Law School Discussion

Appalachian School of Law-PASO Program

Re: Appalachian School of Law-PASO Program
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2014, 03:26:14 PM »
It depends on what you want to do and where you want to live.

For the majority of law students, ABA is definitely the way to go. If you ever plan on leaving CA, get an ABA degree. But I disagree that any ABA degree is always better than any non-ABA degree. If we're talking about non-accredited/online schools, then yes, I'd agree. But the California (CBE) accredited schools are a little different.

They've been around for a long time and a significant portion of the CA bar is comprised of CBE grads. It's not just one guy here and there. They are exempt from the FYLSX, too. The DA/PD/City Attorney and small firms in CA are pretty well stocked with CBE educated lawyers. For example, in Orange County something like 25% of the DAs and judges are Western State grads (before it became ABA approved).

As a result, the stigma that might normally attach to a non-ABA is somewhat reduced in CA. In my experience, CBE and low ranked ABA schools are viewed as roughly equivalent. A firm that is willing to hire a Whittier grad is probably willing to look at a CBE grad, too. A firm that actually cares about pedigree, however, likely won't hire from either.

For a non-traditional student who wants to hang out their own shingle and practice DUI defense in the suburbs, it might make more sense to spend $50k on a CBE degree than $150k on an ABA degree.

statistics don't lie

That's true. The bar pass rates for CBE schools are usually a lot lower than in-state ABA schools. However, they are comparable to many out of state ABA schools. Have you ever looked at the bar pass rates for out of state schools in CA? A lot of schools with 80% rates in their home state have a 30% rate in CA. In that case, an ABA school is not necessarily a better choice.

Again, depending on the person's goals a CBE could make complete sense. 

Re: Appalachian School of Law-PASO Program
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2014, 06:10:52 PM »
Agreed and there are plenty of more powerful and successful people that attended non-ABA schools than myself.

Mayor of L.A (Peoples College of Law)

Head San Francisco District Attorney (Western State)

Head Fresno District Attorney ( San Joaquin College of Law)

I graduated from an ABA school and I will likely never hold any of those positions nor will any of my ABA classmates.

Does that mean if you attend a CBA school your destined for success absolutely not and clearly attending a CBA school will make success more difficult, but not impossible. It is also easier to succeed from Harvard than the majority of ABA schools, but most people do not attend Harvard or bust.

If you go into a CBA school with realistic expectations it can work out, but you better not expect a damn thing to be handed to you and that is the really case for any law school or any profession. The school you attend impacts your career, but you can succeed or fail no matter what institution you attend.

barprephero

Re: Appalachian School of Law-PASO Program
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2014, 06:45:26 PM »
Agreed and there are plenty of more powerful and successful people that attended non-ABA schools than myself.

Mayor of L.A (Peoples College of Law)

Head San Francisco District Attorney (Western State)

Head Fresno District Attorney ( San Joaquin College of Law)

I graduated from an ABA school and I will likely never hold any of those positions nor will any of my ABA classmates.

Does that mean if you attend a CBA school your destined for success absolutely not and clearly attending a CBA school will make success more difficult, but not impossible. It is also easier to succeed from Harvard than the majority of ABA schools, but most people do not attend Harvard or bust.

If you go into a CBA school with realistic expectations it can work out, but you better not expect a damn thing to be handed to you and that is the really case for any law school or any profession. The school you attend impacts your career, but you can succeed or fail no matter what institution you attend.
I'll rephrase my point on statistics.
IF (and only if) you could have gotten into Harvard but chose to attend CBE then and only then will you have a true shot at even graduating let alone passing the bar and being part of the elite club you mentioned.

The list of ABA people who have done far more than those people would require more space than this forum can provide.

Re: Appalachian School of Law-PASO Program
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2014, 03:14:46 PM »
The list of ABA grads that have not achieved that much success is even longer.

My point is simply that people can and do succeed from any school. Additionally people can and do fail from any school.  Finally, plenty of people can do achieve below average, average, or above average results from any school.

Does an ABA school open more doors than a CBA school? Yes.

Do Harvard, Yale and Stanford  open more doors than a mid level ABA school? Yes.

Does a mid level ABA school open more doors than a low level ABA school? Yes

Do any of these schools guarantee you will graduate? No

Do any of these schools guarantee you will pass the bar? No

Do any of these schools guarantee you a job? No.

Do any of these schools guarantee you will not be disbarred? No

Conclusion
You can succeed or fail from any school whether it be Harvard or a CBA school.

I would bet substantial sums of money that any Harvard grad would have more professional success than a , CBA, but the Mayor of LA is more successful than many Harvard grads do in that instance I would have lost.

barprephero

Re: Appalachian School of Law-PASO Program
« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2014, 04:43:11 PM »
The list of ABA grads that have not achieved that much success is even longer.

I would bet substantial sums of money that any Harvard grad would have more professional success than a , CBA, but the Mayor of LA is more successful than many Harvard grads do in that instance I would have lost.

1. Not percent wise they don't. My point is that listing "that one guy" isn't a good example due to it being swallowed up when viewed by comparison.

2. Not even close to being true. First, being Mayor is 'nice' but not the same as being Governor or President which do tend to be IVY grads.
The position doesn't even require a JD, so its really not a great example either.  Many mayors often didn't even finish undergrad. Bill Gates never went to law school but if he did go to a CBE school I bet you'd be trying to use him as an example the way that dropouts try to use him as an example on why you should drop out.

If you really want to talk "success" you need to look to jobs that actually require the degree and can compare to others with it. Attorney General is an example  if you want to stick to civil service, large law firms are another good example.

Re: Appalachian School of Law-PASO Program
« Reply #15 on: May 21, 2014, 09:52:33 AM »
The question isn't whether someone with a CBE degree can become President, Supreme Court Justice, or big firm partner. That's not what these schools are for.

The question is whether they have a realistic shot at passing the bar and practicing law. Are the bar pass rates lower than ABA rates? Yes, they are. Sometimes by a lot, sometimes by a little. I think this has more to do with the nature of the student body (working adults) than with some deficiency in the program.

Again, we're not talking about one or two individuals. Small firms, solo offices, and government offices in CA have lots of CBE grads. They only make up about 5% of all people taking the CA bar exam, but they are concentrated in those fields. In my area, probably 25% of the government attorneys are CBE grads.

I think you also have to distinguish between CA accredited schools and non-accredited schools. The non-accredited schools tend to have much lower pass rates, and much smaller classes.   

Re: Appalachian School of Law-PASO Program
« Reply #16 on: May 21, 2014, 10:20:44 AM »
I appreciate everyone's feedback and advice. This really helps. I agree with you that going down the Non ABA schools route is a big risk. Thank you for taking the time to help. I will look into different schools before making a decision.

barprephero

Re: Appalachian School of Law-PASO Program
« Reply #17 on: May 21, 2014, 12:42:39 PM »
If you do non ABA at least get one "accredited" by the bar to avoid that first year bar exam (avoid it like the plague)
If (for some extreme reason) you have to go online, wait until you have the full BA and go to Concord (they are at least Regionally Accredited and can get federal student aid and loans, albeit still have to sit the first year bar exam)

Also, another little know fact is that if you take your first year at an accredited one and then transfer online you still are exempt from the first year bar exam.
This is based on the part time 4 year program too (even if nights or weekends) I'd start with it (preferably ABA but at minimum on campus accredited) and then if you can handle it-stay. If you can't due to whatever reason, then hold out until that point and then go online. At least do yourself that much of a favor.

Re: Appalachian School of Law-PASO Program
« Reply #18 on: May 21, 2014, 06:11:39 PM »
I don't know if the first year bar exam should be avoided like the plague in reality I think all law students should have to take it. If you cannot handle the baby bar the real thing will be impossible and better to know early on that your not ready for the bar exam than waiting until you are 3 years and $100,000 in, but just my two cents.

As to the OP there is no right answer to any of it Appalachian PASO program might be a great fit, a CBA school might work, perhaps provisionally accredited ABA schools like La Verne or Western State might be better fits.

At the end of the day success can be achieved from any school, but CBA schools do have their limitations.

Good luck whatever you decide.

barprephero

Re: Appalachian School of Law-PASO Program
« Reply #19 on: May 21, 2014, 07:51:32 PM »
I don't know if the first year bar exam should be avoided like the plague in reality I think all law students should have to take it. If you cannot handle the baby bar the real thing will be impossible and better to know early on that your not ready for the bar exam than waiting until you are 3 years and $100,000 in, but just my two cents.

As to the OP there is no right answer to any of it Appalachian PASO program might be a great fit, a CBA school might work, perhaps provisionally accredited ABA schools like La Verne or Western State might be better fits.

At the end of the day success can be achieved from any school, but CBA schools do have their limitations.

Good luck whatever you decide.
There is the philosophy end of the stick, and then the pocky end of it. I do my best to avoid that end.
If someday they want to make it a nation wide standard, whatever. But until then, why take a kick to the groin that you can avoid it?