The Official Law School Thread

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by NorCal, Aug 6, 2011.

  1. NorCal

    NorCal Active Member

    So I have been interested to see what law school your people are attending, why you choose that school, and what other law schools did you consider before you took the plunge?

    Obviously I'm considering law school, but like everything else, I'm looking to gain a better understanding and things to consider from those of you here on DegreeInfo. The older I get the more I realize that I don't know as much as I once might have thought, so your input will be appreciated a great deal.
  2. Hokiephile

    Hokiephile New Member

    I work for a law school. It's actually the third one I've worked for, this one being private and the other two being large state universities. If you have any questions, I might have a different perspective from most.
  3. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    My wife is doing the LLB program through Nottingham Trent University in England. It's mostly distance, but with four study weekend per year in Nottingham which are optional but extremely helpful. She's doing this because she intends to practice in the Caribbean, where such credentials are commonplace, but if she jumped through a few hoops she could also practice in the U.S. were she so inclined. The total tuition is something like $17,000, so compared with U.S. law school it's a bargain.
  4. novemberdude

    novemberdude New Member

    I went to Northumbria University as a distance learning student. I enjoyed it. But enjoying it is one thing, usefulness is another. Presumably you want to practice law. If that is the case then my suggestion is if at all possible don't go the distance learning route. There are very few exceptions to this rule if you are North American based.

    For Steve: I was always a big fan of Nottingham Trent's program. More expensive than Northumbria's, but a good looking program. I would have strongly considered it but they were not at that time running a graduate entry scheme, which would have added another year onto my study time. In terms of practicing in the US my research is somewhat limited (I'm Canadian so it was only a peripheral interest kind of thing) but it looked as though the number of states where an English distance learning LLB, even combined with a US law LLM, would be somewhat limited. The options increase substantially if the applicant is licensed in a foreign jurisdiction. Is that consistent with what you were finding? Just general curiousity here.
  5. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Surprisingly, she may be able to sit the bar in New York as is -- while that's different from the conventional wisdom on these forums, it seems other grads from her program have done so.

    Failing that, following it up with an American LLM would qualify her for a number of states, including D.C. and Maryland, which are convenient to us. Florida Coastal School of Law has a reasonably priced LLM in U.S. Law one can do entirely online, or by then she may not care so much about being bar qualified in the U.S. and just do an LLM or LEC in Trinidad to be qualified throughout the English-speaking West Indies.
  6. BlueMason

    BlueMason Audaces fortuna juvat

    I just received my acceptance letter from Nottingham Trent's LLB and I am immensely pleased! I inquired with two people (Thanks to novemberdude and Steve's wife) and conducted a significant amount of research before settling on Nottingham Trent. As I am in no particular rush to complete the LLB degree, Nottingham's four year programme works for me (not to mention my work requires I attend several courses a year) and I thought was financially quite feasible (under 3k GBP/year). I corresponded with someone directly from Nottingham and he was quite helpful. The University is well recognized in the UK and while I realize that I will face other hurdles (in .ca) once I complete this venture, I am quite willing do what I have to.

    Why DL? Working FT does not allow me to attend a B&M Law School, ergo DL is the only way I can pursue it.
    Other Universities I considered: UoL and Northumbria

    Wish me luck :)
  7. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    Unfortunately, the Nottingham program lacks a required, core course that is mandatory for US law schools; "LAW101 - Becoming Obsessed With Holding Elected Office". :laugh2:
  8. keegan

    keegan New Member

    Hi Steve, the LLM your wife is considering in Trinidad, is that through UWI ?
  9. sideman

    sideman Active Member

    Wish me luck :)[/QUOTE]

    I'll go you one better than that-----Godspeed!
  10. novemberdude

    novemberdude New Member

    Good luck!

    In case you have not checked the NCA website recently they have redone the whole thing. They are now far clearer on what they will require of distance learning LLB holders: 6 challenge exams + 8 one semester courses completed in residence. From a quick read earlier today my impression was that Osgoode's LLM would not be particularly helpful in satisfying either requirement. If you are willing to leave your hometown for a year U de Montreal offers a LLM (or grad diploma) in North American law that may cure both the distance learning and the substantive deficiencies, except probably the requirement for Canadian Constitutional law. I corresponded with the NCA about this program after my own NCA evaluation and they did not give me a definitive answer but they did not close the door on the possibility that it would work (I got the impression that it would work, but they were not willing to commit to that until I was willing to commit). They were clear that the same in residence courses could be used to satisfy both the challenge exams and the residential portion. As far as I understand the U de Montreal program is offered in English.

    In terms of the three versus four year program, I am not sure that the NCA assesses the shorter LLB more severely when you a) already have an undergrad and b) do it by distance learning. Particularly B. I just have the feeling that the "6+8" formulation is the standard applied to distance learners and have a nice day. So I don't know for sure but you might be burning a year there.

    I got the 6+8, and I had:

    Previous degree (BComm)
    LLB (Hons) (senior status)
    1 in residence graduate level law course completed at a Canadian university.

    Which is partially why I think they just hit you with 6+8 and don't really look at the rest of the file, my senior status LLB+LLM comes out to slightly more (in terms of academic time) than a LLB, plus the one course in residence. I should have gotten at least one 3 credit course deducted, and realistically with the LLM I should have been looking at 5+7 or 6+6. In my opinion they didn't really examine the file closely, just saw distance learning and rubber stamped it.
  11. novemberdude

    novemberdude New Member

    I was researching Florida Coastal a bit and it does not look like it would be useful in terms of satisfying the requirements of the DC bar. See this thread at

    Non-ABA J.D. + ABA LLM = Not eligible for D.C. Bar

    Apparently DC requires in residence attendance.

    I have heard (years ago mind you) that a DL LLB + in residence LLM with appropriate accreditation and appropriate course content will allow one to satisfy the requirements to be able to write the DC bar exam.
  12. novemberdude

    novemberdude New Member

    I just checked the U de Montreal website (and just to be clear, this is not a distance learning program) and they have now renamed what used to be the DESS (graduate diploma) as a JD. Although the site is still littered with references to the now non existant (as far as I can tell) DESS. The JD is in North American common law, and is meant to be used by Quebec civil law grads to satisfy the requirements for writing the bar in the US (or at least NY) and the common law provinces. Since a Quebec civil law degree includes Canadian constitutional law there is no course in constitutional law in the program, however there are up to 6 credits that can be chosen from general graduate level law courses (I think, but there is some latitude for 6 credits) and I can't help but wonder if one could use those 6 credits to knock off Canadian Constitutional. U de Montreal would offer that in French, however. The JD is offered (I am 95% sure) in English. Pretty nice to get a JD rather than a DESS if you ask me. It's a 32 credit one year program.

    It seems quite likely that this program could be used to satisfy the NCA requirements, but when I spoke with them they seemed reluctant to let in non civl law grads, as that is who it is really designed for. They first told me that it was for civil law grads only, then when I pointed out that in the admission requirements it did say that an exceptional candidate with a common law background could enter the dean was consulted and I was told I would be potentially admissible. I never pursued it, probably should have.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 15, 2011
  13. novemberdude

    novemberdude New Member

    This program might be more interesting. I'd be curious to know what the NCA would think about it. It is offered by University of Toronto, but you only end up with a certificate of completion. It si considered preparatory for the NCA exams, I wonder if there is any chance that the NCA would allow one to use it to cure the modality requirement.

    Internationally Trained Lawyers Program
  14. BlueMason

    BlueMason Audaces fortuna juvat

    Great information novemberdude! I will have to inquire with the NCA if the study weekends at NTU make a difference ( up to four study weekends / year ); The other option you had with U de Montréal is also rather interesting - albeit slowly, there are options there for those that are honed in on this path.
    I might just try and see if I can get into a Canadian B&M during my final year of study... I'll explore that when I come closer to that.. hell, I just started and am patiently waiting for my books to arrive.

    (As far as the four year degree - I am in no hurry as I have quite a few years left before I can move on from my current career.)
  15. mattbrent

    mattbrent Active Member

    I'm looking at Law School. Any suggestions on a good LSAT prep book?

  16. novemberdude

    novemberdude New Member

    I had thought about trying to do my last year residentially but it was not something that I pursued beyond thinking about it. In my case I thought about going over to England to do the last year. But since you are not doing senior status you have what amounts to more or less a year of electives, so it might just be possible for you to attend a local Canadian law school for a year as an exchange student from NTU. That should satisfy the NCA residential requirement and may even afford the opportunity to take some of the typically required courses.

    As I did the study weeks at Northumbria (optional) I'd be curious to know if you get any sort of positive reply from NCA on that front. I never did pursue that angle with the NCA, although the thought had occurred to me. I was never quite sure how I could document optional study weeks, letters of reference I suppose.

    Hopefully you will have the opportunity to attend some face to face study sessions at NTU.

    Good luck again.
  17. opie58

    opie58 New Member

  18. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

  19. BlueMason

    BlueMason Audaces fortuna juvat if only we had a Canadian accomplish the same.
  20. novemberdude

    novemberdude New Member

    Nevermind. I'd take an NCA evaluation that didn't require classroom time.

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