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Are CBA schools a joke?

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amyis:
Hello,
I'm a Canadian and my partner is American so we're planning on moving to the US next year.
I graduated from the University of Toronto with a CGPA of 3.62.  I'm taking the LSAT in October.
I took quite a few law classes in my undergraduate work and loved them so much that I want to pursue a legal education.
I'm reasonably certain that I'll be able to get into a decent law school here in Canada (I have great academic & legal references, am over 30, strong reasons for wanting to pursue the law, etc.)
I'm also reasonably certain I can get into a decent law school in the US. The only problem is the $ money $. I'm pained to spend $40+k/year on an "okay" school in the US when I can go to a comparable if not better school here in Canada for under $20k.
Since my partner really wants to move back to the US, I've been considering state-approved law schools (i.e. CBA) instead of ABA approved; ABA, to my knowledge, are much more expensive.
I'm wondering if I can get some opinions of non-ABA schools?
Will it be difficult to find employment in California w/ a JD from a CBA school (for example)? Although I don't consider myself elitist, UofT is Canada's #1 University (according to Times Higher Education Rankings) and although I am extremely proud to have attended, I would never do it again (extremely competitive, cut throat, bureaucratic.) I'd prefer something smaller with more hands-on professors where I'm not just a BIU and GPA.
The other issue at hand is that the area if law I am particularly interested in is IP. I have found the CBA approved schools don't seem to have specializations necessarily... is this an accurate assessment? And is there anything I could do to rectify it, for example, could I start at a non-ABA approved school and then transfer to an ABA school?
Finally, are there grants/bursaries/scholarships available to non-US citizens that would pay for enough of an ABA education that it would ultimately cost the same as a non-ABA?
Thanks for any help or opinions... I want to make as informed a decision as possible.

FalconJimmy:

--- Quote from: amyis on August 01, 2011, 05:45:53 PM ---I'm wondering if I can get some opinions of non-ABA schools?

--- End quote ---

Are you talking about going to a canadian law school, or a US non-ABA school?

amyis:
A US non-ABA. I was specifically looking at California state accredited schools.
Thanks for the response.

taxguy:
Do NOT go to a non=ABA accredited school in the US. The states that you can practice in will be vary limited as will any potential job offers.

FalconJimmy:
It's hard to express this without coming across as insulting, but going to a non-ABA school is going to be a severe handicap if you want to get a job afterwards.

If getting a job doesn't matter to you, then the ABA part doesn't matter, either, but if getting a job doesn't matter, then why go to law school at all?  There are very few answers to that question that make sense.

It's a tough market out there for law grads, and the non-ABA grads are going to get whatever scraps are left over after the ABA grads are done.

Personally, I think about half the ABA law students are kidding themselves.  I'd say nearly all the non-ABA law students are delusional.  it's a collossal waste of time and energy to go to a non ABA accredited school.

Yes, you can always trot out people who went to a non accredited school who did well in life.  Hell, you can trot out people who made a million bucks selling amway.  However, a large enough statistical sample will show you that you can't get rich selling Amway and graduates of non-ABA schools are screwed in the job market.

Just my view of things.  If you want to do this, do it right:  go to the best school your circumstances will allow you to go to.  There are a lot of people who really regret going to Law School.  Going to a crappy school dramatically increases your chances of being among them.

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