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Author Topic: NWCU by the numbers  (Read 1959 times)

law_dog

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NWCU by the numbers
« on: March 23, 2013, 03:36:20 PM »
At present there are in the neighborhood of 600 students enrolled at NWCU school of law.  About 300 are 1L.

In 2011, 152 took the FYLSE for the first time. 31 passed. 72 took the FYLSE for the second time. 27 passed. 224 students took the FYLSE in 2011. 58 students passed the FYLSE in 2011.

If you're willing to accept an inference or two, then I'll take a stab at drawing a few conclusions. If yours are different than mine, I'd love to hear them. I'm not a rocket scientist.

First assumption: Since there are about 300 1L's today, there were 300 1L's between 2010 and 2011, give or take.

First question: if two-thirds of the 1L's took the baby bar for the first or second time in 2011, what happened to the other third, more or less?

First conclusion: The 1L attrition rate is between 35% and 50%. This isn't really surprising. 

Second question: if only 58 of 224 FYLSE takers passed ( 25%), what became of the 166 who failed?

Second conclusion: Given the number of second time takers is half that of first timers, half of those who fail the first time give up and leave, becoming the remainder of  1L attrition. The rest become repeat takers. 83 first time fails + 75 that dropped before taking the FYLSE= 150+/-, divided into 300 equals 50%.

Second assumption: The population of 2, 3 and 4L's is also about 300, give or take.

In 2012, 26 graduates took the bar for the first time. 5 passed. 55 retook the bar. 10 passed. 81 graduates took the bar in 2012. 15 became lawyers.

Second conclusion: The attrition rate after 1L is much lower. Neither is this terribly surprising.

Third conclusion: Given that the 15 graduates who became lawyers in 2012 were once among a 1L class of 300, the odds of a new 1L becoming a lawyer are 15 in 300, or 5%. I'll bet these 15 lawyers could have succeeded at any ABA law school, but that's just speculation.

Back to the 1L's. If you accept the facts as I have proposed them, every year about 150 1L's hand over $3000 to NWSCU and leave empty handed. That adds up to $450,000 a year.  If every one of the remaining 300 1L's goes on to graduate, they will have paid a total of another $2,700,000 over another 3 years, but only 15 become lawyers. The remaining 285 leave with a JD from an unaccredited correspondence school.

But let's focus on the positive. First, 15 new lawyers each paid just $12,000 for law school. And if they find jobs, it'll be worth every penny. Could you say that our winners are subsidized on the backs of a great many losers? OK. But hey, NWCU school of law, winner, winner, chicken dinner! Jackpot. $1,800,000 a year in revenues. You don't think this business model has great margins? Think again. I know. I'm a 1L.

At NWCU school of law, 1L's had better be prepared to fail alone, and on their own. 1L's interact with 1P. One instructor for 300 1L's, that is. He got his law degree from, wait for itNWCU school of law. There are actually a total of 11 members of the faculty. I have no idea what the other 10 do.

Did I make a mistake choosing NWCU? Maybe. On the other hand I don't intend to become a lawyer, so I'm sure to succeed here!

DeltaBravoKS

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Re: NWCU by the numbers
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2013, 07:34:32 PM »
Thanks for the interesting observations.  Not everyone believes education is a business, but when it boils down to it, almost everything is run to some degree by bean counters.

Please keep us posted on your progress.

jonlevy

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Re: NWCU by the numbers
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2013, 10:21:23 PM »
Where did you get the statistic 600 student at NWCU Law?

That seems extremely high.  Are you sure you read those stats right?


law_dog

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Re: NWCU by the numbers
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2013, 01:10:30 PM »
You're asking me if I can read?

jonlevy

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Re: NWCU by the numbers
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2013, 10:45:53 PM »
June 2012 FYLSE has 31 NWCU First timers taking it and 69 total
http://admissions.calbar.ca.gov/Portals/4/documents/Statistics/Junefylsxstats2012_R.pdf

October 2011 - 31 First Timers from NWCU and 74 total
http://admissions.calbar.ca.gov/Portals/4/documents/fyx/FylsxStatsOct2011.pdf

June 2011 41 FT and 78 total
http://admissions.calbar.ca.gov/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=I4HxJJNgGJE%3d&tabid=2269&mid=3159

Given that many of these students were stalled and only a third passed - the ongoing enrollment at NWCU is likely less than 200.

The ones that can't get by the FYLSE exam don't count.  The First Timer total would seem to reflect an annual enrollment of of under 100 new students a year even counting the wash outs that don't make it to the FYLSE.

No way the NWCU is collecting tuition at an annual rate of 600 students.

Bottom line, may will try but few succeed because most are unqualified to pass a simple exam.

calvinexpress

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Re: NWCU by the numbers
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2013, 04:29:04 PM »
You're asking me if I can read?

No, he asked you where you got your statistics from. He didn't ask you if you can read.
It looks like your NWCU law school is not training you very well. A good law school would train their law students to never quote statistics without a citation. You never provided a citation because you either made it up, or you foolishly repeated what somebody else told you without verifying the information.

Duncanjp

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Re: NWCU by the numbers
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2013, 02:02:20 PM »
I don't have time to confirm the statistics that anonymous internet posters assert in threads such as this, even when properly cited. But assuming the numbers are correct, the obvious conclusion is that nobody who is serious about becoming an attorney enrolls in such an institution. A law degree, even from an ABA school, doesn't really have that much value if you don't pass the bar. It's like having a plumber's license when you work in insurance. And prospective employers in non-legal fields may see you as potential trouble for their HR departments. To be a good fit for an unaccredited, online approach to law school, you really have to want to know the law strictly for the sake of knowing a little about the law, with no expectation of its having any practical application. Example: a minimum security inmate with regular online access might be a good candidate, if the school would admit him. (And why not? He's got nothing but time and it's not like they're serious about producing attorneys.) Another might be a retired senior with loads of free time and curiosity, whose doctor has instructed him to start exercising his mind before he loses it. But that's a gamble, seniors who read this. The cure may become the cause.

jonlevy

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Re: NWCU by the numbers
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2013, 08:47:03 PM »
Example: a minimum security inmate with regular online access might be a good candidate, if the school would admit him. (And why not? He's got nothing but time and it's not like they're serious about producing attorneys.) Another might be a retired senior with loads of free time and curiosity, whose doctor has instructed him to start exercising his mind before he loses it. But that's a gamble, seniors who read this. The cure may become the cause.

The majority of online students for various reasons cannot attend a regular law school, by default many of them will be unqualified to pass the bar becuase they lacks skills, time, money, or stability.  The odds of getting all the way through and passing are somewhere around 20-1 against given a high attrition rate for various reasons usually failure of the FYLSE or lack of time.  However, law is well suited to online study, it's just that about 95% of the students going the online route are unsuitable.  If the ABA would accredit online study, we would see the attrition go to something like even (50-50) odds of passing the bar.  There is nothing unique about study of law that makes it unsuitable for online study, English and South African law schools have been offering law degrees for years which qualify the graduates for a training contract.

Duncanjp

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Re: NWCU by the numbers
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2013, 11:32:04 PM »
I agree with you that the mere activity of learning the law is well-suited to online study, Jon. But becoming a successful attorney involves more than just rote memorization of esoteric rules and learning to perform legal analysis. What do online programs substitute for the face-to-face relationships you form in brick and mortar law schools? I don't believe that the importance of forging relationships and making friends with your classmates can be overstated. (It would take some effort.) Seeing the same people in classes month after month and year after year cements those relationships. I usually prepare for my exams by sitting alone in my den with the door shut, laboring over practice exams and outlines. But the rest of the time, it seems like a mistake to brush off the all-important element of networking if your goal is to succeed in the legal field.

jonlevy

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Re: NWCU by the numbers
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2013, 08:59:05 AM »
One can do all the networking necessary after passing the bar and hanging out at the county court house and attending specialization seminars, after all an online grad is likely going to be working as a solo practitioner or they are operating under some delusion they are a desirable job candidate.