California Baby Bar

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Jonathan Liu, Nov 8, 2008.

  1. Jonathan Liu

    Jonathan Liu Member

  2. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    While a less than 50% pass rate on the latest exam is nothing to brag about, I still find this interesting.

    I've looked at OBCL fairly comprehensively; they have quite a number of home-grown faculty, and nothing I could see that obviously distinguishes them from the other CA-approved (and even RA/DETC-accredited) DL law schools, but they have a significantly better pass rate.

    BTW Jonnie....don't be such a stranger!
  3. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Good to see you, Jonathan.

    Considering the very open-admission nature of unaccredited California law schools, that number is pretty good.
  4. Randy Miller

    Randy Miller New Member

    The link posted goes to very old stats. 2003-2006. Maybe Lincoln hasn't done so well in recent years?
  5. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    Oak Brook College of Law differs from most other CA-approved DL law schools in one important respect: it is non-profit. They are operated by the Institute for Basic Life Principles (IBLP), an evangelical organization in Oak Brook, Illinois (hence the name of the law school). They don't have the same mission as the for-profit DL law schools.
    OBCL isn't open-admission. Compared to other CA-approved DL law schools, OBCL has stricter requirements for both religious orientation and legal aptitude.

    For example, all OBCL applicants are required to attend a 25-hour IBLP seminar on "Basic Life Principles", complete a "Statement of Faith", and prepare a "Personal Evaluation" (to address such questions as "Why do you think God is calling you to do “good works” (Ephesians 2:10) in the area of law and government?)" This approach is clearly intended to narrow, rather than broaden, their applicant pool.

    And OBCL narrows the applicant pool even further, by emphasizing the LSAT. Their application states: "All students are recommended to take the LSAT test. While not an absolute requirement, the LSAT is valuable to the applicant and the school in determining aptitude for the study of law. " Other CA-approved schools, in contrast, will look at LSAT scores if you want to submit them, but they don't require or recommend it.

    So OBCL apparently wants to focus on a particular niche: they specialize in law students who have both a specific religious orientation and an aptitude for legal exams. That's a different focus from the for-profit schools, who ultimately want to make money. The for-profit schools stand to achieve their goals by enrolling as many students as possible, regardless of religious orientation or legal aptitude. OBCL is different.

    The upside to the OBCL approach is that they do seem to recruit relatively motivated and talented law students, relative to other CA-approved schools. The downside is that they don't get very many of them. For example, the most recent Calbar statistics (for June 2008 and October 2007) show a total of 215 first-time FYLSX takers from Concord, 101 from Abraham Lincoln, and only 15 from OBCL.

    OBCL had the highest pass rates, which is obviously commendable. But it seems like an "apples to oranges" comparison. Concord or Lincoln are marketing legal education to the public at large; OBCL is only targeting a small and focused niche.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 9, 2008

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!


    Can someone pass the bar in California by using distance learning law institution. Then transfer to another state? I meant, simplly just turn their license in and get a new one from another state without taking the exam again or going back to school?

  7. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    The short answer is "sometimes, depending on the other state". Every state has different regulations, and these are subject to change, so it's hard to generalize. In some states it is impossible, in others it is theoretically possible.

    Even in states where it is theoretically possible, there may be additional requirements. For example, some states may require several years of work experience after passing the California bar, or they may require an accredited LLM degree to supplement the unaccredited JD. Some states won't accept unaccredited JD degrees under any circumstances.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 10, 2008
  8. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

    Tekman: "Can someone pass the bar in California by using distance learning law institution. Then transfer to another state?"

    John: I used to put a fairly detailed section on this matter in Bears' Guide, listing the possible states for various scenarios. Much of that information came from the Lawyers' Desk Reference. It would be nice if someone (who isn't me) updated that information.
  9. cbkent

    cbkent New Member

    To my knowledge, the only state that will permit a CA attorney with a DL degree to take the bar exam immediately after admission to the CA bar is Wisconsin.

    A number of other states will do so after several years of licensure and/or practice, such as 3, 5 or 10 years.

    Requirements vary, and change from time to time.

    Check with the state bar in the jurisdiction you are considering before committing to a CA DL JD degree. It is a very tough path to becoming an attorney. Few make it.
  10. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    Seeing as how a post up above referred to ALU as "Lincoln", I think that I'll introject the pedantic point that Abraham Lincoln University in Los Angeles, the distance-learning law-school: not the same thing as Lincoln Law School of San Jose, a long-established and reasonably successful B&M Cal-Bar accredited school that isn't ABA or otherwise accredited by a USDofEd recognized accreditor. I pass by it frequently, it operates out of leased space in an office building in downtown SJ.

    ...or the very similar Cal-Bar Lincoln Law School of Sacramento, which may or may not be associated wih the one in San Jose (I know that it was at one time).
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2008
  11. Jonathan Liu

    Jonathan Liu Member

    The two Lincoln law schools in northern California once related to Lincoln University in San Francisco. I Remember.

    Hi guys,

    I'm very busy at work. You know the hi-tech industry has hard time now. Sorry for not checking in often to say hi.

    You guys have fun.
  12. shirah

    shirah New Member

    I'm still in the midst of comparing CA online and correspondence law schools. I researched and created two comparison charts based on stats from 2006 to present - one comparing the % passing the baby bar, the other comparing the % of the "real" bar. I'll be glad to share if anyone is interested...
  13. mbaonline

    mbaonline New Member

    Yes, please do.
  14. shirah

    shirah New Member

    It won't let me upload the .pdf file - says it's too large, even after I zip it. I'll be glad to email it - just PM me with your address.

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