people in the area.

I an personally attending Western as they gave me an almost full ride.  Chapman is very new and they are still competing with USC and UCLA, so money was the deciding factor for me, although I have yet to hear from Chapman.

BigFudge

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Re: Western State College of Law, Thomas Jefferson, Whittier Law..HELP!
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2011, 05:39:15 PM »
Western just got accreditation two years ago, I was already accepted and they gave me some money. What do you think of Western State?

bigs5068

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Re: Western State College of Law, Thomas Jefferson, Whittier Law..HELP!
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2011, 08:19:25 PM »
I am from the Valley in L.A. so I know whats up. Of those three I would say Thomas Jefferson is the best, Whittier second, Western State third. Western State I have heard through the grapevine some people saying they had less than ideal experiences there. People have succeeded one of my favorite professors in undergrad went there and he had a solid legal career, but he did not recommend I attend it.  It can certify you to take the bar etc, but it took them 30+ years to get accredited by the ABA. 

Chapman is awesome I thought the campus was beautiful! They have just been doing a lot of good things, plus it is in  Orange County away from most of the other L.A. schools. I could go on and on about each of those schools, because I looked into most of them being from L.A. I didn't have negative experiences with any of them, but Western State is one of the oldest law schools, but has only been accredited for two years. They only had a 45% bar passage rate last time, which might get them put on probation. I believe they are still provisionally approved, but not 100% sure.

Scholarship money is always nice, but always be wary of the conditions placed on them. Generally a school will let you renew your scholarship if you maintain a 3.0 GPA. Most schools only allow 25% to 35% of the class to have a 3.0 GPA, so there is a 75% to 65% chance that you will lose your scholarship for years two and three. You can find out the curve of individual schools by looking at the Student Handbook, and the curve will be expressly laid out there.

This is also a good site to get some real information about graduates & their real salaries. Lawschooltransparency.com unlike U.S. News or the ABA they list actual salaries of graduates. Unfortunately, there are very few sites with any actual facts to help make a determination, but this is a pretty helpful site.

This is kind of a broad response, but hopefully some of it is helpful. If you have any specific questions feel free to personal message me.

BigFudge

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Re: Western State College of Law, Thomas Jefferson, Whittier Law..HELP!
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2011, 02:16:48 AM »
Western State had an 83% bar passage rate last year I think. And yeah I'm very confused.

bigs5068

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Re: Western State College of Law, Thomas Jefferson, Whittier Law..HELP!
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2011, 04:19:31 PM »
All schools are misleading with their statistics. This is what LSAC says regarding Western State's bar passage

Bar Passage Rates
http://www.lsac.org/LSACResources/Publications/2010OG/aba4969.pdf

First-time takers 98 Reporting % 100.00
Average school % 45.91 Average state % 72.47
Average pass difference 26.56
Jurisdiction Takers Passers Pass % State % Diff %
California 85 34 40.00 71.15 31.15
Colorado 3 3 100.00 78.58 21.42
New Jersey 3 2 66.67 81.81 15.14
Arizona 1 1 100.00 78.78 21.22
Others (6) 6 5 83.33

In California 85 people took the bar 34 passed. In Other states wherever those may be 6 people took the bar and 5 passed, but that is an irrelevant sample size. I assume Western State used this and said they had an 83% bar passage rate in other states. One thing you will learn in law school and in this whole admissions process is to seep through the B.S. Always remember the source you are getting your information from. LSAC is a neutral reporter and those statistics make sense. Western State wants your money and they will use facts that help them and hide ones that don't.

Now none of this means Western State is an awful school. The bar is a standardized test that has a lot to do with the individual and 34 out of 85 people did pass the California Bar. It can certainly be done, but that is very low by ABA standards and may result in them being on probation if they are actually fully ABA approved. I am not trying to completely trash Western State again I know people that have succeeded from there, but I would recommend schools that are fully accredited and if I personally had the choice between Western State & Whittier I woudl choose Whittier. Whittier has had some problems as well, but they are a fully approved school. However, they are down to 51% bar passage.

I am just rambling and truth is I don't know much about either school, but I do know that either school can get you a bar ticket and you CAN have a legal career. One option you might try is e-mailing graduates of those schools. The Nevada State Bar lets you do an attorney search by school and you can e-mail these people and ask them questions about their experience. http://www.nvbar.org/findalawyer.asp lawyers e-mails are in there and you won't lose anything by writing them. Most lawyers love to talk about themselves and would be happy to give you some advice etc.

Good luck to you!


BigFudge

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Re: Western State College of Law, Thomas Jefferson, Whittier Law..HELP!
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2011, 04:31:33 PM »
Thank you I appreciate it. Western State was fully accredited in 2009. I don't think i'll go there though. I'm really waiting on Southwestern.

I am sure I am going to get into Southwestern's part time program..but is there anyway I can get into the part time program and transfer to full time? Is part time even worth it?

bigs5068

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Re: Western State College of Law, Thomas Jefferson, Whittier Law..HELP!
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2011, 04:38:49 PM »
It can be worth it, but unless you are working I wouldn't recommend part time. That is just me personally though I would have a hard time cramming everything in at night etc and I imagine attrition is much higher for part time students. The majority of them are working full time and doing this to boost their careers at least that is the case at my school. There is no real camaraderie etc. in the PT programs genearlly speaking. I can't speak for Southwestern's program, but I imagine that is the general rule at most PT programs. If you can find a legal job and attend PT then it might be a good fit, but that is a personal decision.

You might also try applying to Chapman & La Verne. I think you can also sign up for the June LSAT and schools might hold your admissions decision until then. You will basically have nothing to lose since you have been admitted to Whittier & Western State. Even if you bomb it they won't kick you out. If you nail it then maybe Southwestern will let you in full time or Chapman or LMU would let you in. If you really nail it maybe it would be worth it to wait another year to apply. I personally wish I would have thought of doing that when I was applying. Once you have been admitted you have nothing to lose when retaking the test and with no pressure you might do better. If you do worse then it is no skin off your back. Well again good luck to you.