Law School Discussion

Online LLB

Online LLB
« on: November 03, 2012, 10:45:35 PM »
Well here it is in black and white, yes you can qualify in California and elsewhere with an online LLB and LLM.

I find it all very distasteful - New York will accept a foreign online LLB/LLM student but refuses to permit qualified California lawyers with a California online degree to take the New York bar.

With all due respect to the University of London, English law is quite different from American law.

Secondly, how can new New York justify refusing to let California attorneys take their bar because they have an online degree yet let foreign online students and lawyers take the same bar?

Re: Online LLB
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2012, 11:56:46 PM »
I completely agree, it's absurd. If an individual can pass the California bar, isn't that a far better indication of their legal acumen than the fact that they hold a degree from an online foreign school? Pure snobbery, that's the issue. Bar associations tend to be archaic, fussy, and elitist. A British degree, even if it's from an online school, sounds better to the petit bourgeoisie than a non-ABA California school.

A few questions:

1) Does NY require that the applicant be a licensed solicitor first? California's rule on this particular aspect is still unclear to me.

2) Don't LL.B programs usually require some supervised training in order to earn the degree, a sort of practicum? If so, it would seem very difficult for an American to complete an LL.B online. Wouldn't they have to secure a training contract? Or is the training only required to qualify as a solicitor?

3) If an individual's only exposure to U.S. law is a one year long LL.M program, and maybe BARBRI, what are the chances of passing the CA or NY bars?

I ask these last two questions because I don't really understand why an American law student would choose to pursue an online LL.B rather than an online or correspondance J.D. (assuming they plan to practice in  the U.S.).  An American J.D. doesn't require the added expense of an LL.M to meet bar eligibility, and actually teaches American law (which you may encounter on say, an American bar exam).

I suppose if the individual holds dual citizenship, like my family does, and plans on eventually moving to the U.K., it might make sense. Otherwise, the chances of landing a job in the U.K. are pretty minimal.

Re: Online LLB
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2012, 09:31:57 AM »
I can answer some of that since I am dually licnesed in the US and England:

1.  One needs to complete a Training Contract with a LLB before one can be licensed as an English solcitor.

2.  Based on the UoL info,  it seems an online LLB plus a US LLM is sufficient to gain a bar ticket in a few states regardless of being licensed or not in a foreing country.

3.  February 2012 CalBar stats showed a 17% pass rate for applicants with foreign law degrees.

Now get this, with my California license and online bar degree, I had no problem getting an English solictor license via the QLTT (bar exam).

If you have 2 years experience as a California lawyer, check out the new QLTS process. No need to set foot in England just an exam in New York or elsewhere. The English practising license is very handy even if one never sets foot in England.  Permits one for example to practise before the EU General Court, European Court of Human Rights etc. and act as a commissioner for oaths.
You can also qualify as a solcitior or barrister in several of the British overseas territories - TCI, Grand Cayman, BVI, Falklands etc

Re: Online LLB
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2012, 12:41:13 PM »
3.  February 2012 CalBar stats showed a 17% pass rate for applicants with foreign law degrees

17% is roughly equivalent to many online/correspondance J.D. programs. However, I imagine that the majority (perhaps the vast majority) of foreign applicants attended traditional brick and mortar universities. Presumably this statistic includes Canadian law students who took American J.D. courses through various programs as well.

The pass rate for online foreign grads may in fact be significantly lower. Although foreign online grads are permitted to seek admission, how many (if any) have actually succeeded?

Again, I'm not trying to be argumentative or overly critical, but this seems like such a circuitous route to bar admission. The statistical probabilities are stacked against the applicant. 

Re: Online LLB
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2012, 07:10:52 PM »
The whole thing makes no sense unless one becomes a solicitor first.  But as we have noted that is not going to happen without a training contract which is usually not going to be extended to a non EU citizen. 

On the other hand I would say that the online LLB is way better use of time than a EJD.  Even w/out the solicitor license, one has options:

Re: Online LLB
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2012, 12:16:41 PM »
How would compare the QLTS to the bar exam, in terms of difficulty?

Re: Online LLB
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2012, 01:27:01 PM »
I took the predecessor test, the QLTT, it was a three day exam in New York. Pretty tough but it was open book and the study outlines provided were by the company giving the exam! The material tested was all new to me: legal accounting, ethics, property conveyancing, etc. 

Besides me there were never more than 4 other exam takers in the room, sometimes just  two others.

QLTS info is here:

Unfortunately, looks like you would have to go to the UK to take it.

Looks like they have erected more hurdles.

Re: Online LLB
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2012, 01:49:03 PM »
Sorry, I meant the solicitor's exam (the QLTT?). I take it the QLTS is for barristers?

My main question is, did you find it necessary to approach the QLTT as you would the bar exam, ie; several months of studying/practicing. Was it a question of primarily learning new vocabulary, or new substantive law?

Re: Online LLB
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2012, 04:20:49 PM »
QLTT was phased out in 2010 in favor of the QLTS. 

Becoming a barrister is possible but would involve a pupilage and going through the English Bar instead of the Law Society.

I approached the QLTT like a bar exam except that the law tested was similar but different from the US.  The open book aspect however made it possible to pass.

As I understand it, no more open book exams  (actually you could bring in any notes etc, books, whatever) with QLTS and no more test prep materials provided by the examiner.

Obviously it is still possible to become solicitor but not so easy anymore.