Law School Discussion

Law Students => Online Law Schools => Topic started by: Aries25 on August 21, 2012, 12:07:00 PM

Title: Concord Law JD --- Starting Sept 4, 2012
Post by: Aries25 on August 21, 2012, 12:07:00 PM
Hi All!

I just received my acceptance phone call, followed by an email informing me that I have been admitted into the JD program!

I am very excited to start September 4, 2012...

I will use this forum to blog about my experience with the school work as I have a lot of questions that I was unable to find answers to online so I hoping that I will possibly be able to learn and help others through my experience...

Background about me, I am 25 and I have a 10 year old son and run my own insurance agency so I do not have the time to attend a traditional ABA school... I did go to a traditional State school where I received my BS in Finance in 2008... I would like to focus on Business or Med-Mal Law...

I have read many of your experiences, and if any one has any positive advice, I'd love to hear about it...

Title: Re: Concord Law JD --- Starting Sept 4, 2012
Post by: haus on August 21, 2012, 12:44:10 PM
Good luck on your journey.
Title: Re: Concord Law JD --- Starting Sept 4, 2012
Post by: value321 on August 21, 2012, 12:48:41 PM
 I am  considering Concord, and I look forward to any future comments you have regarding your experience. Best wishes.
Title: Re: Concord Law JD --- Starting Sept 4, 2012
Post by: Aries25 on August 21, 2012, 04:14:49 PM
Haus: Thanks

Value321: I will most certainly keep you posted on my experience. So far, today has been a good day, I was able to find all my textbooks for my Fundamental coursework at the library so that's $200 bucks I don't have to spend, I'm smiling.
Title: Re: Concord Law JD --- Starting Sept 4, 2012
Post by: Maintain FL 350 on August 21, 2012, 06:22:47 PM
Good luck!

Starting your JD is a huge but exciting undertaking. I also had kids when I went to law school, and although it's tough it can be done. You have to be disciplined with your time, and really focus when it's time to study.

I'm curious, what is the format that Concord follows? Do you take several classes at once, or one a time? And do you then take your exams with Examsoft?
Title: Re: Concord Law JD --- Starting Sept 4, 2012
Post by: passaroa25 on August 21, 2012, 10:20:43 PM
Listen people:  If you don't have time to go to a traditional ABA approved law school,   then don't enroll in any program that calls itself a law school that is not ABA approved unless you are willing to work harder than a traditional law school student.  Enrolling in any online law school is a waste of money and time.  Instead of law school online, run to the nearest paralegal program and get certified.
Title: Re: Concord Law JD --- Starting Sept 4, 2012
Post by: Aries25 on August 22, 2012, 03:33:32 AM
Angie:

The fact that I stated that I "do not have time" to go to a traditional ABA program was made because it's not an option at this point for me. Furthermore, I also mentioned this forum is if you have any positive advice or personal experience/feedback in this particular arena of attending law school. I do understand that it will be me and my reputation that will build my career as an attorney not the school that I attend as you've mentioned in prior post... Which is indeed fine by me, because everything I've done thus far has been based on my name & reputation and I have done quite well for myself...

I get it, I know the statistics, I can't speak for everyone, but I myself have done my homework, I know what its going to take to to be successful in my coursework and with this degree and I am up for the challenge. I am not intimidated by the statistics or my peers who will be attending an ABA school.
Title: Re: Concord Law JD --- Starting Sept 4, 2012
Post by: Aries25 on August 22, 2012, 03:45:00 AM
Roald:

Thank you. I am excited, my son is also excited, he has grown up with me being in school. I know that this is a whole new ballpark as far the course load and the work that you need to put in to survive but I do believe I am disciplined enough to accomplish my goal.

To answer you question, at Concord, you do take several courses at once, I will post my schedule later this week. I am unaware of the format that is used for exams but when I find out, I will keep you posted.

Also, (in response to an earlier post) I should also mention that I did minor in paralegal studies in undergrad, became a certified paralegal and that plus my love of investments is what got me into insurance.
Title: Re: Concord Law JD --- Starting Sept 4, 2012
Post by: GovLaw on August 22, 2012, 08:52:49 AM
Good luck!  You will find that many people on this forum are extremely negative about online study, and while there is much justification to their concerns, some members seem to make it their personal crusade to crush the hopes of those pursuing such a program.  I feel that if you are fully informed then the path you follow is entirely up to you.  There is a lot of good information on here, and a considerable amount of misinformation spread not, I feel, through malice but through ignorance.   The path you've chosen is far from easy, but if you reasonably feel that it will lead you to your desired ends, then I wish you all the best.   
Title: Re: Concord Law JD --- Starting Sept 4, 2012
Post by: jayers20 on August 22, 2012, 06:17:24 PM
Hello! I am also starting Concord on September 4. I have read all of the reviews, complaints, praise, etc. I will admit that I am nervous, but I am also prepared for the challenge.

I wish you best of luck and look forward to working with you soon!
Title: Re: Concord Law JD --- Starting Sept 4, 2012
Post by: legalpractitioner on August 23, 2012, 06:09:25 AM
One big thing in Concord's favor - it is a subsidiary of a billion dollar corporation - Washington Post Company and Kaplan University, that is something a lot of ABA law schools cannot boast.  There are a lot of deep pockets there rooting for your success.  If you can afford the tuition, you made the right choice.
Title: Re: Concord Law JD --- Starting Sept 4, 2012
Post by: Aries25 on August 26, 2012, 01:26:37 PM
Hello! I am also starting Concord on September 4. I have read all of the reviews, complaints, praise, etc. I will admit that I am nervous, but I am also prepared for the challenge.

I wish you best of luck and look forward to working with you soon!

@Jayers20: Yay!! I look forward to working with you as well...

@jonlevy: You are correct very correct...

Just an update on my experience with CLS, I have read many reviews online about their Financial Aid Dept and how you have to pay for your books up front then get reimbursed months later, which is hard for many people and it was a major concern for me as well but I was planning on making it work but NOW you can purchase your books on your student account and then your account will be paid once your Financial Aid comes through so you don't miss out on your coursework! So it does seem that they are aware of their students concerns and working to assist... The fundamentals course are nice prep work especially for someone like myself who hasn't done any school work in 4 years... It's helping me get back in the swing of things so for that, I'm grateful!

Title: Re: Concord Law JD --- Starting Sept 4, 2012
Post by: jroblaw on November 20, 2012, 10:12:57 PM
Hello!
First of all, congrats on being accepted into the JD program. It is a very exciting experience.

I graduated in May 2012 with my JD from Concord and just passed the July California Bar exam. I was 27 when  I began my journey with Concord and am currently 32. I wholeheartedly enjoyed my Concord and Kaplan experience and would recommend it to anyone who is SERIOUS about wanting to become an attorney. It is a very challenging, arduous task, with very few shortcuts along the way. But if you push yourself and continue to use every resourceful available to you, then you will enjoy success.

All the best,
Jeff
Title: Re: Concord Law JD --- Starting Sept 4, 2012
Post by: cityofcompton on November 30, 2012, 09:35:11 AM
I'm at Concord right now as a 1L. I'm taking the FYLSE in June 13'. So far everything has been great. You have to be very disciplined in order to make a school like Concord work. That means setting aside 3 hours or so per day everyday to study. I was accepted in several ABA accredited schools, and still chose to attend Concord. Why? Because I have a bad-a career as a commodity trader. Maybe one day I'll be a lawyer who knows. In addition, I have a family to support and part time law school combined with a full-time job would just not be feasible unless I and they were cool with spending 1 hour per day with me. See, the arguments about the job prospects for non-aba grads is not that great of a point. In fact, I have a job that most people graduating from an ABA approved school would die to have! So the argument about not having a job upon graduation is of no merit to me at all. I have a great career and will only continue to rise up, regardless of whether or not I have a law degree. Also, don't let the stigma of online degrees and employers not hiring you mess you up! A few points on this. My company has agreements with several so called online degree colleges like Capella, Regis, and others so that employees can get their degree. In fact, the vice-president of my company, which is a fortune 500 company got his MBA from Regis. The thing is that most people who claim to know about job prospects etc are still in law school and have no real corporate world experience, they're talking out their ass! I do have experience. I'm 28, and I see everyday examples of very successful individuals who have received degrees from online schools. So how can one say "companies look down on online degrees and won't hire you" when I know of a ton of fortune 500 that have exclusive deals with online colleges that provide educations for their employees? This is a fact. And this my friends is only part of the argument. I have left many details out, like for people who want to practice big-law going to a place like Concord...probably not going to happen. but for people like me who have great careers that don't want to go into a ton of debt, and get divorced because they are at part time law school until 11 at night, then online degrees whether its law or mba etc are definitely not a bad option. in addition to this, things in this country are going to change. The ABA can't hold up to the increased competition from online schools. they are the last one's remaining to do so. it's just a matter of time before a schoo like Concord becomes accredited. And who knows, maybe by the time I and the original poster graduate, we will be graduating from either a temporarily approved ABA school or better an ABA approved school. Nonetheless, it doesn't matter to me, I'm set and the sky is the limt!
Title: Re: Concord Law JD --- Starting Sept 4, 2012
Post by: Maintain FL 350 on November 30, 2012, 03:28:27 PM
See, the arguments about the job prospects for non-aba grads is not that great of a point. In fact, I have a job that most people graduating from an ABA approved school would die to have! So the argument about not having a job upon graduation is of no merit to me at all.

I think you're missing the point. If your job as a commodities trader doesn't require a JD for advancement, then it doesn't matter where you go to law school. Most people who go to law school, however, intend to practice law. For those people it does matter where they graduate from. Most firms (big, medium, and small), government offices, and corporate legal departments will not hire online grads. Personally, I think it's silly, but it's true nonetheless. That matters to people who plan on spending tens of thousands of dollars on an online JD in hopes of passing the bar and getting hired.

Of course, not all doors are shut. Some small firms will consider an online JD, and others will go into solo practice. I know lots of people who graduated from non-ABA (Calbar/CBE accredited) law schools who have successful careers, and I don't think the current ABA scheme is the only game in town. That said, I've worked at a couple of private and government law offices who would hire a CBE grad, but would never consider an online JD.

My company has agreements with several so called online degree colleges like Capella, Regis, and others so that employees can get their degree. In fact, the vice-president of my company, which is a fortune 500 company got his MBA from Regis. The thing is that most people who claim to know about job prospects etc are still in law school and have no real corporate world experience, they're talking out their ass!
   

MBAs and JDs are very different. Have any top 500 law firms hired online grads? Hell, many of those firms are so snooty they won't even hire ABA grads from less-than-prestigious schools. It's the same story at most mid-sized and government offices, too. I'm sure you can find a handful of exceptions, but that doesn't defeat the general rule.

I totally agree with you on the second point. Students with experience and street smarts will beat out green, naive competitors every time. I went to law school in a part-time evening program, and the evening students seemed to do much better when it came to finding jobs. They already had experience, were more mature, made connections, etc.

it's just a matter of time before a schoo like Concord becomes accredited. And who knows, maybe by the time I and the original poster graduate, we will be graduating from either a temporarily approved ABA school or better an ABA approved school. Nonetheless, it doesn't matter to me, I'm set and the sky is the limt!

The ABA has not shown any movement on this issue, neither has Calbar (the only state bar that might be expected to accredit online JDs.) There is no reason to believe that online JDs are going to be accredited anytime soon. According to the new ABA rules, a schools' first time bar pass rate must be within 15% of the statewide ABA average. That means Concord would have to raise it's bar pass rate from 35% to about 62% (assuming that they use CA's bar pass rates as the baseline).

I'm not against online education. An online JD can be the right move for the right student. However,  I think people should be entirely informed and realistic about the limitations of any unaccredited law degree. It doesn't mean that the education is inferior, but to pretend that it makes little or no difference is to ignore reality.
Title: Re: Concord Law JD --- Starting Sept 4, 2012
Post by: cityofcompton on December 02, 2012, 10:34:50 AM
1. RE: "Missing the point". It's not that it's required for advancement, it's that it opens up alternative career paths that earn a substantial amount of money starting out. Take "land men" for example that work for oil companies or brokerages researching land rights. A JD starting out makes $140k per year. Don't get me wrong, I know there are alot of people that want a law degree to practice law. But there are other options that one can use the law degree for. We can agree that everyone goes to law school for a different reason. Mine was to go and increase my career options as a safeguard so to speak.

2. Your point about many firms are snooty. All that I will say in regards to this comment is that when anyone says "many blah blah blah" that means that they don't have the research to back up what they are saying. I use that as a rule of thumb anytime I'm reading and come across someone in the NY Times Op-Ed pages using that I laugh. I'm not trying to be mean, but honestly, do you know how many? You can't say that hiring online grads is an exception to the rule unless you know what the rule is to begin with. In addition to this, do you work for a Fortune 500 company? Or are you a practicing lawyer? If your the latter, then I don't see how you would have the applicable knowledge that I do regarding educational opportunities in these companies.

3. RE: Matter of time. I agree with what you say about Bar Pass rates etc....The reason that they are so low is because schools like Concord will let anyone in. Typically most of them would not be qualified to go to an ABA accredited school and no amount of studying is going to take care of what they are lacking. So, the only way these schools would be able to get their pass rates that high is to have a ton of people taking the bar, a ton. Probably not going to happen. However, I do feel like there will someday be an online ABA accredited law school. I could go into all the detail about technological evolution and business models etc, but I'm sure most people already understand that stuff so I'll spare you guys! Do you disagree that sooner or later there will be an online accredited ABA law school?
Title: Re: Concord Law JD --- Starting Sept 4, 2012
Post by: Maintain FL 350 on December 02, 2012, 11:59:58 PM
Don't get me wrong, I know there are alot of people that want a law degree to practice law. But there are other options that one can use the law degree for. We can agree that everyone goes to law school for a different reason.

Agreed. Like I said, an online degree can be the right choice for the right person. The trick is for the student to determine whether they are that type of person. As long as the student understands what they're doing, and is fully informed, they should be fine. If they're not informed, good luck.

2. Your point about many firms are snooty. All that I will say in regards to this comment is that when anyone says "many blah blah blah" that means that they don't have the research to back up what they are saying.

Well, can you provide an example to the contrary? A big or mid-sized firm that regularly hires online grads as attorneys? Do any of the corporate counsel at your Fortune 500 company have unaccredited JDs? 

If you think that many firms are not snooty when it comes to academic pedigrees, then take a look at the firm profiles in Martindale-Hubble. At the big firms (especially in places like NYC, LA, WDC) you will hard pressed to find anything but T14. Check out federal agencies and Fortune 500 legal departments (not non-legal departments) and you'll see the same pattern. Can you find one or two examples to the contrary? Sure, but that does not refute my claim that many firms are prestige obsessed.

This isn't just my uninformed opinion, it's something that permeates the legal world. I spent several years working in the corporate world (consulting/accounting) before going to law school. I have experience in legal and non-legal jobs. In the corporate world it is very common for people to get hired with a BA, then later pick up an online MBA for advancement. Online degrees aren't necessarily looked down on.

This is not the case in law. You don't typically get hired with a BA, pick up a JD along the way, and get promoted to lawyer. In law, the JD is what gets you hired in the first place, and many attorneys are highly suspicious of unaccredited degrees. They might wonder why the school is unaccredited in the first place (not an unreasonable question). I think part of the problem is that only CA and maybe a handful of other state allow non-ABA grads practice. Therefore, most attorneys haven't had any experience with online grads, and it's an unknown quantity.   

Do you disagree that sooner or later there will be an online accredited ABA law school?

I don't know. It seems possible that eventually an online school will get ABA approval, but so far neither the ABA or CBE has made any indication that they're interested. Frankly, I'm not sure that many attorneys are interested either, and the ABA is, afterall, a memebership organization. I can't say what the ABA or CBE will do ten or twenty years from now, but it seems unlikely in the near future.

The thing is, it's not just a question of the ABA modifying its rules to accomodate online education. The online schools are going to have to improve their standards, too, if they want to be taken seriously. Before an online school could really pursue ABA approval it would have to require the LSAT for admission, raise bar pass rates, hire full time tenured faculty, and presumably provide access to some kind of online law library (which maybe they do, I'm not sure).

Title: Re: Concord Law JD --- Starting Sept 4, 2012
Post by: legalpractitioner on December 03, 2012, 08:17:03 PM
After 20 years as a lawyer, not having the ABA credential is such a hassle that at times I wish I had just gone back to law school and repeated law school.  On the other hand, not having the ABA degree forces one to think out of the box and I am sure I would have missed out on many interesting cases and opportunities.
Title: Re: Concord Law JD --- Starting Sept 4, 2012
Post by: cityofcompton on December 04, 2012, 07:24:19 AM
After 20 years as a lawyer, not having the ABA credential is such a hassle that at times I wish I had just gone back to law school and repeated law school.  On the other hand, not having the ABA degree forces one to think out of the box and I am sure I would have missed out on many interesting cases and opportunities.

What type of law do you practice? Are you a solo-practicioner? At what age did you enter in law school? Also, can you elaborate on why it was such a hassle?  Thanks, look forward to hearing your responses!
Title: Re: Concord Law JD --- Starting Sept 4, 2012
Post by: legalpractitioner on December 06, 2012, 01:30:04 PM
I was 34 when I passed the bar and practiced mainly criminal and family law. Now I am in the international law field after going back to school and getting a PhD.

As a non ABA online grad you will not qualify for most government jobs and your colleagues will say nasty things behind your back. If you move outside California - with the exception of DC, you likely will not be admitted to the bar despite the anecdotal stories and wishful thinking you see posted here by non attorneys about petitioning this and that bar.
Title: Re: Concord Law JD --- Starting Sept 4, 2012
Post by: jennid1234 on December 14, 2012, 11:04:56 AM
"I'm at Concord right now as a 1L. I'm taking the FYLSE in June 13'. So far everything has been great. You have to be very disciplined in order to make a school like Concord work. That means setting aside 3 hours or so per day everyday to study. I was accepted in several ABA accredited schools, and still chose to attend Concord."

KUDOS to you - memorize those rule statements at least by January, then do as many MPC questions and practice essays before JUNE - you will pass the test on your first try and Concord (if they still offer it - concord challenge) pays for your 3L books!

I passed it on my second try, Oct '12.  3L starts in a few weeks.

Best regards to you at Concord, make sure you join the SBA, they send you a daily question to help you study for the FYLSE;)