Law School Discussion

Question about career plan

Question about career plan
« on: May 09, 2006, 06:22:36 AM »
I realize that is this going to get me flamed (and having lurked on here for a time, I can even speculate who will do the flaming  ::)) but I really want input on this question.

I have worked for state government for fourteen years.  I have a Masters degree in my field, and have risen steadily during my employment.

My employer is interested in sending me to law school.  As we have no attorneys on staff, I currently assist with as much of our legal work as possible without engaging in the unauthorized practice of law.

The only local option for a night law school is located about 1.5 hours away from my home – a three hour round trip.  Because of this we are investigating an online law school – William Howard Taft, specifically.  I know they are accredited (though not ABA) and this is what allows my employer to pay tuition, they cannot fund non-accredited school tuition.

In this state, admission to the bar is governed by the Supreme Court Rules.  They state:

“Every attorney not a member of the Bar of this state who performs legal services in this state solely for his/her employer, its parent, subsidiary, or affiliated entities, shall file with the Clerk of the Supreme Court on a form provided, an application for limited admission to practice law in this state.  Such application shall be approved and a limited admission to practice law shall be granted.”

As I will be practicing law solely for my employer (the state) this is the rule I would fall under.

My question is:  can anyone think of any reason that this is not a practical plan?  I realize that this would severely limit my employment opportunities, but I intend to stay with the state until retirement.  I love my job, and I make reasonable money (I’m happy with it, at any rate). Any comments on Taft?

Any advice or comments would be greatly appreciated.

Re: Question about career plan
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2006, 05:35:20 PM »
Yes I also know the annointed will flame you as distance law school is a waste of time, you are stupid, and a waste of money, but I will not.  I too worked for state government until I retired and with the price of even traditional in-state law schools I would have had to bear a significant debt load. Combine that with working 50 to 60 hours per week on average, it left very little other time and combine that with caring for a mother in law with Alzheimer's disease, traditional law school when I was younger was NOT an option.  IF you have some assurrances that you can take your state bar AFTER passing the California Bar, then you will do alright.  Also, there are several ABA approved law schools which will allow us to study for an LLM degree from a correspondence school, specifically St. Thomas, and then we could take the bar exam.  Before ANY of you state, NO you can't, I have already been in contact with St. Thomas, an ABA approved school and was assured what I have typed IS CORRECT.

Re: Question about career plan
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2006, 06:11:00 AM »
I have been a student with Abraham Lincoln School of Law and have had some concerns regarding the length of time it takes to get feedback.  I am seriously considering transferring to Taft after I complete and pass the FYLSX.  To aide me in my quest I have already signed up for a bar review for same.

Re: Question about career plan
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2006, 05:37:56 AM »
That's very unfortunate about your experience with Concord.  So far, they have been rather responsive to me, but that's just my personal experience.  Their program is much more comprehensive than the local brick and mortar state-accredited college of law and the materials provided are excellent.  One thing you might want to keep in mind about Abraham Lincoln University and Taft is their FYLSE pass rate and the California Bar pass rate.  Concord seems to score consistently high in both categories.  The only other school that surpasses Concord is Oakbrook.  The caveat with Oakbrook is that they are driven by a fundamentalist Christian ideology and that may not be something your state will fund.

Best of luck in your endeavors.

Re: Question about career plan
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2006, 05:23:23 PM »
Gov Law:
I too was accepted into Concord and was looking forward to attending that school.  My wife had serious health problems and I had to defer, but when I tried to reenter, I was told I had to wait another year, no exceptions, that is another reason I am attending ALU at present.  My complaint about them is the serious lag time to be advised of your work/progress or lack thereof.  I would love to be readmitted into Concord, but I guess I have to wait and see.

Re: Question about career plan
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2006, 08:38:38 PM »
Again, more unfortunate experiences with Concord.  As for the FYLSE, I have not yet attempted that.  That will come in October.  Concord really does a good job on preparing the students for that test.  There are so many practice essays and mult-choice exams, I am beginning to feel very confident going into October.  There is also an intensive study weekend for all students in Los Angeles the weekend prior to the FYLSE.  I just got my mid-terms back and the grading was extremely thorough.  I imagine the quality of the grading at Concord is comparable to that of the bar examiners; that's how tough they graded.  The curriculum is by no means any cake walk; we are down to 24 in my class that began with 50 last September.

As far as the whole DL experience goes.  I withdrew from a state accredited law school I had to commute to for one year, 100 miles each way at night, three nights per week.  That was extremely grueling for a guy out of college for 16 years, established in his homelife and career.  With Concord, I am so much happier and less stressed.  A year ago at this time, I threw my hands up in the air and was ready to hang up my dream of becoming an attorney.  I had zilch options for ANY type of law school, ABA, state accredited or non-state accredited within 100 miles of my home.  After family, friends and co-workers strongly encouraged me to continue, I decided to give Concord a try.  I am so glad I did.  The experience is much like studying law on your own, on your own terms without the distracting, all omniscient newly college graduated types in the room.  I do it all within the privacy and solitude of my home office without any interruptions.  I am free to ask as many in-depth questions about legal theory as I desire with a prompt, written response within 24 hours.  I am also free to study, discuss and argue legal theory with classmates within my area who desire to meet in person on Saturday mornings for as long as we desire.  The entire class and the professor meet once a week for two hours of live, online discussion with each student contributing to the topic of the evening.  The only caveat here is you must be highly disciplined, work hard and stay focused.  The same attribute any hard working attorney would need to be successful.  Overall, my experience so far has been very, very positive and honestly, even tougher than the school in which I withdrew last summer.  I enjoy the challenge all that much more.