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Author Topic: 5 Differences Between DL Law Schools and Traditional Schools  (Read 2453 times)

InterAlia1961

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5 Differences Between DL Law Schools and Traditional Schools
« on: August 03, 2011, 11:20:15 AM »
I've noticed several discussions here about DL law schools. There are some basic differences, and those attending traditional schools may not be in the best position to answer questions and offer objective opinion. Here are a few of the differences.

  • To date, the majority of online and distance learning law schools are based in California. Because these institutions aren't (yet) ABA-approved, students must sit for and pass the First Year Law Student's Exam (FYLSE), also known as the baby bar.
  • When you begin your studies at a non-ABA-approved law school based in California, your 1st year curriculum is markedly different from a traditional school. The emphasis is on passing the the baby bar. Your courses will reflect that. Your first year studies will include contracts, torts, criminal law, and legal writing. These are the areas tested on the FYLSE. In traditional studies, your first year courses would include constitutional law and an evidence course.
  • Your motivation is a key ingredient in your success or failure. If you aren't what is commonly referred to as a self-starter, you're going to be in over your head in short order.
  • Online studies are much more difficult that traditional studies. The level of writing ability required is much higher than that of traditional schools. You will write more than you have ever written before. If you don't like to write, this isn't the venue for you.
  • A colleague observed that one of the problems with online delivery is that you can't see your classmates freaking out. He told me the stress is much easier to handle when you know that you're not the only one struggling. If you're considering pursuing your JD in a non-traditional venue, the best thing you can do for yourself is to join a study group. Several of my Concord classmates and I have scheduled study times via Skype. We all agree that networking on LinkedIn and other social sites has helped us immensely.

Don't let the naysayers stop you from following your dream. There are plenty of people who have graduated from traditional law schools who have been disbarred, arrested, and sued for malpractice. Further, I can attest that I have had the misfortune to cross paths with two of the most inept, unthinking lawyers that have ever walked the Earth, and both were graduates of a traditional brick-and-mortar school. Like Ron White says, you can't fix stupid....not even with a law degree.

 8)
'Two possibilities exist: Either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.' ~Arthur Clarke

Hamilton

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Re: 5 Differences Between DL Law Schools and Traditional Schools
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2011, 11:24:02 AM »
Serious question - what is the general per-credit-hour tuition at a DL Law School?

InterAlia1961

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Re: 5 Differences Between DL Law Schools and Traditional Schools
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2011, 12:26:14 PM »
I'm attending Concord Law School. The tuition is just under $10,000 per year. It's a flat rate, not per-credit hour. This is another reason I chose Concord over a traditional school. The cost of law school in Wisconsin is well over $20,000 a year. I'm receiving student loans to pay my tuition and buy books, so I'll have to pay that back. For me, the price was an important factor, not to mention location. Along with my husband, I own and operate an award-winning organic dairy farm in norther Wisconsin. For me to go to law school in Wisconsin, we'd have to sell or rent the farm and move. The closest law school to me is in Madison...6-hours south of our farm.
'Two possibilities exist: Either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.' ~Arthur Clarke

financialandtaxguy

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Re: 5 Differences Between DL Law Schools and Traditional Schools
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2011, 04:12:57 PM »
Serious question - what is the general per-credit-hour tuition at a DL Law School?

I strongly suggest you go to the posting that directly links you to the California Bar website and lists all the registered online/distance law schools with their contact information.  The lowest tuition I found was around $2800 per year at Northwestern California University School of Law established in the early 1980's (where I attended for two years), and there is a new online law school, American Institute of Law which is around the same tuition, and then you have a wide range in-between, and I think Concord is the most expensive.

InterAlia1961

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Re: 5 Differences Between DL Law Schools and Traditional Schools
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2011, 06:24:25 PM »
I concur. Concord is the most expensive. Several factors helped influence my decision to attend Concord, not the least of which is the likelihood that Concord will be the first ABA-certified online school. According to a recent discussion with Dean Bracci, the only thing holding up the certification is that the ABA requires the school have a full law library on site. Which really makes no sense when you consider the advances in technology. Concord students have access to Westlaw, Heinlein, Versuslaw, Concord's library, Kaplan University's online library, CALI as well a variety of documents provided by faculty.
'Two possibilities exist: Either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.' ~Arthur Clarke

FalconJimmy

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Re: 5 Differences Between DL Law Schools and Traditional Schools
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2011, 06:36:34 PM »
I concur. Concord is the most expensive. Several factors helped influence my decision to attend Concord, not the least of which is the likelihood that Concord will be the first ABA-certified online school.

I don't suppose you knew that I own the Brooklyn Bridge and will sell it to you for just $20.

InterAlia1961

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Re: 5 Differences Between DL Law Schools and Traditional Schools
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2011, 07:38:43 PM »
I don't suppose you knew that I own the Brooklyn Bridge and will sell it to you for just $20.

Actually, I own the Brooklyn Bridge. I've been in adverse possession of it for the last 10 years. You're a day late and a dollar short. Thanks for the title, though.  8)
'Two possibilities exist: Either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.' ~Arthur Clarke

FalconJimmy

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Re: 5 Differences Between DL Law Schools and Traditional Schools
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2011, 07:40:22 PM »
Actually, I own the Brooklyn Bridge. I've been in adverse possession of it for the last 10 years. You're a day late and a dollar short. Thanks for the title, though.  8)

No, I've got the title right... oh damn... never mind.  :)

lawstudent#1

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Re: 5 Differences Between DL Law Schools and Traditional Schools
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2011, 07:53:40 PM »
I concur. Concord is the most expensive. Several factors helped influence my decision to attend Concord, not the least of which is the likelihood that Concord will be the first ABA-certified online school. According to a recent discussion with Dean Bracci, the only thing holding up the certification is that the ABA requires the school have a full law library on site. Which really makes no sense when you consider the advances in technology. Concord students have access to Westlaw, Heinlein, Versuslaw, Concord's library, Kaplan University's online library, CALI as well a variety of documents provided by faculty.

You did know that even if they get ABA approval, it won't help its current students or past grads though right?
It is based on what it was when you enrolled, not after you graduated. Sometimes if you are less than halfway through there can be an exception ( I believe) but don't expect to be able to say to a state bar "It's ok because they met the standared latter". -It won't work.


InterAlia1961

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Re: 5 Differences Between DL Law Schools and Traditional Schools
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2011, 09:31:10 PM »
You did know that even if they get ABA approval, it won't help its current students or past grads though right?
It is based on what it was when you enrolled, not after you graduated. Sometimes if you are less than halfway through there can be an exception ( I believe) but don't expect to be able to say to a state bar "It's ok because they met the standared latter". -It won't work.

I don't know any such thing. Of course, the ABA will do what it will do. I've found that predicting what they might do is like predicting the weather. I've been following the organization for quite some time. My thought is that they are losing their standing as the only agency state bars will listen to for guidance. The times they are a changin.'  You might find this link interesting http://www.fed-soc.org/publications/page/aba-watch
'Two possibilities exist: Either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.' ~Arthur Clarke