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  1. #1
    excel is offline Registered User
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    easiest JD, LLM, LLB... PhD, MBA, etc

    Hi,

    I'm wondering what's the simplest (quickest) way to get a degree where I can legally use the fancy letters after my name to show the law degree. I am ALSO wondering what's the easiest (quickest) route to PhD or other fancy degrees.

    Not really sure if I would want to do the above, I think most likely I will go for an MBA only, but I am curious anyway. (Is the Heriot Watt MBA program the same as it used to be?) I'd love to also find a great MSW or similar psychology degree program.

    I'm totally willing to work hard on degrees. I would greatly prefer something self-paced where I take the exams when ready. So that I could finish it in the shortest amount of time. Since I could dedicate 40, 50, 60 hrs a week or more to studying.

    Regarding law degree, since I don't think I'd take the bar, that makes my choice of schools different obviously. Another thing, I am not sure an LLB is worth getting for me. I think being a bachelor's degree doesn't sound very impressive.

    I would NOT need it to be 100% DL, although would want something where I just had to make a few trips or less, and then it depends on where I'd have to go. And not trips where I need to stay more than a month or so :)

    Cost would be a factor too, but not as important. I mean overall cost including travel expenses, obviously.

    Thanks in advance.

    Amy

  2. #2
    Bruce is offline Moderator
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    If you just want to legitimately put the initials J.D. after your name, with no intention of ever practicing law, then the quickest route would probably be one the of the CA-approved, non-Bar qualifying J.D. programs.
    --
    Bruce Tait
    A.S. (Criminal Justice) Quincy College
    B.A. (Criminal Justice) Curry College
    M.A. (Criminal Justice) University of Massachusetts-Lowell
    M.A. (Forensic Psychology) Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology



    RA Criminal Justice Degrees by Distance Learning - Updated 3/16/08

    NA Criminal Justice Degrees by Distance Learning - Updated 3/20/08

  3. #3
    Guest
    Amy,
    where I can legally use the fancy letters after
    How many degrees are you trying to get and who are you trying to impress? You might need to slow down a bit and develop a plan. What career are you looking at?

  4. #4
    excel is offline Registered User
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    Probably just one or two. And likely "just" Masters degrees, but I want to consider various options.

    I would love to get a law degree more than anything, but it seems like I would have more difficulty than MBA . I may still do it though.

    PhD sounds pretty nice though :)

  5. #5
    excel is offline Registered User
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    Forgot to answer about career... I don't think I would use any of the degrees in an actual "career", LOL. But would like to perhaps author some books, do consulting/freelance... any of the aforementioned degrees are fine with me :)

  6. #6
    DesElms is offline Registered User
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    Re: easiest JD, LLM, LLB... PhD, MBA, etc

    Amy,

    I could be wrong (and my ex-wife will tell you that I usually am), but an opening paragraph that shamelessly reveals your motivation to be, in largest measure, the quick and simple route to some "fancy" degrees -- and the letters they will allow you to put behind your name -- and which paragraph is followed by a second one, the opening sentence of which says, in essence, "never mind," probably doesn't bode well for the seriousness with which I suspect you had hoped to be taken here. Just a cynical observation... don't take it too seriously.

    A second concern is that you'd like the JD, but clearly have no intention of ever practicing law. While there are many folks out there in the universe who have a JD but never sat for (or maybe could not pass) the bar; and who, therefore, have "JD" after their names on business cards, letterhead, resumes, etc., it can be disconcerting to some -- like me and nosborne48, for example, just to name two members here that I know feel this way -- when someone enters a JD program with no intention, whatsoever, of practicing law. Some of us -- and this is just our opinion, mind you -- just think that that shouldn't be allowed.

    Parenthetically, I will add that the aforementioned disconcerting feeling is exacerbated when the JD-seeker who never plans to practice law also happens to consider said JD little more than some "fancy" and impressive-looking/sounding letters which s/he may put behind his/her name on business cards or letterhead or on his/her resume. But I digress.

    Though I can't speak for nosborne48 when I suggest this, additionally, I've always felt that non-bar-qualifying "Executive JD" programs were disingenuous and should be, instead, master of arts degrees in law for those not wishing to practice it; and that if someone completes a bar-qualifying JD program, but doesn't subsequently pass the bar, for whatever reason, within a certain prescribed period of time, then said "JD" should revert to being called a Master of Arts in Law or something like that... but that's just my opinion.

    All that having been said...



    About a Distance Learning JD Degree

    As Bruce correctly pointed-out, California is your choice of states -- in fact, the only one -- if you want a distance learning JD. There are a dozen or so California distance learning JD programs that are registered with that state's Committee of Bar Examiners and are, therefore, "bar qualifying." Said dozen or so institutions are also registered with the State of California's Bureau of Private Postsecondary Vocational Education (BPPVE) as legal and legitimate degree-granting entities.

    Be forewarned, however, that the JD degrees from said schools only qualify one to sit for one's first bar exam in California, and no other state. There are ways, after a California distance learning JD holder has has passed the California bar (merely, in the case of Wisconsin), and practiced in California for a few years (additionally, in the case of twenty-something other states) that s/he can practice law in other states. I realize that that's not your interest, but I'm explaining it for the benefit of readers for whom it might be.

    As luck would have it, one of the oldest and best of said dozen or so CalBar-registered distance learning JD programs also happens to be one of the least expensive, and that's the one offered by Northwestern California University School of Law (NWCULAW) in Sacramento... which, sadly, in my opinion, also offers its distance learning JD in a non-bar-qualifying version... which is your interest. Given what you've written in your thread-starting post, that's what you're looking for...

    ...that is, unless what I'm about to write next is of any concern to you: While NWCULAW is in good stead with both the California bar and that state's BPPVE, it is not also accredited by an agency approved by the US Department of Education (USDE) and/or its Council on Higher Education Accrediation (CHEA). For those who eventually sit for the bar exam, that's probably not a big deal since most states would probably allow the bar card in the JD-degree-holder's wallet to pretty much trump all other degree credibility issues.

    However, the JD not being accredited by a USDE- and/or CHEA-approved agency could become an issue if an when more states begin making it illegal to claim or use degrees within them which are not accredited by said USDE- and/or CHEA-approved agencies. Oregon, for the moment, is the most rigid state in that regard... though others, mark my words, will follow in time. To avoid problems when and if your state finally follows Oregon's lead, it might pay to make sure that one's JD is from an institution that's accredited by a USDE- and/or CHEA-approved agency.

    If you decide that that's to be a requirement of your JD, then the number of California distance learning JD programs open to you shrinks from a dozen or so to, at this writing, just two:[list=1][*] The first one I'll list is the Concord School of Law, owned by Kaplan (the test-prep people). I confess to having strongly-negative feelings about Concord -- to the point that I consider it to be virtually "infamous" -- and so I equally-strongly recommend against you even considering it. I have explained why in detail around here in the past, but I'll summarize by simply saying that Concord is an institution without a conscience that has verily, and unapologetically, screwed a great many of its students in the past. It's also huge and so, therefore, its marginal propensity for treating its students more or less like cattle is infinitely higher. It's also quite expensive, by California distance learning JD program standards. Stay away from it... or so it is my opinion.
    [*]The second one I'll list, however, is quite nice; and is, among the aforementioned dozen or so distance learning California JD programs, considered low-to-medium-priced... so it's certainly affordable. That schools is William Howard Taft University Law School and, alongside the unaccredited (but still of extremely high quality) NWCULAW, I could not more highly recommend it! Though it's a personal irritant for the reasons I described earlier, Taft also offers an "Excutive" (non-bar-qualifying) version of its JD for people, like you, who have no intention of ever practicing law.[/list=1]If you want both the best and, among the best, the least expensive of the California distance learning JD programs, choose NWCULAW.

    If you want both the best and least expensive of the California distance learning JD programs, but you also require of it that it be accredited by a USDE- and/or CHEA-approved agency, then choose Taft.

    As far as any of the above being "quick," California's Committee of Bar Examiners has decreed that CalBar-registered, bar-qualifying distance learning JD programs must be four (4) calendar years in length (one year longer than traditional, brich-and-mortar, ABA-approved JD programs); and that all students in them must log (and I mean that they must actually write it down, in a log) a certain number of hours (over 800 of them) of actual study time per year... which translates into around 2 to three hours per day, seven days a week, for four years. One simply cannot speed-up that timetable.

    The only thing that bodes well for your being able to hasten the process is the fact that the non-bar-qualifying versions of said California distance learning JD programs usually consist of only the first three of the normal CalBar-required four year JD program. So, in your case, you could definitely do it in three years rather than four... which hastens it at least a little. Additionally, since your JD would not be bar-qualifying in the first place (and, therefore, the CalBar-prescribed timetalbe would no longer be an issue), it's possible that you could do it at your own pace and, therefore, faster.. but that would be between you and the school. I have no idea if either NWCULAW or Taft will allow non-bar-qualifying JD students to work faster than the CalBar-prescribed, 800-something-hour-per-year timetable. If you decide to pursue it, it would not hurt for you to ask them.



    About a Distance Learning MBA

    There are many, many, many (did I say that there are many?) accredited distance learning MBA programs out there. I could never cover them all in one -- or even several -- posts. Fortunately, for our purposes here, most of them aren't even appropriate for you since your main goal is only to have the fancy letters behind your name.

    If that's all you want, then your choice is easy. If you want an MBA that:[list=a][*]has an open enrollment policy so that it may be begun any time you like; and,
    [*]may be earned as quickly or slowly as you, alone, would like; and,
    [*]at under $5K, including books (payable at $99/mo, interest-free), is the hands-down least expensive MBA program of its type out there; and,
    [*]is accredited by a "national" accreditor (as opposed to a "regional" one) that is a USDE- and/or CHEA-approved agency and, therefore, said MBA is legal to use in states like Oregon; and,
    [*]will let you put "MBA " after your name legitimately without it being a joke; but, may not be as impressive out there in the marketplace among those who know about and truly understand MBA programs as would a regionally-accredited one,[/list=a]then the Ashworth College MBA is your only choice. Look no further. Trust me.



    About a Distance Learning PhD Program

    I will leave it to others, here, to address your PhD questions. I'm spent.
    Gregg L. DesElms
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  7. #7
    excel is offline Registered User
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    Law degrees:

    Well, ideally (I realize this isn't an option), I would love to [work my butt off and] pass the bar, and then practice law. But I don't want to have to spend years in an internship of sorts, or be required to practice in California for years, or... honestly I don't know about spending years in school either. So hence why I was asking about LLB and LLM's as well. (I did read the law school section of Bear's Guide, and read many posts re: becoming a member of state bars, so I was aware about the JD/bar parts.) I was mostly thinking that for my needs, perhaps a foreign school would have a self-study "easier"/quicker method.

    MBA 's:

    Gregg - Thank you, Ashworth does sound ideal as long as I only want that type of accreditation. I will look into that.
    Last edited by excel; 11-04-2005 at 12:12 PM.

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  9. #8
    nosborne48 is offline Registered User
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    Be careful with using the degree initials, "J.D." if you are not actually admitted to the Bar.

    In some states (i.e. Arizona) using the J.D. in connection with any business activites may constitute the practice of law.

    There IS NO legitimate "easy" J.D. Probably the easiest way is the most common way; spend three years in a full time law school. The HARDEST way would be to do a California D/L Bar qualifying degree program.

    There are two classes of schools out there that offer "non Bar" J.D. degrees. There are Bar schools that offer non Bar degrees; most of these are D/L but CalBar accredited (and R/A) San Joaquin Law School offers such a "diploma only" course for nondegreed lawyers and there may be others.

    The other class are "schools" are those that offer "life experience " credit and such. I really couldn't say whether these schools are diploma mills but I CAN say that the "degrees" they offer are essentially valueless.
    Nosborne48
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  10. #9
    DesElms is offline Registered User
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    Originally posted by excel
    Well, ideally (I realize this isn't an option), I would love to [work my butt off and] pass the bar, and then practice law.
    Which will never happen as long as you have it in your head that there's an "easy" way to do so... believe me.

    Originally posted by excel
    But I don't want to have to spend years in an internship of sorts...
    In the US, there is no "internship" of any sort required of a JD holder once s/he has passed the bar exam. If s/he can pass the bar and meet other required qualifications, then s/he is issued a bar card and may begin practicing law alongside (though probably not as well as) someone who's been doing it for decades.

    Other countries -- like Canada, the UK and Australia, just to name three that come to mind... there are others -- actually do require something that I suppose could be thought of as "internship" for new law school graduates before they can go into full practice. But that's not the case in the US.

    Originally posted by excel
    ...or be required to practice in California for years...
    Once one is a member of any state's bar, no matter how long one has practiced in said state as a member thereof, one may, if memory serves, sit for at least Wisconsin's bar exam... maybe others, but I think it's only Wisconsin. If so, then there's a second state in which one could practice, in addition to California, pretty much right after passing the bar (or, in Wisconsin's case, two bars... one in California just so that one may become a member of California's bar, which membership then automatically qualifies one to immediately go and sit for Wisconsin's bar... thereby, in this particular case, requiring of the California distance learning JD holder who wishes to more or less immediately practice in Wisconsin, two more or less back-to-back bar exams).

    Twenty-something other states will allow a California distance learning JD holder to sit for their bar exams (or be admitted on motion), but only after said JD holder has practiced in California for a few years... usually three to seven, with five being the overall average (it just depends on the state and the number of years it actually requires).

    Originally posted by excel
    ...or... honestly I don't know about spending years in school either.
    I don't mean to be insulting or sarcastic (though some cynicism is intended), but that kind of remark is yet another reason why you may not be taken as seriously by some here as I'm betting you'd like. But I digress again.

    Originally posted by excel
    So hence why I was asking about LLB and LLM's as well. (I did read the law school section of Bear's Guide, and read many posts re: becoming a member of state bars, so I was aware about the JD/bar parts.) I was mostly thinking that for my needs, perhaps a foreign school would have a self-study "easier"/quicker method.
    There are only a tiny handful of US states that will permit a UK LLB holder to sit for their bar exams with no further US schooling; and only a slightly larger number that will allow said UK LLB holder to do so with a little bit of additional schooling in the US. Some of them prescribe a non-specific year of additional study, while others require that the UK LLB holder must still get the US JD, but will allow the UK LLB to count toward an entire year or two of a three-year US JD program. Again, it just depends on the state.

    In an even smaller number of states, the LLM could qualify one to sit for the bar (which the ABA has expressly and strongly recommended against any state ever doing)... but not many states, and often not nearly as easily as it might seem. There's a catch, as they say... and precisely what that catch is depends on the state in question. But my point is, don't just assume that because you get an LLM somewhere -- even if it's accredited in whatever country it came from -- that you can then use it to sit for the bar in the US. There's a bit more to it than that, even when the state says it will accept an LLM as requisite to sitting for the bar.

    There are no real "shortcuts" to becoming a lawyer in the US; no "easy" way, as you seem to require. There are ways that are easier than others -- or more creative; or more interesting, for whatever reason -- but none of them really qualify as "easy" or as a bona fide "shortcut." They're all rigorous; and many of them are actually harder, and are usually more trouble, than just doing a normal, traditional, three-year, brick-and-mortar (residential), ABA-approved JD program. Sorry if that's not good news, for your purposes... but it is what it is.

    Just as an aside, if you want a hot (and I mean really hot... like in "best of breed," in my opinion), accredited, affordable, distance-learning master's program in law that, if you take a moment to really review it, I'll bet will trip your trigger...

    ...then look good, long, hard look at that California University of Pennsylvania (CUP) Master's in Legal Studies: Law and Public Policy (which I believe is, technically, a master of science degree in the CUP system... but they don't actually call it that, for whatever reason). It, in my opinion, has no rival and, as I already wrote, I consider it to be "best of breed" among accredited US masters programs in law that are available 100% via distance learning, but are not also LLM degrees. If the law interests you, but you don't want to get a JD, LLB or LLM (the latter of which you probably couldn't get in most places anyway without a requisite JD or LLB); and if distance learning is the required acquisition methodology, then the aforementioned CUP program is your best bet. It's a real honey, I kid you not!

    If distance learning is not the required method, then that changes things since there are quite a few really excellent masters programs out there in various areas of law that are offered by brick-and-mortar (residential/non-distance-learning) law schools whose JD programs are ABA-approved. There are enough of them that I don't even know where to start, in a post like this, recommending a few to you.


    I see that nosborne48 chimed-in (as I was hoping he'd do) while I was drafting this post; and that he covered at least some of what I just wrote, above. Read his words carefully... and heed! He knows of what he speaks... er... writes... er... well... both, I suppose!

    ;)
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  11. #10
    nosborne48 is offline Registered User
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    UK LL.B. degrees and the U.S. Bar exams

    I know of only ONE state, New York, that specifically permits a U.K. LL.B. holder to take the Bar. Resident ONLY, though; no external students need apply.

    Other states have allowed this in the past on a case-by-case basis, especially if the applicant is a barrister or solicitor in the U.K. Nebraska maybe? but that was a Canadian LL.B. IIRC.

    I know of NO state that will permit the holder of an external U.K. LL.B. to take the Bar without either first being admitted in England or earning an American LL.M. degree from an ABA accredited school. None as in zero.

    California apparently will allow a U.K. LL.B. grad to take its Bar but the nonlawyer applicant needs to prove up two years of prelegal education and establish exemption from the Baby Bar, meaning usually earning an LL.M. from an ABA accredited resident school.

    As DesElms says, there IS NO easy way to become a lawyer and there IS NO easy way to earn a legitimate law degree.

    And if you opt for a degree from a "less than wonderful" school, it would be cheaper and just as useful to merely visit a talented printer.
    Nosborne48
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  12. #11
    DesElms is offline Registered User
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    Originally posted by nosborne48
    ...San Joaquin Law School...
    Speaking of which, if this co-op program were available via distance learning, and were also affordable (which it's not), man-oh-man! It's easily as interesting to me as the aforementioned CUP program. But it's not DL... or affordable, even if it were. Pity, 'cause it's hot... or so it is my far-from-humble opinion.
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    [b]*[/b] DegreeInfo's Terms of Service (TOS) agreement, [url=http://www.degreeinfo.com/terms_policies.html][color=darkblue]here[/color][/url].

    [url=http://www.liberaloasis.com/][color=darkblue][b]LIBERAL OASIS[/b][/color][/url][/size]

  13. #12
    nosborne48 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Las Cruces NM
    Posts
    4,027

    Wink What good is it?

    Oh, c'mon! There's no MONEY in peacemaking!
    Nosborne48
    J.D. University of New Mexico
    LL.M. In Taxation, Taft Law School
    Enrolled Agent and Attorney
    (For all the good it does me!)

  14. #13
    David Williams is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Posts
    305
    Amy - I've been there, done it and have the t-shirt for both the MSW and PhD in psychology . Neither is quick nor easy to obtain.

    D.

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