Deciding Where to Go > Choosing the Right Law School

Thomas Jefferson School of Law?

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What are people's thoughts on this school?  I am considering attending this coming fall and would like some helpful feedback from people who are actually familiar with San Diego and TJSL's reputation throughout the region. 


First off realize that anything you read on this board or other comes from anonymous internet posters who have no repercussions for being completely wrong, making things up, etc. There is no qualifications to post on this board, top law schools, or others for all you know I could be one of the greatest lawyers in the world or a bum in a public library. Bottom line taking any advice from anonymous internet posters myself included with a major grain of salt.

With that introduction I can tell you that I have never been to Thomas Jefferson Law, but I am a lawyer in California. I can tell you I have seen good and bad lawyers from every law school Thomas Jefferson included. Thomas Jefferson does have significant issues with bar passage, but having taken the California Bar I really think bar passage is far more up to the individual than the school, but TJLS numbers are significantly lower than other schools. I do not know what to make of that, but it should be of some concern as they had 33% and 52% bar passage rates in the last 2 years. Again whether you pass the bar is much more up to the individual than the school, but those are significantly lower numbers than other schools.

Now with that said there are some major Pros to TJSL. I noticed they recently reduced their tuition to 19,000 a year, which is about half the price of every other California Law School. Furthermore, TJSL is in San Diego where there are simply not many other law schools, which means less competition.

One other thing to realize about legal education is that it is all the same. Whether you attend Davis, Hastings, University of San Diego, Thomas Jefferson, California Western, etc your first year will consist of Torts, Property, Contracts, Civil Procedure. etc and you will read Supreme Court Cases. The United States Supreme Court does not spend time writing seperate opinions for different law schools and no matter what school you attend you will read Palsgraf in torts to learn proximate cause, Pennoyer v. Neff to in Civ Pro to learn about notice. So there really isn't much difference between law schools they teach you the same exact thing. You will take the bar exam and hopefully you will pass if you do you will have a law license and whether you succeed as a lawyer will be far more dependent on you than any law school name on your diploma.

Now is anyone going to be impressed by TJSL? No certainly it would be better to go to Stanford the road to succeeding as a lawyer would be easier, but plenty of people do succeed from TJSL while many others do not. It will be an uphill battle, but people have overcome a lot worse things than not going to Harvard for Law School. There were attorneys who got licensed during segregation and overcame numerous obstacles, people around the world are starving and fighting for survival every day. People that complain that they cannot get a job, because they didn't get into Stanford are the epitome of first world problems, but if you someone that expects things to be handed to you then do not attend TJSL or any law school for that matter. If your prepared to work your ass off, overcome obstacles, and get sh** done then I encourage you to go for it, but it will not be easy.

Good luck to you whatever you decide.

Thank you for your honest opinion.  I have a lot of things to consider in the coming month and don't have to fully decide until April 1st.  I am curious though;  where did you read about TJSL reducing their tuition costs to $19,000?  I was under the impression that they were charging right around 40K a year? 

Fortunately, I am willing to work my ass off in order to make things happen for my future.  Where in CA do you practice?  Thanks again!


I got it from LSAC , but definitely call the school directly as that is a difference of 20,000 over one year and 60,000 over three.  I am in the Bay Area, but once you pass the California Bar you are licensed in every city in California and it being such a massive state covering towns like San Diego, L.A, San Jose, San Francisco, Sacramento to name a few you will be licensed in all of them if you pass the California Bar.

No problem happy to give some advice I know there is a lot of negativity on these boards, but you have to ask yourself what kind of person spends hours on anonymous posting on the internet to complain how unfair everything is? That is not the type of person I want to hang out with and I am a big believer in accountability I choose to go to law school no gun to my head and there were flaws in the system just like everything else, but I am glad I went. There are many others who hated their experience and the reality is whether you fail or succeed will be much more dependent on you than anything TJSL or other schools do. 

Remember all a law school owes you is a ticket to take the bar exam and any accredited law school will give you that opportunity. Whether you pass the bar or fail will be pretty much dependent on you and whether you find a job again will be on you. These are difficult tasks and TJSL is not going to impress anybody, but plenty of people from every ABA school nationwide do succeed however it is not easy. 100% of people on the first day of law school think they will graduate in the top 10% and they are special and will find a job at graduation no problem. 90% of people don't finish in the top 10% of the class and plenty of people struggle to find jobs. It is hard I will not sugarcoat and it is not always fair, but if being a lawyer is what you want then I encourage you to go for it, but be prepared for a challenge.

TJSL gives you a 26.7% chance of ever working as a lawyer.  In fact, you have a significantly greater chance of being unemployed altogether (41.5%) than you do of finding work as a lawyer. 

It's objectively one of the worst schools in the country and an outright scam.


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