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Author Topic: Northwestern California University, School of Law.  (Read 23032 times)

Duncanjp

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Re: Northwestern California University, School of Law.
« Reply #30 on: July 15, 2012, 03:44:17 PM »
If you've read any of my posts on this or other topics you'll see that I'm not a snob when it comes to legal education. My own degree is from a small, regional school. But I have personal, recent experience with government law offices, and hiring is much more competitive than you seem to think. At both the office I worked at, and the office my wife (a local government attorney) currently works at, an online or unaccedited grad would not have gotten an interview no matter how good their writing sample was. And if you can't get the interview, who cares how good your interpersonal communication skills are? A Calbar grad might have gotten an interview if they had 5-10 years of relevant experience, but unquestionably there is a strong preference for ABA grads.

It's possible that in a rural county with fewer applicants the results would be different, or that small firms would not be quite so competitive.

Per usual, Roald, you write a well-considered, matter-of-fact post here that reflects an admirably balanced point of view. Personally, I would be intimidated to try to compete against ABA grads in a job competition outside of my career field (title insurance). You touch upon an undeniable reality about job hunting today that cannot be denied. I've held management positions with the responsibility for hiring and firing. A few years before the economy tanked, I ran an ad for an entry level position in my department and I received 150 replies. And again, that was before the crash. The only way I could handle the response was to automatically eliminate everyone who had not graduated from college, which was the vast majority. After that, I looked at where they attended school, what they studied, and where they had worked. I also paid attention to the quality of the writing in their cover letters, but I didn't get to the writing analysis until after I had assessed their academic credentials. Those with just an A.A. from a junior college went out with the others. Ultimately, I whittled the interviews down to two people who had graduated from the same UC that I graduated from, and one other who graduated from the local Cal State U. I hired one of the UC applicants and we enjoyed sharing the bond for the whole time that we worked together. For that reason, unless the employer has a non-ABA background herself, those from non-ABA schools who hope to be competitive against ABA grads probably need a wake-up call: they're going to be filtered out. Local governments are going broke. ABA grads themselves can't find work, and do-it-yourself legal websites are starting to tear into the opportunities that non-ABA grads once had. Non-ABA schools can be an appropriate choice for people in my shoes, but for those who hope to compete for work on the strength of nothing more than their academic credentials, I can't imagine settling for less than the very best school that would give them admission.

calvinexpress

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Re: Northwestern California University, School of Law.
« Reply #31 on: July 15, 2012, 04:55:57 PM »
Things have changed since then.  Did they have the Blackboard when you were going, calgal?  Their videos are nothing to rave about.  I didn't bother with them.  Same with the CDs. But their online chats & video chats are terrific.  Jeff Fleming now works for NWCU too & he comes to some of the video chats.  Lots of fun :)  There is both a text and video chat for each level. When BabyBar is coming up they put on special chats for the takers to participate in.


Who is Jeff Fleming? I was also thinking of attending this school, but only because of the cheap price, and no other reason. I do think an online law school should have either video or .mp3 voice lectures so we can listen to the teacher explain what we just read. If this school does not have them, then I won't be attending.

Maintain FL 350

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Re: Northwestern California University, School of Law.
« Reply #32 on: July 15, 2012, 05:29:10 PM »
True, it's the unfortunate reality of living in a depressed economy. And, BTW, it doesn't mean that a non-ABA can't get a job, it just means that applicants should be aware of the pecking order that most law offices adhere to: Big Name ABA, Small Name ABA, Calbar, everything else.

Of course there are always exceptions to the rule. A Calbar grad with 3-5 years experience in criminal law, for example, would probably stand a better chance at getting hired by the DA or PD than an ABA grad with no applicable experience. Geography also plays a role. The thing about online J.D.s, in my opinion, is not that they have a bad reputation, but it's that most attorneys just don't know what to make of it. Most attorneys in CA have worked with both ABA and CBE grads, and know that there are good and bad lawyers from each category. There are so few online grads, however, that I think it's simply an unknown quantity. I think that the lack of knowledge leads to skepticism, which might be unfair. As online education becomes more common, may be this will change, but I wouldn't hold my breath. 

jonlevy

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Re: Northwestern California University, School of Law.
« Reply #33 on: July 15, 2012, 08:06:32 PM »
BTW, there is a lot of talk about if someone goes to an online school they won't be able to get a job.  Many threads by grads of traditional schools focus on getting a job.  Can get, hope to get, can't get.  A job.

A lawyer not being able to find a job has nothing to do with their online law J.D degree. There are lots of lawyers that attended brick and mortar ABA approved J.D programs that find can't work as lawyers either. If they can't a find work it's because they are not good writers or good public speakers. Most law firms will require a sample of the applicant's writing in addition to a face to face interview.

The new lawyers are failing the writing sample part of the interviews. Has nothing to do with where they attended law school.

I see ads in the online employment section all the time for associate attorneys. The employer does not care where you attended law school, he only cares whether you passed the state bar exam in that state. He would rather hire a licensed attorney that passed a state bar, and pay him/her the same money he would pay an unlicensed paralegal.

I think something is wrong with lawyers that say they can't find a job. If they can't find a job, then why not open up their own office and make their own job? As stated, their writing sample given to the employer is subpar and that is why they cant find a job.

The public defender office in every state are always hiring. However, they demand a writing sample. 
 


Not so sure that PDs without experience and an online degree will be hired.  PD is an in demand job if it has benefits.

jonlevy

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Re: Northwestern California University, School of Law.
« Reply #34 on: July 15, 2012, 08:12:11 PM »
Things have changed since then.  Did they have the Blackboard when you were going, calgal?  Their videos are nothing to rave about.  I didn't bother with them.  Same with the CDs. But their online chats & video chats are terrific.  Jeff Fleming now works for NWCU too & he comes to some of the video chats.  Lots of fun :)  There is both a text and video chat for each level. When BabyBar is coming up they put on special chats for the takers to participate in.


Who is Jeff Fleming? I was also thinking of attending this school, but only because of the cheap price, and no other reason. I do think an online law school should have either video or .mp3 voice lectures so we can listen to the teacher explain what we just read. If this school does not have them, then I won't be attending.

Fleming is or was the system that successful online students use to study for the bar sice at least the late 1980s.

mechtild

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Re: Northwestern California University, School of Law.
« Reply #35 on: July 15, 2012, 09:30:29 PM »
What was the name of that old song, "A Whole Lotta Ruckus Going On"?  No wait.  A whole lotta shaking going on.  Same difference.  Perhaps a tidy list of the benefits & detriments of each means of attaining a law degree might be more productive?  At least the ABA prone folks are not claiming as they did when I started that online taught lawyers weren't lawyers at all.  (Not to give you guys any ideas or anything...) 

One can appreciate that perhaps those giving out grave warnings to those investigating the pursuit of an online degree have it in their heart to give adequate warning to the unwary.  One can hardly blame them for that.  Indeed, laudable.  On the other hand taking it to the extremes where what is being said is beyond known & verifiable facts is something else again. 

Further...Should I get an online degree?  Are there online schools from which I can learn the law? and Of the online schools, which is the best overall, all things considered?...are separate considerations in themselves.  Which is what was the topic at least in the beginning of this thread if I remember correctly. 

It does seem the ABA proponents are quite happy with their choice in life.  That is nice.  For it far exceeds the happiness factor of their brethren.  ABAers all.  Well not all. But mostly all.  Se la vie.

Life is choice.  Choose wisely.  That's all.




Nor-Cal

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Re: Northwestern California University, School of Law.
« Reply #36 on: July 16, 2012, 03:05:47 AM »
Just one thought regarding a students resolve in attending an online law school; I think most people who have never attended college online have some apprehension about it, and rightfully so. However, more and more people are attending school online and for me personally, I obtained one undergraduate degree at a local state university, and another undergraduate degree completely online. I found that while both offered different challenges, neither one was easy. But with that being said, now that I have gone the online route, I found that I prefer to attend school online rather than the traditional route.

In terms of law school it's a toss up. I can see the value to attending classroom instruction and networking through other students. Not to mention all the educational opportunities associated with participating in mock trails and such. However, several students like myself have a ton of life experience so we might not reap such a benefit compared to younger students. I have over seven years as a Police Officer, so I'm familiar with the legal system to a limited extent, and I have participated in several trials so I have a general knowledge above a laid men regarding how these things place out in the real world. But that is my experience in the criminal law side of the house, and I recognize that is only one piece of the puzzle.

So attending law school via correspondence is a good fit for me, as I don not reside near an ABA school and I have experience attending school online. Where I find myself torn is whether I should go to the B&M Cal Bar school two miles away from my house for about $50,000; or should I attend a law school via correspondence for approximately $12,000 out the door? That is a decision I have to consider very carefully, which is why I joined this forum. Folks like Roald can offer valuable insight based on their experience, which is appreciated compared to the young student who thinks they have the world figured out already at the age of 21, lol.
A.A., B.S., and soon to be 1L.
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mechtild

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Re: Northwestern California University, School of Law.
« Reply #37 on: July 16, 2012, 07:08:37 AM »
One of Jeff's youtube videos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1rJAKGy0mc&feature=relmfu

One of my clients at my business who graduated from Thomas Jefferson back in 1985 or so, owns her own law firm in downtown San Diego, took his home study course and passed first time.

The oldest person to pass the bar was 77.  Before taking Fleming's course he had failed the Bar 21 times.  Took Jeff's course 3 times and on his 24th try passed.  That is also the record for the most times someone took the Bar and subsequently passed.

FalconJimmy

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Re: Northwestern California University, School of Law.
« Reply #38 on: July 16, 2012, 10:11:21 AM »
So attending law school via correspondence is a good fit for me, as I don not reside near an ABA school and I have experience attending school online. Where I find myself torn is whether I should go to the B&M Cal Bar school two miles away from my house for about $50,000; or should I attend a law school via correspondence for approximately $12,000 out the door?

So, the cal-bar school near your house, is that correspondence?

If I lived in California, honestly, I'd look at the distance learning / calbar schools.  But it depends a lot on your goals.  I am not ever going to be top
10% of my law school class and I intend to hang out a shingle when I'm done. 

Maintain FL 350

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Re: Northwestern California University, School of Law.
« Reply #39 on: July 16, 2012, 12:37:31 PM »
So attending law school via correspondence is a good fit for me, as I don not reside near an ABA school and I have experience attending school online. Where I find myself torn is whether I should go to the B&M Cal Bar school two miles away from my house for about $50,000; or should I attend a law school via correspondence for approximately $12,000 out the door? ,

So, the cal-bar school near your house, is that correspondence?

If I lived in California, honestly, I'd look at the distance learning / calbar schools.  But it depends a lot on your goals.  I am not ever going to be top
10% of my law school class and I intend to hang out a shingle when I'm done. 

That's a tough choice, and there are pros and cons to each. The question is whether the benefits of one choice outweigh the detriments of the other. As Legend would be quick to point out, this is a highly personal decision. However, I do believe that there are general broad considerations that apply to just about everybody. A cost/benefit analysis is among those generally applicable considerations. You'll save 40k by going online, that's clear enough.

That 40k you'll save in the short term, though, is really only "saved" if you pass the bar and get a job. If you don't pass the FYLSE (not required for CBE schools!), or don't pass the bar, you'll be spending time and money preparing for those exams instead of earning income as a lawyer. Statistically, you'd have a much better shot at passing the bar from a CBE school than from an online school. And remember, the bar is only offered twice a year and have to wait five months to get your score. If you have to take the baby bar a couple of times, then the big bar a couple of times, think about how much time you'll lose.

I know that there's a lot of talk here about school reputations (maybe "obsession" is a better word), but it has to be addressed. A degree from a CBE school and a degree from an online/unaccredited school will not be viewed the same by the overwhelming majority of employers, both public and private. Plenty of places that will gladly hire from a CBE school (think DA, PD, small firms) will not hire an unaccredited grad, period. I'm not saying it's right or wrong, it's just the way it is.

If you plan on immediately hanging out your own shingle, or already have a job lined up, that may not matter anyway. It seems that alot of online grads plan to go this route. Spend a little time researching this option before committing to it, though. Most people who have not had experience in a law office have no clue how difficult it is to start your own firm straight out of law school with no experience. At least initially, most solo practitioners have to rely on referrals. Honestly, lots of lawyers would be skeptical about referring business to an online grad.

It can be done, and I'm sure you can find testimonials from people who have done it. I'd be willing to bet that most of the success stories involve people who had small business/entrepeneurial experience before attending online law school. In the end, my point is this: unless you have a very clear plan and understand the ramifications of attending an unaccredited school, you may not save that 40k after all. The decision is yours alone, and I might be totally wrong about everything I've said. These are just a few things that I want to consider if I were in your position.