Law School Discussion

Anyone Else Waitlisted at St. Francis School of Law? Any tips?

I would love to hear thoughts about my prospects of getting off the waitlist.  Was anyone else waitlisted and if so, what did it take to get in?

Did anyone else who applied early decision hear back?  If so, what were your stats?

Mine are:

University of Wisconsin B.S
No masters/advanced degree.
Biopharm industry consultant -7 years experience (mid-level and executive-level roles)
international licensing experience (I negotiated in-bound license agreements)

I'm hoping the international experience will be a big factor to counteract the fact that I don't have an LSAT score and my work experience is more limited than what their average is.  They said to send along updates, so I'm going to send in the certificate I'm finishing in advanced negotiation and hope that helps.

They said the waitlist is a balance issue and they try to make sure each incoming class has students at a variety of different career levels and from different industries.  So, if there are too many professionals from a specific industry, then the process can be more competitive.  Here's hoping that other people go to a brick and morter school to make room for me since I travel and can't take off three years for law school!

Re: Anyone Else Waitlisted at St. Francis School of Law? Any tips?
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2012, 11:49:23 AM »
Have you applied to any other online schools?  If you don't get in, why not just take the LSAT and go to a CBE accredited school?  Although you travel, you will have to be in California to take the baby bar after your first year.  If you go to a CBE, you won't have to do that.  The reason I recommend it is because roughly 20% of online 1Ls pass the baby bar.  Out of that percentage, only about 30 - 50% pass the bar.  I think it would be easier for you to score a minimum of a 140 - 150 on the LSAT required for most CBE's, than it will be for you to pass the 1L bar.  Is there a reason you didn't want to take the LSAT?

Re: Anyone Else Waitlisted at St. Francis School of Law? Any tips?
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2012, 06:26:06 PM »
Hi!  Did you have the phone interview and then wait listed?  I applied as well and have phone interview Tuesday.  I am 46 and just want to learn the law.  I have 20 years legal experience plus 3 college degrees.  I really can't imagine they are that picky but maybe they want to be so they can earn a better reputation than some of the other online law schools. 

if St. Francis doesn't pan out, try California School of Law.  their program seems pretty good. 

Re: Anyone Else Waitlisted at St. Francis School of Law? Any tips?
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2012, 10:31:19 PM »
Not to dog out the school, but I'm surprised to hear that there is a waiting list at all; considering their are not an accredited school and all . . .

Re: Anyone Else Waitlisted at St. Francis School of Law? Any tips?
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2012, 08:07:00 PM »
what I found interesting with St. Francis is that they are attempting to be "selective" on who they accept so as to give the school a better reputation.  they don't want to take just anyone,  I had my interview and it sounded more like a job interview than an enrollment interview.  "where have I demonstrated leadership abilities?" "what are my goals, etc." 

I am 46 years old.  I am not studying the law for a career as an attorney.  My legal career is winding down.  I am interested in the law just because.  I told St. Francus that.

After the interview I wanted to ask why the scrutiny since they are an online law school but I dudn't.  they have 13 students right now.  I thought it was also odd there was a wait list.   Maybe that is just a kind way to say no thanks but why would it matter if St. Francis takes you?  There are othe online law school you can go to.


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Re: Anyone Else Waitlisted at St. Francis School of Law? Any tips?
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2012, 07:47:26 AM »
When I saw this thread I kind of giggled.  But then I looked the law school up and realized they only charge $7,000 bucks a year for tuition.  While I still think that is too high, especially for an online unaccredited school, it leaves a much better taste in my mouth than many T4 schools that charge $30,000+.  They also have a pretty solid faculty, it appears.

I went to a T2 school, and I think I would have done just as well in an online environment.  I think it would be great if an established and respected school would have a normal 1L program, and then have 2L and 3L online for 1/4 the cost.  The only problem is there is little to no motivation for any law school to ever do that.

Re: Anyone Else Waitlisted at St. Francis School of Law? Any tips?
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2012, 11:00:12 PM »
I got this from another forum, but it seemed appropriate for this discussion:

The traditional ABA system is in serious trouble right now. Law school costs more than ever, yet employment prospects for lawyers are worse than ever. More and more prospective students are weighing law school costs vs. legal the job market, and concluding that law school doesn't make sense any more. Law school applications are falling fast, and many ABA law schools are having serious trouble recruiting qualified students.

To fix this situation, ABA law schools need to do two things: (1) reduce the cost of legal education , and (2) reduce the number of JD graduates.

In theory, distance law schools could be a valid way to address point (1). But the problem is that they won't help with point (2). If you make law school more convenient and less expensive, then how does that reduce the number of graduates?

In theory, the way to address point (2) is by toughening the standards for legal education : make admissions harder (lower acceptance rates) and make completion harder (higher flunk-out rates). The standards will likely get tougher at B&M law schools in the future, and they would be equally tough at any future DL law schools.

So we may ultimately see ABA-approved DL law schools, because of point (1). But here's the catch: an ABA-accredited DL law school will not be an open-admission, no-LSAT-required kind of place, like the existing California distance law schools. On the contrary, admissions may be very competitive, and the programs may be difficult to complete.

If the number of qualified law school applicants continues to shrink, then we can make a pretty good guess as to what will happen. Some ABA-approved law schools will be forced to shrink. And some may have to close entirely.

Law school shrinkage is already happening. Law school closure hasn't happened yet. But if the current situation continues, then it's just a matter of time. And this may increase the interest in alternative law school models, like DL.

I happen to believe that there is a large untapped market out there for ABA-approved legal education by DL. Up to now, the ABA and their member law schools have completely ignored that market. But if their traditional business model collapses, and some law schools are starved for students, with their very survival at stake -- well, maybe then the potential DL market will be a lot harder to ignore.

But this is just speculation on my part. I'm sure that others may see it differently.

Re: Anyone Else Waitlisted at St. Francis School of Law? Any tips?
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2012, 06:35:40 PM »
Good article.  A law education is not what it used to be.  It used to be for kids of lawyers who grew up privileged.  Remember L.A. Law?  That show alone increased the law school population.  The dream of the money and the prestige that comes with the law degree are gone. 

If you have never worked in a law firm, then you have no clue what an attorney, especially the low-level ones have to go through.  I worked for attorneys for 20 years.  I worked in big firms, small firms and in house corporate law departments.  Their job is stressful.  I remember when the associate I worked for made partner.  The firm sent her a letter stating out her salary and the changes of what becoming a parter does.  Her salary was going to be $108,000.  This was in 1996.  However, now she was on her own for medical insurance and was required to bring in business.  She was thin and frail and barely every ate. 

Distance learning law schools have a place.  I finished my Bachelors online through Southern New Hampshire University and got my Masters in Law & Public Policy from California University of Pennsylvania.  So?  Just because I didn't set foot onto the campus, I received a great education and even attended my graduation ceremonies.  There is no reason a person who receives a law degree from an online law school is less qualified to be a lawyer.   The ABA is just too high on its horse and like I said, approving online law schools is going to take away that prestige of becoming a lawyer.

Make the requirements for online law schools the same as B&M schools.  I took the LSAT.  I didn't do great so I would not use that as the only indcator of how a person would do in law school.  I can write a fabulous brief or legal memo.  Take the whole picture... LSAT, undergrad degree, GPA, if there is any more schooling past the Bachelors, etc.

There is a state run law school in Birmingham, AL.  I was accepted there.  No LSAT required but it is a B&M school so it holds more prestige than the online school, but in the end, you can only take the bar in Alabama and probably California.  They also accept students who have gone to online law school.  My thinking was maybe taking my first year of law school online and then transfer there.  That avoids the baby bar.  I live in Georgia now.  I didn't go last Sept. because once I made the drive from Atlanta to Birmingham, I realized that doing that every Saturday was going to be tough.   I postponed it for now. 

 The school in Birmingham is only $5500 a year.  There is also a state school in Nashville, TN.  They have extremely strict requirements and the cost is close to $30k a year.  BUT IT IS A STATE SCHOOL. YOU CAN ONLY TAKE BAR IN TN.  So again, what is the point?  Might as well go online and enjoy the convenience of staying home.


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Re: Anyone Else Waitlisted at St. Francis School of Law? Any tips?
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2012, 08:05:18 AM »
I'm probably too cynical, but I think the major purpose of the LSAT and Law School is to separate students into categories.  Law school curriculum doesn't translate to the practice of law.  Sure, some of the 1L classes cover general rules and teach you how to "think like a lawyer," but lawyers learn on the job.

 Law firms hire from highly ranked schools either because they have some relationship to that school, or they believe that school's screening process leads to the best matriculating students.  I doubt you'd find too many hiring partners who would say the education at Harvard is superior than the education at the University of Boston, but I'm sure you'd find countless hiring partners who would say the students at Harvard are academically superior to the students at the University of Boston.  That doesn't mean Harvard grads will always make the best attorneys, but hiring is a crap shoot, so firms have to use whatever stable metrics they can to evaluate candidates.

Online law schools would have a great deal of trouble getting accreditation.  I think they would have trouble attracting the best and brightest students until large employers showed a willingness to hire an associate out of an online school.  Online law schools also wouldn't provide the same opportunities on moot court or law review, which employers see as another good evaluator/tie breaker.

It's sad really, because so much of the expense of law school has no real impact on lawyer quality, but employer demand is king, and employer demand is currently focused on traditional law school grads with high marks.

Re: Anyone Else Waitlisted at St. Francis School of Law? Any tips?
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2012, 08:33:43 PM »
There is a way you can see the attorneys who are licensed in Georgia, where they went to school and where they work.  I was surprised to see a grauate of Concord working for Comcast.  I wonder how he did that since I assume he had to take the bar here and GA requires gradution from an ABA school.

There was a case out of here of a woman who petitioned the court to take the bar.  She graduted from Nprthwestern in California which is correspondene.  She represented herself. needless to say, she did not follow the judge's instructions and therefore her case was throw out.  That, in and of itself says something about her legal eduction.