I did some digging into bar passage rates for the three schools that I am considering. What I did was to go over the California bar exam passage rates for the last ten years and calculate the overall results. This is what I found:
Overall passage rates (first time and repeaters):
Concord: 50% (first students to take exam was in 2003)
Per these results I am seriously considering Taft as my first choice. My only concern in the method of instruction as Taft's website is very technologically poor, almost outdated. But with these kind of bar passage numbers, who cares right? What do you all think?
I just started Taft in January and I really like it. I can only tell you so much because it's only been a month but I'm happy with my decision.
Their site is a little outdated but the students use a different site. It has all of your classes, videos, mp3s, a lot of resources, your program outline et cetera. I interact with my classmates on the discussion boards. The greater majority of my classmates seem well to do and everybody seems pretty cool with a similar goal: become an attorney.
I had a different assumption of what Law School would be like when I first started. I can't put my finger on it but it's just different then what I thought. You do have to document your reading monthly for Taft. This is from the CA bar site:
Four years of study, with a minimum of 864 hours of preparation and study per year, at an unaccredited distance-learning or correspondence law school registered with the Committee;
Taft goes over all of this with you.
But I've been studying about 20 hours a week so far. I've gotten myself into a nice little routine. When I was in basic training in the Air Force I remember them saying that if you do something for 21 days in a row it becomes a habit. That's where I'm at.
My background is in design, web development and business and my goal is to get into Intellectual Property. You do not have to be an attorney to become a patent attorney but I still want the education for business and I am sure it will benefit me in IP. (I run a small web development and SEO business in Maryland.)
You need a STEM degree for IP. I have 2 and I also worked on a lot of STEM projects with Northrop Grumman. They had a partnership with the company that I was working for.
And I don't really care what people say about Non ABA. I can practice in California and motion into other states after so many years. Who wouldn't want to live and work in California? I don't want to work in biglaw or anything corporate. It's sort of similar to web design. I had a corporate job doing web development for about 4 years. I'm so happy I'm not in that environment anymore. It was so slow!
You only live once. If you think you will like it, go for it. Don't listen to the crabs in the bucket. Our country needs innovators like us. If you ever have any questions about Taft, let me know.