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Author Topic: California Southern University School of Law  (Read 2496 times)

chipper

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California Southern University School of Law
« on: September 05, 2012, 07:01:03 PM »
Has anyone attended California Southern University School of Law?
I was on the website and viewing the Master of Science Degree in Law and the JD program. Would it be wise to earn a MSL degree, and does it have any application in today's economy? I reside in a ABA state, but it also has reciprocity with Wisconsin and West Virginia.
Would it still be wise to earn the JD?

Thank you for your assistance and good luck to all.

cooley3L

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Re: California Southern University School of Law
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2012, 07:05:25 PM »
If you are not in CA, then it won't do you any good unless you plan to move their to practice after you graduate. (and can travel there to take the first year bar exam too).

If you want a Masters Degree in law online, at least go to a Regionally Accredited one. Employers tend to want to see that. Do you know which career you would want to use it for? Most careers that require law degrees want a JD.

jonlevy

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Re: California Southern University School of Law
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2012, 08:02:41 PM »
They are legit but they have an abysmal bar pass rate:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Southern_University

If you don't plan to move to California in the future, forget it.

If you want an online MSLS - get one from one of many regionally accredited schools like - Kaplan University.  Regional accreditation means it is a "real" degree just like Cal State etc., anything less than regional accreditation means you may have wasted your time and money on a piece of paper.  It is unclear to me if Cal Southern is regionally accredited or not.

A MSLS is essentially a fancy paralegal degree.  I am not sure why anyone would need a masters degree to be a paralegal but people do go for it.  Absent work experience, an online MSLS would be hard sell in today's economy to an employer.

Maintain FL 350

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Re: California Southern University School of Law
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2012, 09:30:42 PM »
I always get this place mixed up with California Southern Law School in Riverside, CA.

This law school appears to be an unaccredited program registered with the California bar. That means that a graduate can qualify to take the CA bar exam. There are a few things to keep in mind when considering such a school, however.

This law school is not programmatically accredited by either the ABA or the CA state bar, they are only registered with the CA state bar. There is a big difference between being accredited and being registered. A graduate of a registered law school (like this one) will have to take the First Year Law Student's Exam (the "Baby Bar") after the first year. You can't move on until you pass the FYLSE, and the pass rates are very low. You'll have to travel to CA to take the exam (and return if you need to re-take). Go to the Calbar website and check out the school's FYLSE pass rates.

After passing the FYLSE, getting a positive moral character determination, and passing the CA bar, you will be able to practice law in CA. There is an excellent chance, however, that you will not be able to gai admission to your home state's bar. Most states simply don't allow non-ABA grads to sit for the bar, period. You'll find a lot of unsubstantiated claims on the internet about alternative methods of bar admission, but most states will not allow you in.

California has what is generally acknowledged as the hardest bar exam in the country, and you will have to pass it before you can even attempt to gain admission in another state. Take a look at the bar pass rates for this school on the Calbar website, it's very low. Think long and hard about this stuff before writing a check to this or any other unaccredited law school, especially if you want to practice outside of CA. 

calgal27

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Re: California Southern University School of Law
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2012, 10:14:16 PM »
I got a Master's Degree in Law & Public Policy from California University of Pennsylvania.  The college is in PA and they also have online classes.  I got this degree online.  They are regionally accredited.  Just a regular university offering an online program.  Fabulous teachers and a fabulous program.  Do not waste time with California Southern University School of Law for a Master's Degree.  A lot of big name colleges offer Master's online.  Research them.

As far as a law degree, it really doesn't matter which online school you go to.  In the end, the degree is the same and only allows you to sit for the bar in California.  Regardless of the pass rate for the bar or for the First Year Exam, you make what you want out of it.  I like to use the analogy of a kid in a bad school district.  You can have a kid in a under performing school, but if the kid wants to learn, he will.  If you want to go to an online law school, that is fine.  You can make what you want of it.

Northwestern California School of Law is cheap.  Concord is expensive.  The pass rate for the first year exam is not bad with either school yet one is $2800 a year and the other $10,000.  Like I said, in the end, it is an online law degree. 

jack24

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Re: California Southern University School of Law
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2012, 10:48:38 AM »
Please list any valid reasons for attending an online/distance law school.
Thanks.

Maintain FL 350

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Re: California Southern University School of Law
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2012, 11:53:13 AM »
Please list any valid reasons for attending an online/distance law school.
Thanks.

I can't speak from experience, but geographic isolation seems like the most valid reason. If there is no way you can physically get to a brick and mortar school,  I guess online is the only option. However, since you'll have to probably move to CA anyway in order to practice, geography will continue to work against you even after law school.

The main problem I see is that many online students have a "lottery mentality" about their chances. Even though they can do the research and see that only a small percentage of students pass the FYLSE, and an even smaller number pass the bar, they're willing to spend tons of time and money on that slight chance. Statistically, the vast majority will have nothing to show for it.

I have no doubt that there are very smart, hardworking, disciplined online students (we have several on this board) who will pass the bar and become lawyers. My criticisms are not directed at them. I actually have more respect for an online student who passes the CA bar than an ABA student who gets admitted to WI without even having to take the bar! For most people, though, online is probably a waste of time and resources.

jonlevy

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Re: California Southern University School of Law
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2012, 01:24:36 PM »
I am a Taft grad and have been an attorney for 20 years.  The only reason these days to go with online is geographic or a disability that prevents one from attending classes.  I lived about 5 hours from the nearest law school and had a good job otherwise I would have attended night law school instead in San Francsco.  There is no time savings being online, what you save in commute and classes, you will lose in the extra year and all the additional studying required.

Roald's got it right: Lottery mentality, 5-1 odds against you is a bad bet out of the gate and the real odds are more like 20-1 since I suspect many students drop even before the First year Bar Exam.

Bar Pass rate is everything, if an online school does not have a proven track record of at least getting a few lawyers admitted every year forget them - not all these schools are created equal - Taft, Concord and some others have a half way decent record but the odds are still stacked against you.

Maintain FL 350

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Re: California Southern University School of Law
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2012, 02:02:17 PM »
As far as a law degree, it really doesn't matter which online school you go to.  In the end, the degree is the same and only allows you to sit for the bar in California.  Regardless of the pass rate for the bar or for the First Year Exam, you make what you want out of it. 

I'd have to disagree with you on that point. As Jon said, these places are not all created the equally. Taft's first time CA bar pass rate for Feb 2012 was 75% (4/5), and for Feb 2011 was 5/7. Oak Brook is routinely in the 50-60% range, and Concord is usually about 25-35%.

Although the number of exam takers from these schools is relatively small, the results are repetitive. Compare that to other schools that routinely have a 0-5% pass rate, and I think it's clear that some places are offering a much better product than others.

cooley3L

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Re: California Southern University School of Law
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2012, 02:09:19 PM »
As far as a law degree, it really doesn't matter which online school you go to.  In the end, the degree is the same and only allows you to sit for the bar in California.  Regardless of the pass rate for the bar or for the First Year Exam, you make what you want out of it. 

I'd have to disagree with you on that point. As Jon said, these places are not all created the equally. Taft's first time CA bar pass rate for Feb 2012 was 75% (4/5), and for Feb 2011 was 5/7. Oak Brook is routinely in the 50-60% range, and Concord is usually about 25-35%.

Although the number of exam takers from these schools is relatively small, the results are repetitive. Compare that to other schools that routinely have a 0-5% pass rate, and I think it's clear that some places are offering a much better product than others.
I think her argument was once you pass and get licensed, you are licensed all the same.
True about the odds being not as good, and the license being far more geographically limited though.