Study Law Online

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Kizmet, Mar 27, 2018.

  1. learninglover

    learninglover New Member

    NWCU and AISOL

    I've taken a peek inside the application and enrollment conditions of NWCU and AISOL.
    Don't worry about disclosure documents for AISOL, all these correspondence schools come with a lot of disclaimers and baggage that you must sign to acknowledge.
    It's going to be the same at NWCU and Concord and the rest. Just sign with your eyes open, knowing that there is no guaranteed track record, you bear responsibility for your own baby bar and bar results, and knowing that no competitive legal jobs are forthcoming so it would be silly to hold them responsible for it. Know also that you get three tries with the baby bar and if you can't pass it, you'll have to be dismissed from the school and give up -or start again- those are bar rules. Fair.

    If you want to ensure that you get through the school and get your chances to take the Baby bar and Bar, AISOL has friendlier and more transparent academic policies for sure.
    AISOL provides its grading policy to you upfront (where everybody gets probation then dismissal before you enroll). NWCU makes its grading policy clear to you the first time you fall below the GPA threshold and dismiss you without warning.

    NWCU does everything by the book, its own book. When you enroll at NWCU, they tell you in your enrollment email that you are subject to the student handbook that you can only read inside the student portal after you have been accepted and paid your dues. NWCU's student handbook is not publicly accessible nor downloadable by pdf by paying students. You also cannot retrieve it once you are locked out of the portal.
    I really doubt everyone reads this thing cover to cover. Hence NWCU enjoys full discretion and freedom as a private school to dismiss students who don't meet their academic threshold without giving them an opportunity for probation and remedy. With NWCU, you will have better luck appealing any of their policies if your family died, you're going through a divorce or bankruptcy or some other really sad story-with proof. The best that would get you, is possibly a pass/fail situation, or immediate reinstatement so you must redo your first year again. They allow you to reapply after two years but i really doubt they readmit people or people actually do reapply after two years. I am supposing they do that to try to raise their baby bar pass rates to meet their accreditation aspirations.

    If you are not sure if you can commit the time or don't feel too confident about your first year, i'd advise that you choose AISOL. From what i've seen, it's a steep learning curve and i think first year students do need to be cut some slack. NWCU is more concerned about its own passage rates than helping you to test yourself against the bar so consider that when you are deciding between the two.

    If you like NWCU better for whatever reason, and you have a busy schedule, you can consider requesting C/NC for your first year.

    At the end of the day, all that matters is whether you pass the Baby bar and the Bar. The schools should be organised to help you to get there, not hinder you nor make you repeat year after year.
    The rest is up to you.

    If your goal is to learn a new course of study and to be able to consider yourself competent and nationally qualified if and when you pass the bar, these are great and cheap institutions to go to.
    SteveFoerster likes this.
  2. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    I can't help it -- every time I see "AISOL" I think this:

  3. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    I've had a thought over the years about the best way to get a California qualifying JD. I have no idea if it's valid but I have thought that the best thing to do is to complete the first year in residence, albeit part time at night, at a Calbar accredited school then commence correspondence study. The first year of law school is where you learn to read the law and to apply legal principles to fact patterns. After that, you really don't need the lectures. The second reason is that you would be exempt from the Baby Bar.
  4. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Meanwhile you'd save a bunch of tuition money by not paying for the remaining three years in residence.
  5. Todd Pope

    Todd Pope New Member

    Thats a very interesting idea. You could even do the first year of it online through JFKU law school (now moving to NCU since jfku is shutting down). They are calbar accredited and fully online. Then transfer that year to nwcu and complete the degree. Jfku is about 20k a year (last i checked) and nwcu about 3k a year, so the full degree would be 29k and avoid having to take the babybar (in theory)
  6. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    I think (just THINK, mind you) that the first year should be in residence if at all possible. The first year is where you learn to think on your feet, not be intimidated by anyone (professor or judge) and to be prepared for curve balls. I don't think that experience can be replicated in the cozy safety of one's own basement.
  7. Todd Pope

    Todd Pope New Member

    I agree. My personal situation is a little different because I completed a year of law school in residence at a state accredited law school in Alabama, but decided not to finish. I've considered ways to obtain a JD though without spending $150,000, and had more or less decided to enroll into NWCU after I finish my DHSc, simply for the price and convenience. Having already spent a year in residence, redoing that year with a Calbar online school would be fine with me if it means skipping the baby bar. I dont ever intend to practice law, but a 29k JD would certainly make me a little more competitive.
  8. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    I would never consider attending any law school that would charge me more than $75,000 total tuition for all three years together and I'd be awfully reluctant to pay that much. A J.D. simply isn't worth a lifetime of student loan payments. Yet students are paying two and three times that amount!
    JoshD likes this.
  9. JoshD

    JoshD Well-Known Member

    A friend of mine graduated law school here in Oklahoma and said she will have about $250K in student loan debt. I’d assume that is undergrad and law school combined but I dang near had a stroke at the amount.
  10. nomaduser

    nomaduser Active Member

    That's a lot of debts. It will take 25 years of $1k monthly payments to pay off that $250k debts...
    JoshD likes this.
  11. JoshD

    JoshD Well-Known Member

  12. nomaduser

    nomaduser Active Member

    U.S. tuition system is broken...

    Check this out:

    University of London offers online Bachelor of Laws degree for only £5108.
    Yes, the total tuition is 5k GBP so you'll be charged only 1.5k GBP per year.
    I was thinking about doing this in my free time.. so it costs only about $180 per month for 3 years.

    Why can't we get Univ of London degree and just forget about nonsense debts.
    University of London has a good academic reputation too.
  13. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Allow me to display my ancient scars. I failed to complete the UoL LL.M. program largely because I didn't have access to an adequate law library. On-line resources won't cut it; you need long term access to various written materials that aren't otherwise available unless you buy all those books yourself at ruinous expense. If you are located in a good sized city in a country that is (probably) a member of the Commonwealth, you might be able to manage it. If that city has a Faculty of Law that will grant you access to its library, you can do it. But I can tell you that an American law library maintained to ABA standards at an American law school doesn't begin to meet the requirements.

    Permit me also to warn you that the UoL (and I suppose other UK schools) set and mark their examinations very differently than American schools do and if there is a dispute between the school and the examiners it can cost you a passing grade. That happened to me, or at least it contributed to my frustration and eventual withdrawal from the program.

    Finally, the value of the UK correspondence LL.B. should not be over-rated. The degree by itself will not qualify you to engage in law practice anywhere, not even in the UK nor does it carry much professional weight elsewhere in the common law world. Canada, for example, will require you to take two years in residence at a Canadian law school. Some American jurisdictions might allow you to qualify through completing an (expensive) LL.M. in residence.

    Bottom line: If you are an American law student, do an American law degree program. If you want to do a distance degree, do a Californian distance degree (as I ended up doing for my LL.M.) A Californa degree will qualify you to take California's bar exam right out of the box.
    nomaduser and sideman like this.
  14. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Just for those who might want to know about such things: I scored a 47 in Jurisprudence, a double subject. Passing score for the LL.M. was 50. Had I taken the course for the LL.B. I would have passed easily since the LL.B. passing score for this subject was 40. Had it been a single LL.M. subject, I could have opted for a "condoned pass" of which the LL.M. student was permitted one (out of four subjects). I learned later that the school and the examiners were engaged in a rather bitter fight over the scope of the LL.M. examinations but the dispute wasn't public and I can't say for certain that my exam was affected.

    Frankly, at this point, the thought of re-taking that long and difficult exam, which I would have had to do to stay in the course, didn't appeal to me. I felt that I had written a good paper and I think that the fact that it would have passed easily at the LL.B. level tends to confirm that feeling. I had no confidence that the second attempt would turn out any better. So instead I earned a much more useful LL.M. from an American school.
  15. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    I have to admit, though, that I learned a LOT about jurisprudence in the effort so the time and money weren't wasted. It WAS a good course.
    nomaduser likes this.
  16. jonlevy

    jonlevy Member

    Nope, got the correspondence JD from Taft, passed the California Bar, passed the old open book English QLTT and then got reciprocity in Ireland and some of the British Overseas Territories. The California distance learning is the way to go; but you have to be able to pass the First Year Bar Exam.
    SteveFoerster likes this.
  17. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Well done! I'm a little surprised the Law Society didn't raise any eyebrows about your correspondence JD. The Canadians sure would have. But now you're admitted in the UK and California, all for a fraction of the cost of the traditional route.

    As to the QLTT...that's been replaced by something called the QLTS and if I understand it, the same test applies to everybody whereas I think the QLTT had a variety of exams according to one's training. Also they've dropped the experience requirement. I've thought about doing it but what purpose would it serve now? I don't think it would make emigration to the UK any easier (not that I had any intention of doing so anyway).

    But it WOULD be kwel!:)
    SteveFoerster likes this.
  18. jonlevy

    jonlevy Member

    QLTT used to be administered in New York, I think you have to go to London now for the QLTS. No one cares about a correspondence law degree except the ABA monopolists in the United States. Law practice now is 100% virtual if you want it to be so a single license can be used worldwide. England for example does not regulate non European lawyers, you can set up as a California lawyer in England and the Law Society considers you as a unregulated entity because you are not practising English law.
  19. Garp

    Garp Active Member

    Interesting point in the midst of Covid. I know attorneys that are using technology for meetings and I suppose could even sign documents electronically.
  20. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Oh, Canada also cares about correspondence study.

    I like the English approach though. So you get your LLB by correspondence but you still have to take a practice course and do an internship before you get a license.

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