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Are CBA schools a joke?

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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.


--- 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?

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

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.

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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