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Author Topic: Correlation Between High Tuition Costs & Affordable Legal Assistance??  (Read 4125 times)

Zepp

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Re: Correlation Between High Tuition Costs & Affordable Legal Assistance??
« Reply #50 on: December 30, 2011, 05:03:16 PM »
But, did you not just say above in reference to my post earlier ...

I said pro se plaintiffs can waste the courts time and needlessly drive up litigation costs.  And I would even argue that perhaps some form of the British system of loser pays costs might be advisable.  However, I never said that anyone is entitled to practice law, nor have I ever said we should block people from access to the courts. 

So, which is it - an entity outside the state sets the criteria, or the state sets it?  Sounds like double talk, I may be wrong.

State sets the criteria to take and pass the bar exam.  The ABA sets the standard for their accredidation.   Where is the double talk?  Personally, I think requiring a diploma from an ABA accredited schools is a fair requirement (and would even argue that the ABA is too free in giving out their stamp of approval).  The practice of law is a career based on your ability to use your mind.  It seems only natural that a state would use a criteria based on the quality of education to determine who should be considered for entering that field.
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jonlevy

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Re: Correlation Between High Tuition Costs & Affordable Legal Assistance??
« Reply #51 on: December 30, 2011, 08:01:14 PM »
OK, I'll turn in my law licenses, your flawless logic has convinced me of my errors... :P

jonlevy

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Re: Correlation Between High Tuition Costs & Affordable Legal Assistance??
« Reply #52 on: December 31, 2011, 10:42:30 AM »
Zepp, you are trying to compare apples and peanuts here.  Obviously, students who attend a DL law school are aware they can only take the California Bar. DL schools regardless of curriculum are going to attact statistical outliars and a lot of failures who have no business being in law school. A DL school at present is basically a glorified reading list, it has nothing to do with what goes on a law school.  However reading for law is a traditional and proven method of passing the bar. Since students already have a undergrad degree, so if they choose to read for the bar exam, what is the problem?

The English who have been practising law a lot longer than we have, have no problem with an  external LLB.
http://www.londoninternational.ac.uk/prospective_students/undergraduate/panel/law/about_qld.shtml

The answer here is for the ABA mossbacks to accept online education and let the well endowed ABA schools offer external JDs. This is the 21st Century, we have the technology available to replace the "sage on the stage with the guide on the side." But it takes money and aside from Washington Posts's Concord, no one has the money to make that sort of investment in a school that can only churn out California lawyers who then get blocked by ABA Luddites at every step.

Opie58

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Re: Correlation Between High Tuition Costs & Affordable Legal Assistance??
« Reply #53 on: December 31, 2011, 10:54:09 AM »
Now, for my diatribe –

You still fail to convenience me your point of view – (1) that a graduate from a non-ABA school that has a lower bar pass rate than an ABA school is really unqualified to sit for the bar exam and should not be given the chance to show s/he can apply the SAME law the SAME way as anyone else, (2) ABA standards are the only viable standards for quality education and all other methods of adult learning and education outside of the ABA-only way are sub-par, and (3) that even though the state sets the standards if they refuse to accept ABA school attendance as the only qualifying standards they really don’t know what they are doing. 

Although the Pro Se issue somehow gets into this mix about ABA vs non-ABA, I see it as nothing more than an irrelevant smokescreen that has nothing to do with the point of argument – qualifying to sit for a bar exam.  So, please stop using the Pro Se argument as an example for equating non-ABA school graduates as unqualified and mudding up the courts – bar certified attorneys must follow prescribed standards of conduct rather graduates from an ABA or non-ABA school – Pro Se plaintiffs do not – apple and oranges, I hope you can see.

First, are the non-ABA graduates given a different bar exam than ABA graduates?  No!!!  Both who pass are able to apply the SAME standards of law deemed important by the STATE to qualify as attorneys.  30%, 25%, 19%, whatever – those %-ers who do PASS are passing the SAME test, applying the SAME law, at the SAME level as any other graduate from whatever law school.  If you are part of the 80% from an ABA school or the 30% (25%, 19%, whatever) from a non ABA school, you are performing at the SAME level as ALL those who pass; that’s a fact, jack.  Any other spin is just that – spin.  FACT:  According to the Feb 2011 California General Bar Exam stats (http://admissions.calbar.ca.gov/Examinations/Statistics.aspx), there were some non-ABA schools that had fairly high passage rates (Oak Brook – 50%, Taft – 71%, NWCULaw – 38%) while there were some ABA schools below or at those levels (Golden Gate – 41%, Thomas Jefferson – 45%, UCDavis – 25%, UCHastings – 58%, La Verne – 50%, USF – 50%, Whittier – 55%).  So, is your position still that schools who’s passage rates are below someone’s subjective standard not up to par on legal education and should be exempt from providing graduates to sit for the bar exam?

Second, unless, you – and those who side with your point of view – have reviewed and/or attended a non-ABA school to provide a FAIR assessment of the level of education compared to ABA school, I see your ASSUMPTIONS that level of education is sub-par as nothing more than that – an unqualified assumption; as if you are hoping if it is said enough that non-ABA are sub-par that it will be so.  I refuse to accept your equation of lower bar pass rates as proof of sub-par education.  Is the caliber of student lower at non-ABA schools – I suspect so to a certain degree, but there will be those few who refuse to accept, or unable to accept due to other commitments, the ABA-only way to obtain a legal education and licensure.  Thank goodness, several states also refuse to accept the ABA-only way, and have the open-mindedness to recognize those and offer alternatives.  It is a bit humiliating to realize that there are viable alternatives from the ABA-only-$100,000+-tuition (debt) way to become an attorney.  Is it really some sort of rite of passage to place yourself in extreme debt and not have any life for 3+ years to become an attorney? (Again, look at the bar passage rates I mention above.)

Third, you advocate that states set the criteria for licensure, but you also strongly take the position that the ABA standard is the only viable standard, implying that if states refuse to accept those standards and allow other alternatives of legal education as qualifying to sit for the bar exam they are doing some sort of disservice to the profession.  So, yes, you are saying that states set the standard, but you also wish – hope – they will fully accept the ABA-only way to qualification and licensure.  Fortunately, some states rejected the ABA-only way maintaining their 10th Amendment independence in governing themselves as they always have.  For an organization that purports itself as a voluntary association, I question how can it be “voluntary” if it becomes the only accepted standard for practicing the law?  While the ABA-only brainwashing has been effective, it is also showing weakness in continuing acceptance.  Intelligence has nothing to do with where you go to school, it has to do with vision, commitment, and perseverance.  If a student wants to apply themselves enough to learn the law, they will most likely succeed; if not, they will fail.  Some may be more challenged than others, but I don’t believe that makes them less intelligent or successful.

I agree the ABA has a purpose – to foster a code of conduct and recommend improvements, as well as offering a platform for research and analysis.  But, to say "our way is the only way," spits into the face of proven adult learning styles that have demonstrated success time and time over; recommending a program format that promotes success is one thing, making it a requirement by states to sit for the bar is another.  Again, I support the bar exam as the tool appropriate for assessing a candidate’s abilities in applying the law judicially; not how or where they learned the law.  Using the 2011 California Bar Exam stats again; 61% (707/435) overall from ABA schools and 28% (232/65) overall from non-ABA schools passed; in other words, 39% and 72% respectively FAILED to make the grade – sounds like the exam is doing what its designed to do – weed out those who shouldn’t be practicing attorneys.  How a person wishes to spend his/her money should NOT be dictated by the government or any other entity.  While, personally, I believe anyone who wants to sit for the bar exam should be allowed to do so without any consideration of education, I do recognize that would be a waste of time and resources if people are not prepared, so some form of legal education would be prudent and should be mandated by the state – I oppose only ONE “acceptable” standard, such as a graduate from an ABA-approved school only.

Zepp

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Re: Correlation Between High Tuition Costs & Affordable Legal Assistance??
« Reply #54 on: January 03, 2012, 06:45:04 PM »
Zepp, you are trying to compare apples and peanuts here.  Obviously, students who attend a DL law school are aware they can only take the California Bar. DL schools regardless of curriculum are going to attact statistical outliars and a lot of failures who have no business being in law school. A DL school at present is basically a glorified reading list, it has nothing to do with what goes on a law school.  However reading for law is a traditional and proven method of passing the bar. Since students already have a undergrad degree, so if they choose to read for the bar exam, what is the problem?

"Reading the law" was very different than simply a glorified reading list.  It was an apprenticeship done under a licensed judge or attorney.  There is more to being an attorney than being able to rattle off sections of the code.


The English who have been practising law a lot longer than we have, have no problem with an  external LLB.
http://www.londoninternational.ac.uk/prospective_students/undergraduate/panel/law/about_qld.shtml

And although we share the common law tradition with the English, their system of legal representation is very different than ours.  There is a difference between a solicitor and barrister, and what each can do.  Since I have no interest in practicing in the UK, I don't know all the differences, but there are differences.  Is there an argument that you shouldn't need an attorney to do everything, sure.  I'm sure you could convince me of that.  But as long as we have one license to practice law, I do believe there should be a high standard as to who holds that license.


The answer here is for the ABA mossbacks to accept online education and let the well endowed ABA schools offer external JDs. This is the 21st Century, we have the technology available to replace the "sage on the stage with the guide on the side." But it takes money and aside from Washington Posts's Concord, no one has the money to make that sort of investment in a school that can only churn out California lawyers who then get blocked by ABA Luddites at every step.

I completely disagree.  Until states issue separate licenses for different types of attorneys, they all need to be held to the same high standards.  A great portion what one learns in law school comes from the discussion with classmates.  If you can't defend your position against your classmates, in a classroom, what hope do you have in a courtroom.  How does a "glorified reading list" to use your own words, prepare a student for that?  It isn't that the ABA are being Luddites, it is the recognition that distance learning is lacking in a good portion of what it takes to be a well rounded attorney.  The expectation that a legal education include active discussion isn't unreasonable since a good porition of the job involves being a vocal advocate for a client.
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Zepp

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Re: Correlation Between High Tuition Costs & Affordable Legal Assistance??
« Reply #55 on: January 03, 2012, 08:02:00 PM »
Now, for my diatribe –


You'll have to excuse me for not copying your whole diatribe, but I'll try to hit all the points.

I don't hope to convince you of anything.  I think that would be a lost cause.  I'm just defending what I find to be very reasonable standards for admission to the practice of law.  I have never said they are the only reasonable standards, nor that there can be no alternative to the ABA standards.  I have also never said that states that don't accept ABA standards don't know what they are doing.  Personally, I believe the ABA standards are far too liberal.  I also don't believe that the lower tiered ABA approved schools should be charing the same tuitions as those at the top of the list (and the non-accredited schools shouldn't be anywhere near the price).  But those arguments are neither here nor there.  The pro-se arguement has popped in and out for different reasons.  Sum up to say, someone claimed that they were being unconstitutionally denied access to the courts.  That's a non-starter.  You have no constitutional right to practice law, and it has nothing to do with access to the courts.  I'll leave it at that.

As for your numbers....the schools you picked out are samples so small that their numbers are statistically useless.  US Davis had 5 test takers, Taft had 12.  Just to show how meaningless those numbers are, if you go to just the prior bar exam, US Davis had an 81% first time pass rate and Taft 0%.  At least for that exam, US Davis had a useable sample size of 176 test takes (Taft's sample was still useless with only 1 first time test taker).  Looking at the larger (and statistically significant) numbers of ABA-accredited versus non-accredited for even that test administration, still shows that non-ABA accredited schools have only half the pass rate of their ABA approved counterparts.  So yes, I do believe that a law school's inability to graduate students that have decent pass rates of the bar exam is a reflection of the quality of education received.  And no, my conclusions about the quality of education are based on many facts.  FACT - non-ABA accredited schools have dramatically lower pass rates.  This can mean only a few things.  The quality of education is significantly lower or the quality of students is significantly lower.  Even if the students are just significantly worse, a good portion of what one gets out of any education is from discussion with fellow students.  So if your discussion is at a much lower level, so is the quality of your education.  So you have the same result (remove the discussion entirely, and I think you're another rung lower).  I would go so far to say that the quality of education at Harvard would be significantly higher than at Georgetown, even if you had the same professor teaching the class. 

You say "proven adult learning styles that have demonstrated success time and time over."  Where exactly is that success?  Nationally, DL has a 17% pass rate!  Is that what you qualify as proven success?  And that we're talking about the minimum level to be qualified to practice the law. 

ABA is a voluntary organization.  The fact that states adopt their standards doesn't make its membership any less voluntary.  Just because you attend an ABA approved school doesn't require you to become a member of the ABA or even having a state requirement that you attend an ABA school to take the bar exam require you to be a member of the ABA upon passing the bar, and as far as I know, no state requires ABA membership to become an attorney.  Also, requiring a school be accredited by the ABA doesn't mean the state is telling you how to spend your money.  No one is forcing you to become an attorney, it is your choice.  And while what school you attend does not always corrilate with intelligence, it is an indicator of the quality of education, and more often than not, you could probably safely wager that it does correspond with intelligence.  Are there legacy students that get into some ivy leagues...sure.  Are there some students that for personal reasons attend lower tiered, or non-ABA approved schools that are brilliant...absolutely.  Grab 50 students from each of those schools, however, I'm willing to bet more of the ivy leagures are more intelligent.  So do I think we need to throw standards out the window because a few exceptions.  Not a chance.  Some times life isn't fair. 
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cerealkiller

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Re: Correlation Between High Tuition Costs & Affordable Legal Assistance??
« Reply #56 on: January 03, 2012, 08:34:53 PM »
Now, for my diatribe –


You'll have to excuse me for not copying your whole diatribe, but I'll try to hit all the points.

I don't hope to convince you of anything.  I think that would be a lost cause.  I'm just defending what I find to be very reasonable standards for admission to the practice of law.  I have never said they are the only reasonable standards, nor that there can be no alternative to the ABA standards.  I have also never said that states that don't accept ABA standards don't know what they are doing.  Personally, I believe the ABA standards are far too liberal.  I also don't believe that the lower tiered ABA approved schools should be charing the same tuitions as those at the top of the list (and the non-accredited schools shouldn't be anywhere near the price).  But those arguments are neither here nor there.  The pro-se arguement has popped in and out for different reasons.  Sum up to say, someone claimed that they were being unconstitutionally denied access to the courts.  That's a non-starter.  You have no constitutional right to practice law, and it has nothing to do with access to the courts.  I'll leave it at that.

Charing? Arguement? Really?

jonlevy

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Re: Correlation Between High Tuition Costs & Affordable Legal Assistance??
« Reply #57 on: January 03, 2012, 08:38:44 PM »
If you can't defend your position against your classmates, in a classroom, what hope do you have in a courtroom.

A real good one because you are not cut from the mold as ABA clone.

I was being appointed to felony cases as a PD within 6 months of passing the bar with my Taft JD.  On my first criminal case, I skunked the DA with a motion to dismiss for lack of venue and won at the preliminary hearing.  For my first five years of practice I was present at the county law and motion calender every week handling criminal cases, family law, civil litigation and juvenile cases. I didn't need any classmates in classroom, I learned from my colleagues who actually knew a thing or two about the law. My clients were all pleased because I took the time to listen to them, no matter their social or economic status. I took the cases no one else would touch. Last week I won the first round of a case at the African Commission in Banjul, The Gambia.  I may not be rich but my cases are reported by the AP, Reuters, Bloomberg, etc.

So it can be done, don't listen to naysayers like Zepp. Zepp is the face of the type of law you are unlikely to practice as a DL graduate. If you beat the odds and pass the California Bar, give something back to society, don't squander your talents trying to be like the ABA law school grad.

Opie58

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Re: Correlation Between High Tuition Costs & Affordable Legal Assistance??
« Reply #58 on: January 03, 2012, 11:33:45 PM »
Again, I still fail to understand how one school's bar pass rate compared to another school's bar pass rate has anything to do with a graduate from either school passing the bar.  If one person can pass the bar from any school, than the curriculum must be doing the job.  Therefore, it's NOT the curriculum - it's the student's motivation to learn the material appropriately to pass the bar that becomes the issue.

As I read more of these “interesting” forums, I saw references about 1T, 2T, 3T, & 4T schools.  Not knowing what that was all about, I researched it and find it interesting how not only is there a line of thought about how one learns the law and if they should be allowed the opportunity to sit for a bar exam, but there is even a debate amongst ABA school students/grads as to how one’s school is better than another’s, which raises the question – if a school is in a lower tier than another implying it must be substandard in it’s curriculum or teaching methodology, should it’s grads be disallowed to sit for a bar exam since the school will probably have a lower passage rate?  A bunch of subjective BS to keep that competitive edge going, as I see it. 

With this train of thought, it’s not whether you know and can apply the law (which I believe is the most important) that is the focal point, but if one school is “better” than the other; like that makes any difference when it comes to taking the bar exam. 

However, several states HAVE set the appropriate standard that matters – YOUR ABILITY TO APPLY THE LAW, not which school you attended – it’s NOT even considered in the grade calculation!!!!

Therefore, the school / curriculum / method of study debate is IRRELEVANT; it is circular with no clear issue to decide on because IT HAS NOTHING to do with applying the law.  If any student from any school lacks motivation to learn the application process – THEY WILL FAIL THE BAR EXAM.

If one’s school of attendance is more important than one’s ability to appropriately apply the law, the point behind this discussion thread – elitist ABA law schools’ high tuitions inflating legal assistance costs – becomes clearly apparent.  But, if one’s ability to apply the law is most important, than the method of learning the law is irrelevant making high tuition unnecessary and legal assistance more affordable – and maybe even reducing the number of pro se cases.

jonlevy

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Re: Correlation Between High Tuition Costs & Affordable Legal Assistance??
« Reply #59 on: January 04, 2012, 11:08:29 PM »
However, several states HAVE set the appropriate standard that matters – YOUR ABILITY TO APPLY THE LAW

There are a lot of lame attorney out there, 99% from ABA schools. Neither quality of schools nor passing the bar really guarantees much. Law naturally attracts a lot of sociopaths. It is sort of like the Catholic priesthood.  The best way to weed these baddies out would be to make all lawyers take a two year apprenticeship after law school in which they had to do public service work. Passing the bar is only an indicator that someone can pass an exam.

This has been a problem however for Centuries:

MY LAWYER.

When grappled in the law's embrace,
Who first betrayed an anxious face
And fain would shield me from disgrace
My Lawyer.

Who told me I should not confess,
That he would all wrong's redress
And set me free from all distress?
My Lawyer.

When, sick in jail, I senseless lay,
Who took my watch and case away
Lest prowling thieves on me should prey
My Lawyer.

Who to my wealth tenacious clung,
And for me wagged his oily tongue,
And at my foes hot embers flung
My Lawyer.

Who told me he was dreadful smart
And knew the law-books all by heart.
And always took his client's part?
My Lawyer.

Who, in the court, with peerless pride,
My rights affirmed, my guilt denied.
And swore the State's attorney lied?
My Lawyer.

And when twelve men, in one compound,
For me a guilty verdict found,
Who came to stanch the bleeding wound
My Lawyer.

Who said my time within the wall
Would be exceeding- brief and small,
The minimum, or none at all?
My Lawyer.

And when the judge my doom proclaimed,
And three long years of exile named,
Who looked indignant and ashamed?
My Lawyer,

When, at the sheriff's stern command,
I for the train was told to stand,
Who longest shook and squeezed my hand ?
My Lawyer.

Who, when he had me safe confined,
No more concerned his crafty mind,
Nor was, for me, to grief inclined?
My Lawyer.

Who closed the mortgage on my lot,
And drove my family from my cot,
And left them homeless on the spot ?
My Lawyer.

Who, when of prison clothes I 'm stripped,
And from these walls am homeward shipped,
Will get himself immensely whipped ?
My Lawyer.

[Written by Mr. George Gilbert, who died on the 9th of June
A. D. 1890.]