The Official Law School Thread

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

  1. BlueMason

    BlueMason Audaces fortuna juvat

  2. ITJD

    ITJD Active Member

    The decision in favor of Mitchell doesn't matter in the slightest for all but extreme outliers in the online law school community.

    The reason why he was admitted to practice was because of his exemplary skill in representing himself during the action AND the fact that he was his class's valedictorian AND that he passed the California Bar first time out AND the Multi-State Professional Responsibility exam with scores 2 sigma from the mean.

    In short, Mitchell himself was worthy. If someone in Canada does the same it will be nice for them, but for most of the normals, it's precedent only.

    In general the story as posted is worthy of discussion on this site, but it's like saying "Hey Mom, look.. Bill Gates is bloody rich.. I'm going to go get bloody rich because Bill shows it's possible.. "

    To maximize your chances for success in a system where there are rules.. play by the rules unless you want to maximize your chances for failure in the system.
  3. Exactly. (Hmmm...didn't realize I had to write more than 10 characters lol)
  4. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    AND there's one other important factor -- Massachusetts (unlike most states) already had a policy of accepting unaccredited law degrees. There are currently two non-ABA-accredited B&M law schools in Massachusetts.
  5. NorCal

    NorCal Active Member

    Bump for an old thread . . .
  6. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    If you are looking for an update on the Mitchell case, then there is nothing to report.

    One exceptional person with a California DL law degree was admitted to the Bar in Massachusetts in 2008.

    Since then, there has been no movement towards increased acceptance of unaccredited or DL law degrees in Massachusetts. In fact, there will probably be fewer unaccredited law grads applying to the Massachusetts bar in the future, because one of the two unaccredited B&M law schools in Massachusetts has applied for ABA approval.

    To my knowledge, there has been no movement towards increased acceptance of unaccredited or DL law degrees in other states.
  7. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    I should add one point though. There is growing concern about the high cost of ABA-approved law schools (which is now leading to a serious drop in law school applications), and there is growing interest in possible lower-cost alternatives. For example, there was an op-ed piece in the New York Times today about this issue:

    For business schools, there is both research-oriented AACSB accreditation and teaching-oriented ACBSP accreditation. In theory, there could be a similar choice for law schools. "ACBSP-style" law schools would likely be less expensive, and would likely be more accepting of DL, yet would presumably have nationwide recognition like current ABA schools.

    This option doesn't exist today, but it might exist in the future. However, the interest in this option is really being driven by the perceived failure of the traditional ABA model, not because of enthusiasm for DL or other alternative models.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 2, 2012
  8. NorCal

    NorCal Active Member

    Interesting . . .

    So it sounds like ABA might not be the only game in town so to speak. I've been considering an JD, being a former cop, but the only school in driving distance is not ABA and I don't plan to reside in California forever -- hence my dilemma.
  9. Personally, I think the states are to "blame". Most state bar require an ABA approved degree (unless they are grandfathered in from older state approved schools). If they were to change their standards then I could see where there could be much room for growth.
  10. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    In theory, someone could establish an alternative legal accreditation agency that would compete with ABA, but in practice this would probably be an extremely difficult process. Acceptance of the new accreditation agency would not occur automatically; on the contrary, every state bar and federal agency in the country would have to explicitly amend its legal practice regulations to address the hypothetical new agency. This could take years, maybe decades.

    The more practical approach would be for ABA itself to introduce multiple tracks to approval. This might be like ABET, which has different accreditation tracks for engineering programs, computer science programs, applied science programs, etc. If ABA introduced an alternative, teaching-oriented track to approval, then the new-style JD degrees would still be ABA-approved, and would therefore automatically qualify under the existing regulations.

    In theory, it could happen that way. But in practice, it might be a lot faster and easier to change the policies at one bureaucracy (the ABA) than to change the policies at 50 bureaucracies (the state bars). It wouldn't surprise me if eligibility for legal practice in many states is defined by state law (not just by a state bar policy). If so, then a change in standards would require an act to be passed by both houses of the state legislature, with approval by the governor.

    In any case, I wouldn't count on anything happening right away. Check back in 5 years.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 2, 2012
  11. jazqueline

    jazqueline member

    I found an awesome online law school. XXXXXXXXXX It is cheap. They have students already sitting for the bar. It is optional. Dean and staff work close with the students. Communication is the key. They don't leave you stranded

    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 2, 2012
  12. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator Staff Member

    You may not use our board to advertise your school. As a brand new member, I am suspecting that you joined only for some free advertisement. Regular members may mention schools that they like but new members are watched closely. I am suspicious that you are attempting to spam our board but I am not certain. Therefore, I am not banning you at this time, but any more posts about this law school will result in permanent banishment.
  13. NorCal

    NorCal Active Member

    BUMP to resurrect this thread considering the influx of new threads appearing.
  14. NorCal

    NorCal Active Member

    I found this by mistake, but it was interesting. I couldn't imagine working 12 hour shifts everyday and then attending law school.

    California Bar Journal
  15. vic-law

    vic-law New Member

    Northumbria Law - A good choice?

    I am writing for any advice regarding pursuing an LLB through the distance education program at Northumbria. My current situation is that I am the mother of a 2 year old and expecting my second in December. Although it may sound like a crazy time to pursue a career in law, I completed my Bachelor of Commerce while my son was 6 months old so am aware of how chaotic it can be! My question is if anyone has had any experience with this school and, if so, whether they found the program to be quite flexible or whether it was rigid in its expectations. I understand that they hold exams once a year; however, I have not yet had any answers from the school as to whether it is possible to defer the exams.

    In addition, I am also skeptical as to how useful this degree will be in establishing a legal career in Canada (particularly Victoria, BC). I am unsure whether I wish to sit the bar, but would like to be confident that the program will grant the qualification to gain a respectable position in the legal field. Has anyone completed the program and gone on to a legal career here in Canada? Any input to help ease the decision-making process would be hugely appreciated.
  16. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

  17. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    You are right to be skeptical. Not an easy process, it seems. This thread may help:

  18. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    I guess it doesn't take as long when you cut all that civil liberties stuff out of the curriculum.
  19. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    This idea isn't new; it has been floating around in legal academia for years. For example, see this February 2013 news story:
    "Two-year law school was a good idea in 1970, and it’s a good idea now, prof tells ABA task force"

    Some law schools already have "accelerated" 2-year JD programs. But those are really the same as traditional JD programs, they just squeeze a 3-year curriculum into 2 calendar years, by adding classes during the summers. The proposed 2-year JD programs would actually have a shorter curriculum.

    And that's only part of the story: there is also a case that law students only need 3 years of undergraduate preparation. Many law schools already have "3+3" programs, which allow students to enroll in law school after just 3 years of college (not 4). The BA degree is awarded after the first year of law school, and the JD is awarded two years later. So 6 years total for BA+JD.

    In theory, you could eliminate both the final year of law school (so 2 years instead of 3) and the final year of undergraduate study (so 3 years instead of 4), and get a JD after just 5 years of higher education. As noted in the news story cited above:

    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 24, 2013
  20. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    I checked the NCA website today. Looks like with a distance LLB, you'll be required to complete 6 challenge exams and 8 one-semester courses at a Canadian Law school:

    "As a result, applicants to the NCA are required to have significant in-class experience before they are issued a Certificate of Qualification. Graduates of distance learning programs will normally be required to successfully complete six NCA examinations and eight one semester courses at a Canadian law school. The specific course and examination requirements will depend on the qualifications of the applicant."

    Here's the page: How We Assess Your File :: Federation of Law Societies of Canada

    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 24, 2013

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