Law: Transfer from Non ABA-DL to ABA After Baby Bar

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Pilot, Oct 7, 2009.

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  1. Pilot

    Pilot Member

    Hello,
    Is it possible to transfer for a Non ABA DL California school to an ABA Law school if one passes the baby bar?
    Wouldn't that show that the individual is qualified to study law at an ABA school?
    Any thoughts?
    Thank you much
     
  2. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    I would check this out very carefully with ABA schools before proceeding any further in that direction. My guess is that an ABA-accredited school would not be able to accept any transfer credits from an unaccredited DL law school, due to ABA rules. For example, the University of La Verne College of Law (which is provisionally ABA accredited) says the following:
    Note that there is no mention of DL law schools, which are considered unaccredited. By "state accredited", they mean "California Bar" accredited, which is a different category for B&M schools.

    If you passed the "Baby Bar" at an unaccredited school, perhaps this would convince an ABA school to admit you. But if they can't accept transfer credits from DL schools, then you would have to start as a new student, rather than as a transfer. And there might be further problems because California Bar rules only allow students a limited number of years in school to qualify for a law degree. I'm not sure how an initial year of study at an unaccredited school would count towards the maximum.

    State-accredited B&M law schools in California might (or might not) have more flexibility about accepting transfers from DL schools.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 7, 2009
  3. soupbone

    soupbone Active Member

    This is an interesting topic that I just became aware of. A friend of mine graduated from Southern New England School of Law (SNESL) and is having difficulties being allowed to take the bar anywhere other than Mass. I'm helping him explore his options at this point. I know this is something that he should have thought about before taking this step but I'm not concerned with that right now because it's already done. What is the utility of a JD without the bar? I know practicing law is out but is this degree still worth something outside of being a practicing attorney? He has an interest in law enforcement so would this benefit him in any way? It's strange because in Mass. he can sit and take the bar but he wants to take the bar in another state (wanting to move). I'm trying to help him but this is all new territory for me so I'm looking to you guys for some possibilities. Is it possible to transfer some of these credits to an ABA school and then finish what's left? What really has me curious is the fact that SNESL is regionally accredited so this degree has to have some utility right?
     
  4. soupbone

    soupbone Active Member

  5. Mighty_Tiki

    Mighty_Tiki Member

    In recent developments this school has been absorbed by the UMass system as UMass Dartmouth School of Law first class supposedly entering Fall 2010. I know you can take the MA and CT bar exams right away and then apply to several other jurisdictions after you are admitted in those states. I don't know if they (SNESL) are like Mass School of Law at Andover which isn't ABA but has agreements in all the New England states to be able to have it's grads sit for their bar? What state is he interested in practicing in? I would probably guess he is at the same disadvantage that most of the Cal distance studets / Cal Bar approved schools are in; in that a number of states might admit him with admission in MA and then a certain number of years of documented practice. If he is not set on practicing he can apply his knowledge in a number of places such as corporate legal and other areas of business. If the poster known as CBKent is still lurking around here he may be of help as he is someone who went the Cal Distance route and made it as a lawyer. Also look for some old posts from Nosbourne who used to post a lot about this topic. Good luck!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 20, 2010
  6. Mighty_Tiki

    Mighty_Tiki Member

    Beat me to it!

    Soupbone, you just beat me to the UMass tidbit! I think though even if it does win ABA approval, your friend's degree would still not be considered ABA accredited since he graduated even before they were in provisionally approved status. This may be a gray area and he ccould ask the school I guess. I just know the discussions which have taken place here in regard to claiming your school was accredited when in fact it was several years post graduation the school actually secured it. I hope he finds a niche for himself, any type of legitimate law degree is certainly no waste of time.
     
  7. TonyM

    TonyM Member

    A JD is quite useful in law enforcement

    I know several police officer JDs, and they are usually beneficial to the agency, especially in training and policy. On the street they are the best with affidavits, warrants, victim assistance and any other tricky legal document. It's really a two way exchange. Many cops become excellent attorneys (often lethal in criminal law on either side of the courtroom), and many JDs end up in policing. Some didn't pass the bar. Others didn't like legal practice. Some didn't make enough money. Currently I have two JD coworkers. One uses his knowledge on the street...getting protective orders and warrants and aiding victims. He truly unleashes the legal system against criminals. It's amazing. The other gives excellent legal update classes and has a loud voice in departmental policy and decisions. He can unwind some otherwise tricky new court decisions and other legal issues. Anyone who would otherwise do well in law enforcement will probably be quite popular with a JD, with our without a bar card.
     
  8. soupbone

    soupbone Active Member

    He's wanting Louisiana which has one of the strangest bar exams in the nation. They also use Napoleonic Law which is also odd. I think he might be better off getting into law enforcement (he's VERY interested in CSI Investigations, Homicide, and Juvenile) and using the degree as a door opener. I don't think the degree is wasted but since I know so very little about non ABA schools and the utility of a degree from them I can't offer much advice.

    You brought up an interesting point about ABA accreditation also. He was told by an administrator that there was a good possibility of them being grandfathered in with them possibly having to take an exam of some sort. I'm not sure if that's accurate infromation he received though. I'm also unsure what the timeline would be once ABA gets in and starts the accreditation process. If he could get grandfathered in he's willing to wait it out if it isn't going to be that long but otherwise it might be best for him to cut his losses and move on using the degree for employment in law enforcement.
     
  9. soupbone

    soupbone Active Member

    I work with a few as well that have similar stories. I just wonder if a non ABA degree would be useful in actually getting him a job. The crazy thing is that this particular school is regionally accredited, just not PA (Professionally Accredited--ABA).
     
  10. TonyM

    TonyM Member

    Without the ABA it's still an accredited graduate program in a useful discipline I bet it will be good for any law enforcement job or maybe anything in public policy. Any graduate degree is still a big deal in law enforcement, and a JD is probably even better. In the South even a bachelor's degree in anything will open a lot of doors in policing. I hope your friend gets what he wants. Regardless, understanding the law has a lot of uses beyond the bar.
     
  11. sideman

    sideman Active Member

    If your friend decides not to become a lawyer there are other routes he could take such as: business planning, insurance sales/adjustment, securites work, personnel management, tax practice, environmental consulting, or real estate development. In other words areas that have a significant administrative law component that don't require the services of a licensed attorney. There are a surprising amount of non-lawyer JD's out there who received their degrees and for whatever reason do not want to practice law. Where they got the degree is unimportant in furthering their careers. What matters most is that they have it.
     
  12. soupbone

    soupbone Active Member

    He's very interested in law enforcement and it's actually a career path I can help him with. I'll have to do some digging of my own and see what I can come up with. He's interested in Human/Civil Rights work in the field of law enforcement so maybe IA, victim's impact? He also likes the CSI environment, Homicide, and Juvenile casework. Thanks for all the advice guys I will pass this along and please post if you have any more suggestions. Thanks!
     
  13. 1Lstudent

    1Lstudent New Member

    Most likely not...

    If the law school was DL only, and not a bricks and mortar state-bar approved school, the answer is no. I'm guestimating that you're in CA- I'm doing a DL CA school and expressed interest in a local school here that does accept non-ABA transfer students (one of only two, I believe). It doesn't accept any DL students.
     
  14. sshuang

    sshuang New Member



    Hi 1Lstudent,

    Which DL law school do you go to now?
    Did you pass the Baby Bar already?
     
  15. 1Lstudent

    1Lstudent New Member

    Concord.

    I haven't taken the FYLSX yet. I just hit my mid-terms, but will start studying for the baby bar once I get the results back.
     
  16. sshuang

    sshuang New Member



    Hi 1Lstudent,

    You may want to buy a baby bar review material and start preparing for it as soon as possible. I made that mistake over ten years ago.
     
  17. 1Lstudent

    1Lstudent New Member

    Thanks for the tip

    Is it that horrific? Where did you go to school?
     
  18. sshuang

    sshuang New Member



    Hi 1Lstudent,

    It's not a story I would share proudly. But here you go.
    I went to Taft Law School over ten years ago.
    By the time I finished 1L of law study, Taft sent me info on the review course.

    I purchased Fleming’s but just didn’t have enough time to go over the entire material.
    In addition, I was working between 50-60 hours a week at the time.

    I took the exam only once and scored approximately 67%.
    I kind of lost the momentum and withdraw from the school.

    Even though I passed the essay part, but it wasn’t enough to pull my score in the multiple choice questions. My advice to you is to practice as many multiple choice questions as you can.

    How do you like Concord?
     
  19. 1Lstudent

    1Lstudent New Member

    Thanks for sharing. I contacted the school and it appears that they have an in-house FYLSX prep program in place for us.

    How do I like it? In some ways, I was pleasantly surprised; in others, I was a bit disappointed. I'm not sure whether my disappointed stems from the school or the DL platform itself. I frankly don't like not having direct interaction with students and faculty but I do find that the faculty, thus far, is extremely approachable and appear dedicated to our success. We'll see how it plays out. I do wish that I was in a situation where I was able to attend an ABA residential program, but it is what it is.
     
  20. daniellevine

    daniellevine New Member

    To answer the original question, I'm not aware of any ABA-approved schools that accept non-ABA credits. I attended Northwestern California University law school for around five months before realizing it wasn't for me. I did a ton of research on law schools and concluded that the ABA is a monopolistic, stubborn force that won't reach out to you.
     

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