Lesser of two evils - Northwestern California University or Concord Law School

Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by Randell1234, Apr 22, 2003.

  1. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    I am thinking about law schools just for the knowledge, not as a career change (this year anyway).
    What would be the better school to attend - Northwestern California University or Concord Law School .

    I do want flexability when I am complete and I am not sure if a DETC school would be better than a CA school since the bar would be limited for both.
  2. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Tough thing to answer. You will need to weigh a number of factors such as cost, claim to some form of accreditation, bar pass rates, etc.

    Neither is accredited by the ABA obviously which is highly important so even DETC accreditation may not be worth much EXCEPT that you can technically claim to have an accredited degree and this may or may not be important if you are looking for a job where an 'accredited' degree is required (eg my employer will consider NA but not UnA). Obviously a DETC degree is not likely to mean much if you are going to use the law degree as a law degree (in many circumstances). You already know that.

    So, is having the degree DETC accredited worth more to you than Northwestern Cal's higher bar pass rate? N.Western is cheaper and as I recall has a higher pass rate.

    Now, if you can do a one week residency and do not mind the religious aspect, Oak Brook College of Law is about as inexpensive as N.Western and has a bar pass rate of 2 or 3 times that of NWestern depending on the year (if I recall correctly).

  3. kajidoro

    kajidoro New Member

    Ask me next year when I pass the FYLSE.

    SCMP, Stanford
    JD, Concord (in progress)
  4. sshuang

    sshuang New Member

    Which Correspondence Law School?

    To tell you the truth, I don't really think it matters which correspondence law school you choose. As long as you can pass the FYLSX and eventually the bar... And in order to pass these exams, I think, the key is to practice lots of old exams.
  5. tcnixon

    tcnixon Active Member

    And if you went to Oak Brook for the one week residency, I'd even take you out for a drink or dinner one night. What more could you want? Of course the downside is that it is in Fresno, California.

    Tom Nixon
  6. Dennis Ruhl

    Dennis Ruhl member

    A drink? Church school - they must have a code of conduct. Just don't hold hands in public.
  7. As another Dennis has alluded, a drink for an OBCL student could land him/her in serious water. According to their catalog, it's on the list of things one is required to abstain from-- right up there with non-prescribed drugs and pornography.
  8. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    Aren't those the things needed to get through law school?
  9. Nosborne

    Nosborne New Member

    NWCal is a LOT cheaper, been around longer, has a better pass rate...

    Nosborne, JD (whose degree didn't come from either school, so how should I know?)
  10. tcnixon

    tcnixon Active Member

    No alcohol, drugs, or pornography? What's a guy to do with his time?

    Tom Nixon
  11. kajidoro

    kajidoro New Member

    I am so totally hosed.

  12. Guest

    Guest Guest

    This is of course the right of the school. Unfortunately, Jesus himself woud have been expelled and probably seriously reprimanded for not only drinking himself but also corrupting others by providing alcohol (wedding at Cana).

  13. matty

    matty New Member

    NWCU vs. Concord

    Hello Randell:

    I've attended both schools. Concord has excellent bells and whistles-- a very organized and useful student page to keep track of assignments, weekly live chats with professors, and a more integrated online community overall. As has been pointed out, it's also a good deal more expensive.

    I enjoyed Concord, however being a very independent student and not needing the extra materials and community, I transferred to NWCU. I'm happy I made the move.

    I, for one, do not feel DETC accreditation is relevant at this time and would not recommend paying for it. While I'm happy to see that Concord has achieved this, when it comes right down to it, it does not actually confer any advantages to the DL student. It may at some time in the future but, IMO anyway, this is decades away, not years.

    As someone else has mentioned, the key here is passing the Baby Bar and then going on to pass the General Bar. In my experience with DL law and knowing a handful of DL students that have passed both, it is my opinion that it does not matter all that much which of the seven or so DL schools you attend. Rather, it's learning how to master these exams. This skill you learn primarily from sources external to the schools themselves.

    If you feel that you would really like an active online community, live lectures, great video lectures, etc. and that these types of materials would help you to get into the program and be more likely to do the necessary work AND the money is not an issue for you (maybe you're employer will pay for it or you're wealthy) then I'd recommend Concord. Otherwise, I'd go with NWCU.

    If you have specific questions, I'd be happy to answer them offline.

    Good luck.

  14. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member


    Thank you for your thoughtful reply. I don't care about the online community, video lectures, etc. I just want to study on my own and learn the material.

    My employer would pay 4K per year so Concord would cost me a total of 12K. NWCU is not acceditied so I don't think they would pay anything. NWCU would still be cheaper at a total of about 8K.

    Sounds like NWCU would be a better choice for me.
  15. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    While it is difficult to predict the future, I would give some weight to Concord for:

    1. Publicity. It is the school referred to in the media when online law education is discussed.

    2. Money. It is owned by the very powerful Kaplan (and, therefore, by the Washington Post).

    3. Technology. Concord is an online, not correspondence school. Web- and computer-based training and education are "cool." Correspondence education is Sally Struthers-esque. (I readily acknowledge the number of legitimate university programs using that method, but I'm describing perceptions here.)

    4. If any nonresidential law school is going to break through and get approved by the California State Bar, it will likely be Concord.

    There could come a time when graduation from Concord is a distinction. There might be three categories of law schools that people will tend to recognize: ABA- and California-approved residential schools, Concord, and everyone else. In other words, everyone else except the ABA may begin recognizing and accepting Concord.

    Just a thought....
  16. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    If you don't care about online community, video lectures etc., and if your purpose is just to gain additional knowledge of the law and not to practice law after you graduate, then why attend law school at all? You could read law books in a library for free and save the $8K. I'm sure that there are many syllabi and study guides that could give structure to your reading and alert you to important issues.

    I guess that a lot depends on how sure you are that you won't want to join the California bar and practice law at a later date.
  17. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    Thanks Rich, another good point to consider.
    I could always just stick with "option C"- forget the whole law school thing and get a PhD.
  18. sshuang

    sshuang New Member

    Law School or Ph.D.

    Hi Randell1234,

    I completed first year of law study with Taft years ago.
    I took Baby Bar/got 67% on the exam and never took the exam again.

    Around that time, Concord Law School and TUI just came about. Since TUI is RA and 100% on-line, I decided to pursue Ph.D. BA with TUI and am quite happy that I made the choice.

    TUI is the first 100% on-line RA in the US, and now we have Northcentral, hence it will be interesting to see how the DL law schools will involve years down the road.

    My goals are to first acquire a RA Ph.D. and eventually to get a law degree. If DL law schools are accredited by Cal Bar or even ABA by that time, I think it's worth waiting for.
  19. Redlyne Racer

    Redlyne Racer member

    There are and probably always will be only two categories of law schools: ABA and non-ABA. There may be various subcategories within the non-ABA ranks, but as a practicing lawyer the distinction is virtually meaningless. Unless you are planning just to hang the diploma on your wall, remember that these are primarily professional degrees, not academic. Concord may well be the best DL law program on earth, but since they are non-ABA that makes them the biggest midget in the circus.

    As a graduate from a law school that was (then) non-ABA I can tell you it makes a world of difference to employers, and to the various state bars as well. In many states graduates of ABA schools can be admitted by motion once they pass one state's bar exam. Non-ABA grads, assuming they are eligible at all, must usually have some 5-7 years of practice, then must take the new state's bar exam (usually the full exam, not the simplified "attorney" exam). Definitely a problem if you decide you want to practice law some place else some day.

    Unless you have some particular need for a DL degree, or some other special situation that prevents you from attending an ABA school (e.g., no money, a job, a life, etc.) definitely go the ABA route for an initial law degree if you can.

    Personally I think the ABA should be demolished and abolished. But until that happens you've got to play the cards as they are dealt. Be sure you understand the game before you ante up.

    Check the charts at these links:
  20. Nosborne

    Nosborne New Member

    One consequence of Redlyne Racer's observations is that it is rarely sensible to obtain a JD unless you actually intend to practice law.

    An ABA degree is a vast expense precisely because of the lost income opportunity it represents, in the case of a state school with its three year full time program, or obscene tuition in the case of a (usually) private part time evening four year program. One can even go to the day program of a private school like Harvard and get the worst of BOTH worlds!

    It just isn't easy to acquire a legal education in this country other than for professional purposes. This is a shame; law is a science worth studying for its own right like any other branch of human knowlege.

    Nosborne, JD

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