American International School of Law (Online)

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Garp, Mar 28, 2016.

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  1. Garp

    Garp Active Member

    Any new information about this school? I noticed its President has retired (Jeremy Miller founder of Chapman's law school).

    They are probably the least expensive online law school and claim their learning platform is cutting edge. First year experience is supposed to be tailored to passing Baby Bar (dedicate three months time to that) and they offer free California Bar exam prep course.

    This issue is they are very new. Looks like students have only taken two Baby Bars. One with a pass rate of 75% and the second last June with a pass rate of 100%. They are honest enough to note only 1 person took it.AISOL
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 29, 2016
  2. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly

    "AISOL" sounds like it would be pronounced... well, did anyone see Johnny Dangerously?

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Ah, Moroni. I love that movie, but I'm about the only one.

    "You shouldn't hang me on a hook, Johnny. My father hung me on a hook once. Once!"
     
  4. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I don't see any disclosures about the school's lack of accreditation. It refers to students having to take the Baby Bar, only in passing. I find that to be troubling. The catalog has a bit more on the Baby Bar, but really no language around its lack of accreditation, besides a disclaimer about possibly not being eligible to sit for the Bar in other states.
     
  5. sideman

    sideman Active Member

    They seem to be going head to head with NWCU in tuition with about a $50 difference. I like the alumni page where they are looking forward to having "future alumni that will make AISOL proud".:)
    The disclosure page does seem purposely vague with a reference to only "students can request a copy of the executed or non-executed disclosure statement". So you have to sign up and pay the tuition before you can request this? Hmmm.
     
  6. Garp

    Garp Active Member

    They obviously are a start up. As far as I know, no graduates yet. A couple of thousand cheaper that NWCUSL and with the free prep courses thrown in. There is just not yet enough of a track record to judge. That means more potential risk.
     
  7. muaranah

    muaranah New Member

    Potentially crazy thought here, but could a resonably intelligent, diligent auto-didact pass the Baby and Cal Bars even if the teaching is less than optimal?
     
  8. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Technically, yes. But these examinations are HARD. The pass rates are small for accredited schools, tiny for unaccredited schools, and minuscule for correspondence students. When you combine the dropouts with the failures to pass the Baby Bar with the failures to pass the Bar, only about 1 or 2 percent of correspondence law students starting out ever become attorneys. Because there are considerable differences in pass rates for these various correspondence courses, one should infer that the quality of instruction has something to do with it. That means your chances of passing the exams is even lower at a crummy school.

    Then there's the lousy job market for attorneys....
     
  9. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    There are people who pass the Baby Bar and Cal Bar by reading the law. Does that mean that the lawyer doing the teaching is just that amazing or is it simply that the learner was more capable? We can't know. The Cal Bar is hardly a joke. A lawyer friend of mine has told me that some people consider it to be the hardest bar in the country (just ahead of New York). Others seem to think that New York is #1 and CA is #2. And others have indicated that both bars are equally difficult but CA has so much CA specific weirdness that it is more difficult in very different ways.

    But people pass it without ever having attended law school. And others fail it after having graduated from law school. Law schools with high bar passage rates might like us to believe that their rates are so high because they are such exceptional teachers. But top law schools are also highly competitive and can skim the very best students from the top of the applicant pool. If it were possible to take those exact same students in an alternate universe and enroll them all in a Tier 3 law school it's possible that the bar passage would be the same because it is the students driving that success more than the school. Or maybe not.

    It's one of the reasons why I think the idea of reading the law is kind of neat and why I would have no problem whatsoever hiring a lawyer (assuming s/he was well recommended) who obtained a law license in that manner.
     
  10. sideman

    sideman Active Member

    Yes, the $50 difference I spoke of was for the first year: NWCU-$2950 and AISOL-$2900. After the first year it is a difference of $950 per year with a total of $2800 difference for all four years in favor of AISOL. I am curious about the free baby bar prep courses. I left a message for AISOL and if/when I hear back I'll report on what course they use.
     
  11. sideman

    sideman Active Member

    I can attest to how hard the "baby" bar is. It's name is a misnomer. It is essentially a one day set of bar exams. Morning is/was three essays and afternoon was MBE. I took it in 2006 and came close to passing but no cigar. If, and this is a big if, I were to attempt it again, I would spend a minimum of six months prepping for it full time, meaning at least 3-4 hours per day, with no distractions. And I would do practice essays over and over and over again. I consider myself smarter than the average bear but it's more than that. You have to have an aptitude for law study, know how to apply the law to contrived scenarios and then of course an aptitude for the practice of law. Some folks can do all three, some not. With the state of law in its current condition and at this stage of my life, I would have to think long and hard before I attempted to climb the mountain again.
     
  12. Garp

    Garp Active Member

    Thanks for posting your experience. Did you pass the Baby Bar and then not pass the actual Bar. Have you been at all tempted to go and take it anyway (since you are so close)?

    I am assuming you have not heard from American International? That is a bit of a strike in terms of customer service.
     
  13. Garp

    Garp Active Member

    Sideman, on average how many hours per week did you spend studying and what were the assignments like?
     
  14. sideman

    sideman Active Member

    I did not pass the Baby Bar. At the time I chose to push on to year 2, study for the Baby Bar and run my own business. So for a few months I was quite the busy person. If I had it to do over again I would not have continued on with year 2 and I would've concentrated more heavily on review for the Baby Bar. My business ebbs and flows, so some weeks/months I have more time than others. Now if I were to retake the Baby Bar, assuming I pass it, I would have to begin again with year 2 through year 4 to qualify to take the California Bar. That gives me pause.

    AISOL still has not contacted me.
     
  15. Garp

    Garp Active Member

    Thank you for your insider point of view. Very helpful.

    AISOL not contacting you is making Northwestern California University School of Law look better. From what I have read (generally), they are much more responsive.
     
  16. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Our correspondent "sideman" is offering, through his very personal story, insight into the very difficult process of getting a law degree from a correspondence program. Note that until one passes the Baby Bar, study past the first year does not count. (You can continue studies and they will count if you subsequently pass the Baby Bar within the re-take limitations. If you don't, but pass it afterwards, only the first year will count.)

    When someone takes a bachelor's degree, it is with the expectation that one will finish. Same with a master's degree. But when one takes a doctorate, that pre-supposition is frequently dashed. That's the nature of doctoral education. Well, the same with studying law at a correspondence school. The expectation might be there, but the reality looms large.

    As sideman's sig line shows us, he completed his JD, but cannot practice law. In order to do so, he must go back and pass the Baby Bar, re-take years 2-4 of correspondence study, then sit for the Bar. This should give anyone pause regarding this particular path to a legal career.
     
  17. Garp

    Garp Active Member

    Absolutely Rich. Be very very cautious. According to the LA Times article few who begin go on to become an attorney. The first filter appears to be the amount of study itself. People who sign up are not prepared for the amount of work and commitment. Second, is the Baby Bar. Difficult. Then more years of lengthy study to take one of the toughest bars in the nation. I read a law student's article where he or she said it takes a special analytical intellect to think like a lawyer and be able to pass the bar. Not everyone is geared like that (even if you are intelligent).
     
  18. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    I thought that if one doesn't pass the Baby Bar, they can't continue on with law school?
     
  19. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Umm...I just explained it earlier in the thread.
     
  20. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    I figured I'd just ask someone who's actually been through the process.
     

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