Law School Discussion

Mid-Atlantic School of Law


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Re: Mid-Atlantic School of Law
« Reply #60 on: February 28, 2013, 05:33:24 AM »
Good reply Ron!  But "Truly" is spelled without the "e"....sorry about that....but I bet you will never forget it?

Re: Mid-Atlantic School of Law
« Reply #61 on: June 05, 2013, 11:43:53 PM »
As has been stated on this tread, you don't learn law by studying Gilbert Law Summaries. It's an entire process. The most important of which is legal writing, legal analysis and legal research; as well as substantive and procedural law.

When you work in litigation and are handed a memo asking about legal issues on a specific case, you must know how to prioritize those issues and how to analyze them. Moreover, you have to interpret the law, break it down into its elements and apply its rule to your client's facts. You aren't going to learn those skills at MASL. You will, however, learn it at an unaccredited law school that is recognized by the California State Bar, since they have to conform to a specific law school curriculum.

Case books are also essential to learning the law, since they present the development of specific areas of law and provide the basis for distinguishing cases. Other aspects you must learn is how to argue pursuasively in both the written and oral form.   

The MASL approach is analogous to a mechanic learning only about one component of the drivetrain, such as the engine, at the expense of the remaining drivetrain components.  Like a car without a transmission it may look good from a distance, but it will never get you out of the driveway. That is the type of legal education you will be receiving from MASL. One that is inferior and incomplete.

Even if you tried to come in on motion before a state bar it would be futile, since the MASL juris doctorate has no recognition in California or any other state, thus it need not be considered. If, however, we compare it to an online law school that is accredited by the California State Bar, or the DETC like Taft or Concord, it might be possible to come in on motion in another state by raising an equal protection argument. Even more, so if you presented proper briefs and oral arguments, which would demonstrate practical application of the law.     

My suggestion for someone strapped for money is to seek out a judge or lawyer and ask them to mentor you. Or better yet, to enroll in an online school recognized by the California State Bar or one that is at least accredited by the DETC.

Sadly, the MASL is a dead end that would never stand up to scrutiny before any state bar, since it does not conform to a law school curriculum. Nor would any bar consider an online school that does not have faculty members who are licensed to practice law, or retired lawyers.

Re: Mid-Atlantic School of Law
« Reply #62 on: June 12, 2013, 02:56:25 AM »
MASL's final project does include anything from an internship at a law firm to writing a thesis.  Also, while the school's main textbooks are the Gilbert's summaries, the student does not have to stop there.  Each Gilbert's volume cites hundreds of court opinions.  In order to learn how to think like a lawyer, reading just 2% of the cases cited in each volume will make any researcher competitive.  So, while MASL appears to simply offer the basics, as with any endeavour, it is up to the student to create his/her own brand. 

I am not sure whether or not the author had Mid-Atlantic in mind when she wrote this paragraph.  But, it does provide some hope: 

". . . You think your school's reputation is holding you back?  Bull!  as Washington's Teresa DeAndrade says, 'You can go anywhere from any school, because getting hired has to do with you and your self-confidence.  People hire people, not schools.'  (Walton, 5)

Walton, Kimm Alayne, J.D. Guerrilla Tactics for Getting the Legal Job of Your Dreams

Re: Mid-Atlantic School of Law
« Reply #63 on: June 17, 2013, 08:32:43 AM »
I think what Executive is trying to get across is that MASL is not teaching you the writing skills that are necessary as an attorney.  Generally, law students make up their own outlines based off of the hundreds of cases they have read and briefed as a part of the learning process.  My outlines for my classes range anywhere from 20 - 40 pages per class depending upon the material.  So most students are reading 100% compared to the 2% you are reading in addition to briefing and doing outlines.  I prefer to do my own outlines because each professor wants something different.

The purpose of reading and briefing all those cases is to learn to spot the issues and the holdings.  From there, I'll work on my outline and take practice exams which is probably the most important skill necessary to pass your classes.  There is a formula to legal writing, and each year of law school it develops and gets better and better.  But that is due to writing over and over and over again in a timed setting where there is no possible way you can hit all the points in the time allotted.  This in addition to getting critiqued by your professors on your exams and trying to figure out what the hell "conclusory" means your first year.  This is why more ABA students pass the bar exam and why their curriculum has not changed much over the years. 

Since you are clear you want to stay at this school, I suggest you take a legal writing workshop such as Fleming's so you learn the formula and get some type of practice.  While an internship will help with the practical part of law practice, I'm not sure why a thesis would be a part of their curriculum.  I think those final projects are what concerns me the most about this school since it has nothing to do with legal analysis or exam preparation.  Those skills are crucial to passing the bar and it takes time to hone the skill.  Good luck.

Re: Mid-Atlantic School of Law
« Reply #64 on: June 17, 2013, 09:44:28 PM »
I am not at Mid-Atlantic.  I don't have the money to attend any law school.  In addition to being a volunteer paralegal, I am studying for the certified paralegal exam.  I am just defending Mid-Atlantic because the right person can get something out of self study.  It is impossible to read 100% of the cases cited in each Gilberts volume. If any student read all the cases cited in each Gilberts volume, it would take him/her 15 years to get through the basic curriculum.   The cases in the typical law students' casebook are shortened considerably.  The cases cited in each Gilberts volume are going to be the real deal.  One case in and of itself can be 40 pages long.  If you are really churning out 40 pages per class, per night, you probably don't have any children and you don't have a job.  Many people don't have that luxury.

What I do believe regarding ABA accredited brick and mortar schools, is that sometimes, a truly bad person is weeded out.  There are hundreds of lawyers who are disbarred every year because they lie, cheat, and steal from their clients.  It would be worse if the ABA filter was not in place at all.  Unaccredited law schools, like Mid-Atlantic,  do not really provide any kind of filter.  So, if someone completes the Mid-Atlantic curriculum, petitions California and passes the California bar, the client doesn't really know what kind of attorney he is signing a contract with.

Re: Mid-Atlantic School of Law
« Reply #65 on: June 18, 2013, 06:12:24 PM »
You are correct in that we only read parts of a case that pertains to the particular topic we are learning from a case book because it would be impossible to read numerous cases that are 40 pages long.  But it is still A LOT of reading that can be anywhere from 40 - 80 pages per week per class.  In Constitutional Law for example, we had read 72 cases by the time we had our midterm.  Although they weren't 40 pages long, it was still hours and hours of reading.  Did I brief them all?  Hell no, but did get the issue and holding from smaller cases.  That said, there are many law students in my class with children that work full-time - including moms - and go at night.  I don't know how they do it.  I don't have children but had a full-time job for my first two years which was stressful enough.

I absolutely agree that self-study is doable - people do it all the time with online law schools.  However, it's the curriculum of this school and the fact they are not registered with any state bar that most people have an issue with.  Branding or no, one still needs to be able to take the bar and pass it to be a lawyer, and that's why people are calling it a scam.

That said law schools are very expensive and paralegals can make decent money for a lot less spent on their education.  Good luck with your exam!

Re: Mid-Atlantic School of Law
« Reply #66 on: June 23, 2013, 10:44:54 AM »
One major plus regarding being a paralegal is that I will never have to be a rainmaker.  I tried that while I held a series' 7/63 license and I didn't like begging clients for their business.

We keep going around in circles regarding which unaccredited law school is a scam and which one is not.  I think the entire FYLSE-state approved California law school program is a scam.  These schools actually have students believing they can pass the exam on the first try , by studying one or two hours a day.  For a whole year,  these schools waive the you-can-do-it carrot in from of the students' face and then blame the student for being so stupid when he/she fails.  The FYLSE is a real three-subject bar exam.  It takes at least 8 hours a day of dedicated study, everyday for the entire year to pass the first time.

I think that students should either attend an ABA approved law school or opt to become a paralegal.  All these other programs are just a waste of time and money.

Re: Mid-Atlantic School of Law
« Reply #67 on: June 23, 2013, 11:11:59 AM »
I don't think CBA schools are a scam and they implement more or less the same program as an ABA school. I also think the FYLSE is a good idea for all law schools as I know many ABA grads from various school that never passed the bar being exposed to the pressure of a bar exam early on would be a good idea.

Additionally ABA schools never tell you how much to study having been through a an ABA J.D. program I imagine a CBA school is more or less the same. If you want to be a lawyer you have to use judgment and common sense and be realistic about your workload. If you attend an ABA or CBA school you will have to bu** your ass to get through school and more importantly the bar exam.

I do not know anything about this Mid-Atlantic School of Law, but I think any school that is purely online is a scam that is not the case with CBA schools. My point is that CBA schools are not the best option, but they are certainly better than a online school and for the most part if you want to only be in California they will likely provide the same educational program as an ABA program.

Additionally whether you make it in the legal profession will be much more up to you and your dedication than the school you attend.

Re: Mid-Atlantic School of Law
« Reply #68 on: June 23, 2013, 06:10:34 PM »
So, if someone completes the Mid-Atlantic curriculum, petitions California and passes the California bar, the client doesn't really know what kind of attorney he is signing a contract with.

Only graduaes from unaccredited law schools registered with the California Committee of Bar Examiners are allowed to sit the bar exam. MASL has no recognition in California or any other state. Using a JD from MASL might even land you some trouble in those states where it's an offense to use an unaccredited degree.

The bottom line is no state bar anywhere would approve of a law curriculum based around Gilbert Law Summaries, much less a school without a law faculty.

Re: Mid-Atlantic School of Law
« Reply #69 on: July 04, 2013, 07:32:50 AM »  it is DETC accredited.  It is directed at an audience with zero knowledge of the law.  Completing it renders the graduate eligible to take NALA's Certified Paralegal exam.