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Author Topic: Are CBA schools a joke?  (Read 11390 times)

amyis

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Are CBA schools a joke?
« on: August 01, 2011, 05:45:53 PM »
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

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Re: Are CBA schools a joke?
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2011, 12:07:05 PM »
I'm wondering if I can get some opinions of non-ABA schools?

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

amyis

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Re: Are CBA schools a joke?
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2011, 04:21:13 PM »
A US non-ABA. I was specifically looking at California state accredited schools.
Thanks for the response.

taxguy

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Re: Are CBA schools a joke?
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2011, 08:45:14 PM »
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

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Re: Are CBA schools a joke?
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2011, 04:58:52 PM »
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.

fortook

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Re: Are CBA schools a joke?
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2011, 06:42:38 PM »
You can transfer from a non ABA school with 12 credits max, I think.  Look it up to be sure.  If money is your only concern, I can't see how going to a non ABA then transferring would be worth it.  You'll still need to spend most of your time at the ABA school so the savings won't be much and the stress will be high.

In Cali, you might be able to get a job going to a non ABA.  Cali has weird rules that favor non ABA more than other states. That's not to say an ABA isn't a better choice. There are a bunch of non ABA in Cali and you'll have to do a ton of research.  Too bad you're leaving Canada, your chances and options are probably a little better there.
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FalconJimmy

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Re: Are CBA schools a joke?
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2011, 09:57:31 PM »
You can transfer from a non ABA school with 12 credits max, I think.  Look it up to be sure. 

The only part about this I agree with is the "look it up to be sure" part.

fortook

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Re: Are CBA schools a joke?
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2011, 11:27:07 AM »
I'm almost positive the non ABA school to ABA school transfer credit limit is between 12 and 18 credits per ABA standards.  Haven't read that part in years, but it is addressed by the ABA.

I find it a little amusing that law students and those in the legal community are potentially more arrogant about the ABA accreditation thing than the ABA itself.  Something else to beware of going to a non ABA school, it may not be right, fair, or even reasonable but they are the ones doing most of the hiring.
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FalconJimmy

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Re: Are CBA schools a joke?
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2011, 07:27:17 PM »
I'm almost positive the non ABA school to ABA school transfer credit limit is between 12 and 18 credits per ABA standards.  Haven't read that part in years, but it is addressed by the ABA.


Will an ABA accredited program accept credits towards a JD that were NOT earned in an ABA accredited law school?  The answer to that is clearly, "yes".  Law schools accept credit from all sorts of sources.  Most commonly, you can apply credits from a college of business sometimes, and joint JD/MBA students do exactly that:  they take college classes in the college of business and apply them to their JD.  Whether they'll accept credit from a non-ABA school?  Honestly don't know.  Can't see any ABA policy on this and due to the issues discussed below, it seems unlikely, but I can't say for sure that it's impossible.  AND it would be up to the ABA school to decide what credits they were going to allow you to apply to your ABA accredited JD degree.

However, transferring credits isn't what I read when you said: 

"You can transfer from a non ABA school with 12 credits max, I think."

There, you seemed to be saying, "You can transfer..."  Not "transfer credits".  "Transfer".  Meaning you could start at a non-ABA accredited school and then transfer into an ABA accredited school and take 12 or so credits with you.

The reason I doubt that you can do this is directly from the policies of ABA schools that accept transfer applicants because they tend to have statements such as:

"CUNY School of Law invites and welcomes applications from qualified transfer students. Individuals who have attended an ABA-approved law school and who are..."

"Applications for transfer are considered from students who have attended another law school approved by the American Bar Association (hereinafter ABA) and are in good academic standing at that law school. "  (St. Thomas University.)

"To be considered for transfer admission, an applicant must be in good standing at a law school accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA), including provisionally-approved schools, at the time of transfer."

I find it a little amusing that law students and those in the legal community are potetially more arrogant about the ABA accreditation thing than the ABA itself.  Something else to beware of going to a non ABA school, it may not be right, fair, or even reasonable but they are the ones doing most of the hiring.

It's funny, and I honestly don't mean you, personally, when I say this, but as bad as things are for ABA grads right now, they're abysmally worse for non-ABA grads.  I figure if a person understands the risks, then so be it.  Good for them.  I just find it hard to believe that SO MANY people understand what they're up against if they don't go to an ABA accredited school. 

I also think it's not helpful to the issue to frame the problems with non-ABA schools as matters of arrogance.  Really. 

This is about like saying that if you're a good college baseball player and don't make the majors, that it's because MLB is arrogant. 

There's a lot more to this.  By and large, the ABA schools may have issues, but they meet far more stringent standards, their professors are more accomplished, they have far higher standards for admission, they produce a far higher bar passage rate. 

The reason ABA schools are what they are isn't just based on perception.  They are absolutely better along nearly every measurable dimension.  Yes, I'm sure there is a brilliant person once in a while who graduates from a non-ABA school.  However, that's the person, not the school. 

The more folks at non-ABA accredited schools try to ascribe the problems with those schools to some sort of ABA conspiracy the more I'm certain that they're full-blown detached from reality.

The marketplace is savagely competitive.  The winners are the folks who understand the competition and excel at those areas where competition exists. 

It's not just students competing against other students.  It's schools competing against other schools. 

The folks (and schools) who complain about the competition as being unfair?  I find it hard to believe that they're going to compete well.

fortook

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Re: Are CBA schools a joke?
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2011, 10:11:17 PM »
Your first interpretation was correct. Generally, you can transfer from a non ABA to an ABA.  There are credit limits.  Is that so hard for you to understand?  It is not that different than transferring from a T4 to a T1, conceptually.

I noticed a few quotes from specific schools.  Apologies, I stopped reading when I saw a NY then FL schools.

Not all states have non ABA schools, in fact the vast majority do not.  FL, nope.  NY, nope.  A school in a state that has no state accredited (non ABA) schools can't very well accept state accredited transfer students. The OP is  looking into CA schools.  CA allows, and has a bunch of non ABAs.  You are right he will have to look up individual schools, but per ABA rules it is permissible.  Per state bar examiner rules it varies.  Per school it varies.

Depending on where you are, sure its possible and done often.  You usually need a state approval system, however, for transferring from a non ABA to an ABA to be applicable.  CA has an extensive non ABA system.
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