Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: Monterey College of Law  (Read 5982 times)

I.M.D.Law

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 300
    • View Profile
Re: Monterey College of Law
« Reply #30 on: July 09, 2014, 05:03:34 PM »
I actually think attrition is a good thing and despite rumors no school anywhere would impose a mandatory kick out rate. I have heard rumors about a number of schools that are required to  kick out 25% of the first class, but that makes no sense why would a school want to kick out paying students? The answer is they don't, but they do have some ethical obligation to dismiss a student they know has no chance of passing the bar.

I think part of the problem today is everyone is to nice and nobody wants to dismiss an poor performing student. These poor performers in law school unsurprisingly often do not pass the bar or squeak by the bar, but are just not employable as attorneys. I am sure anyone of us that attended law school can think of a few classmates that you would not trust to feed your cat your let alone represent you in an important legal matter.

Here is an interesting article posted by Maintain FL on the subject http://www.thefacultylounge.org/2013/02/what-has-happened-to-law-school-attrition.html.
Doesn't change my point

Groundhog

  • Global Moderator
  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 4013
    • View Profile
Re: Monterey College of Law
« Reply #31 on: July 09, 2014, 06:56:43 PM »
I actually think attrition is a good thing and despite rumors no school anywhere would impose a mandatory kick out rate. I have heard rumors about a number of schools that are required to  kick out 25% of the first class, but that makes no sense why would a school want to kick out paying students? The answer is they don't, but they do have some ethical obligation to dismiss a student they know has no chance of passing the bar.

There are documented cases of schools with GPA curves and academic probation policies that are certain to fail out students each year. A student has expended significant time and money to attend the first year of law school, without mentioning opportunity costs. Those programs should only accept students that have a chance at passing the bar, but they accept more and have mandatory attrition to increase income.

It's a dodge to blame academic attrition on a supposed ethical obligation to discontinue the studies of those who have no chance at passing the bar when the law school should have known before admitting the student that the student had no chance at passing the bar.

I.M.D.Law

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 300
    • View Profile
Re: Monterey College of Law
« Reply #32 on: July 09, 2014, 07:36:02 PM »
I actually think attrition is a good thing and despite rumors no school anywhere would impose a mandatory kick out rate. I have heard rumors about a number of schools that are required to  kick out 25% of the first class, but that makes no sense why would a school want to kick out paying students? The answer is they don't, but they do have some ethical obligation to dismiss a student they know has no chance of passing the bar.

There are documented cases of schools with GPA curves and academic probation policies that are certain to fail out students each year. A student has expended significant time and money to attend the first year of law school, without mentioning opportunity costs. Those programs should only accept students that have a chance at passing the bar, but they accept more and have mandatory attrition to increase income.

It's a dodge to blame academic attrition on a supposed ethical obligation to discontinue the studies of those who have no chance at passing the bar when the law school should have known before admitting the student that the student had no chance at passing the bar.
wouldn't that require shutting down pretty much every online law school?

Citylaw

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 297
    • View Profile
Re: Monterey College of Law
« Reply #33 on: July 09, 2014, 07:57:28 PM »
Groundhoug what schools have a minimum fail out rate?

I know there are plenty that are rumored to such as Golden Gate; Cooley; Florida Coastal; etc, but I actually read their student handbooks and there is nothing that requires anyone to fail out in their curve and again I cannot see why any school would want to fail out students they believe are capable of passing the bar.

Law schools are a business and if a qualified student is paying tuition what benefit is there to dismissing them?

Groundhog

  • Global Moderator
  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 4013
    • View Profile
Re: Monterey College of Law
« Reply #34 on: July 09, 2014, 08:18:01 PM »
I never said anything about a minimum fail out rate. I said that they had GPA curves that inevitably lead to dismissals for academic reasons. When you curve at say, 2.0, and then anyone with a 1.5 or below is academically ineligible, it's going to happen.

I hate to use the cliché but Cooley has a >10% attrition rate for both 1L and 2L years according to official ABA data. There are probably plenty of non-ABA schools that are worse, but those statistics are harder to find.

The benefit to dismissing students is because it somewhat helps their bar passage rate and they often use the same low GPA curve high GPA standards to remove scholarships. It's also cheaper to teach 1Ls than to invest in smaller class sizes, journals and clinics that upperclassmen need.

Citylaw

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 297
    • View Profile
Re: Monterey College of Law
« Reply #35 on: July 09, 2014, 08:30:28 PM »
I must have misread.

The attrition is absolutely to boost bar passage rates and certainly schools make money off 1Ls as teaching Civ Pro; Torts; etc can be taught by any professor.

Many of these schools have high attrition rates and expect a number of students fail, but Cooley would be ecstatic if all their 1L's performed amazingly well on their first year exams and had 0% attrition.


Groundhog

  • Global Moderator
  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 4013
    • View Profile
Re: Monterey College of Law
« Reply #36 on: July 10, 2014, 04:31:44 PM »
Many of these schools have high attrition rates and expect a number of students fail, but Cooley would be ecstatic if all their 1L's performed amazingly well on their first year exams and had 0% attrition.

But that's not possible because of the forced curve. Although the details vary by law school, most curves discourage if not outright prevent everyone from receiving the same grade or close to it, which is the only way to avoid academic attrition on a low curve/high GPA grading system.

Maintain FL 350

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 679
    • View Profile
Re: Monterey College of Law
« Reply #37 on: July 11, 2014, 10:02:39 PM »
As long as the school is upfront and honest about the curve and attrition, I don't really have a problem with it. If the school is misleading or doesn't disclose its policies, that's completely different.

One way to look at T4 attrition, however, is that these schools are offering people who wouldn't otherwise have the chance to attend law school a shot at being a lawyer. Once the student matriculates, it's up to them to make the grades. I have no problem saying "You didn't get in anywhere else and we'll take a chance on you, but you've got to do your part."

The school is going to attrite the lowest performers in order to protect bar pass rates, and this should be clearly explained to the students at the start.

Attrition rates are easy to find, and prospective students should take the time to research this kind of stuff. 

I.M.D.Law

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 300
    • View Profile
Re: Monterey College of Law
« Reply #38 on: July 11, 2014, 10:52:16 PM »
I'm still interested in the issue that started this debate..........the attrition rate of the online law school in question

CA Law Dean

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 100
  • Yes . . . law school is intentionally challenging.
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Monterey College of Law
« Reply #39 on: July 16, 2014, 10:04:37 AM »
I can't speak to the online law schools, but MCL, who started this thread, and is a residential program, has had the following policies. There is no required curve. Students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 70.0 (CGPA) or better to remain academically eligible to remain in the JD program. Students on academic probation must bring their CGPA up to 70 or higher within one year. Students who fail to do so may elect to transfer to the Master of Legal Studies Program and receive their Masters upon completion of 36 units. Students on academic probation are assigned individual tutors and provided supplemental resources, academic counseling, and strict monitoring during their probationary term. Students on academic probation who scored lower than 65 in a bar-tested course are required to repeat the course (but no additional tuition is charged). The higher grade is counted towards the CGPA.

The result has been the following (on average). Out of 35 1Ls, 6 will fail to meet the 70 CGPA. 2 of these will be substantially below (65 or below) and will repeat first year with tutoring (no additional tuition charged), 2 will repeat one class with tutoring, resulting in a reduced 2L class load while they repat the 1L course, and 2 will opt to go the route of the MLS degree. We rarely have anyone completely quit at the end of 1L.

We do have other, non-academic attrition for work, finance, health, relocation, etc. over the four-year, part-time program. We anticipate that, on average, out of the original 35 1Ls - 25-27 will complete their JD, 3-5 will complete the Masters, and 5 will not complete either program.

For the 25-27 JD graduates, 3-5 will never take the bar exam (JD degree for other business reasons) and the remaining graduates will achieve an appx. 65% cumulative bar pass rate on the California Bar Exam. (With some recent classes achieving as high as 70%). Our statistics (that are openly shared with the students), indicate a direct correlation between law school graduating GPA and bar pass results. Although a 70 CGPA is required to graduate with the JD, our statistics indicate that a 73 or above is necessary to have a reasonable chance of passing the CA bar exam. Therefore, those graduating with GPAs below 73 have full knowledge that they have a very low prospect for ever passing the bar, but they have been counseled to this effect at the end of every Spring Semester and provided the opportunity to transfer to the MLS degree program. Obviously, with an average 30-35% fail rate on the bar exam, there remain students who choose to complete the degree program (for many reasons), even though they have been provided information about the relationship between their academic GPA and bar passage.

As a small "opportunity law school" the above model fits our community and is perceived as being very successful. It is difficult to compare our program to the typical ABA model, but we believe (for the past 43 years) that it has many positive aspects as a result.
Monterey College of Law
www.montereylaw.edu