Value of an Executive JD Degree

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by newsongs, Dec 11, 2019.

  1. newsongs

    newsongs Member

  2. AlK11

    AlK11 Active Member

    I think it is a valid degree and there is a place for it. Not everyone who wants to study law wants to be a lawyer. All I got from the article is that the person interviewed is an idiot. She decided to go 60K in debt for this degree because she decided to completely live off of the loans.
  3. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    As the article clearly shows, the problem is one of expectations. An education in law is a worthy endeavor, but expecting an unrecognized credential to start you on a career path that already has an established set of recognized credentials is entirely unrealistic. At its current state, the degree looks to be more suited to experienced professionals who either want to augment their knowledge or to further pad their clout.

    Oh. My. God.

    There are many paths to become a paralegal and absolutely no reason to spend anywhere near that much time and money towards the cause. How could she have possibly believed that she needed to get an expensive degree supposedly at the same level of education as her boss just to get an entry level job?
  4. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Many people earn law degrees and subsequently do not become lawyers, putting their educations to other uses. It's hard to say how much impact the degree-sans-license has.

    I would also question the value of the degree awarded by a non-ABA-accredited school. Those degrees seem more valuable to people seeking an alternative path to the Bar, rather than the other direction.
  5. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

  6. newsongs

    newsongs Member

  7. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    I was talking about the degree name and not the instruction method.
  8. newsongs

    newsongs Member

    Yes. I was just further noting the type of approach. Looks good.
  9. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    I would like to think a non-ABA JD would have at least the same value as any other degree that isn't aimed at qualifying a person for some sort of license, but then there is the part where some of those degrees are from unaccredited schools (neither regionally nor nationally accredited), so maybe someone looking deeply into it would find that out and make a deal of it to discredit the holder if they didn't pass the bar on top of all of that.

    I've always liked the idea of this type of degree being available for people who want to obtain the knowledge, and obviously it could be useful in business. The concern I have is people using the non-ABA, non-licensed JD to misrepresent themselves. I do remember one guy who got a JD from Mid-Atlantic School of Law, a by-email program that was as unaccredited as one could possibly be (lol), but he went on to use that, pass the bar and become a practicing attorney and some of his legal arguments where he petitioned the state were available online in pdf format for a while and it was pretty interesting. He must've been a pretty good legal student because he was able to convince the state (I can't remember which state it was now) to move in his favor and as I understand it that's never an easy thing to do in this type of situation.
  10. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

  11. sideman

    sideman Active Member

    I especially like the article, "12 Sexy Things You Can Do With A Law Degree", lol. I've been an entrepreneur for almost 40 years now and the last thing it is is sexy. Nevertheless, it didn't hurt me to have a law degree, and not practice law (in my case), and since I have worked with several lawyers over the years to keep my company out of trouble, the knowledge has helped pay for itself. I also learned how to think and analyze like a lawyer, so most of the time I save myself time and money for their time. However, I had a set of unique circumstances that certainly won't work for everybody. When you invest the amount of time into the study of law and the amount of money that the Concord EJD grad had, in her case, as a general rule she should've taken the JD route, planned on taking the bar, passing it, and become a practicing attorney, if at all possible. Even if she would've dropped out after a year or two, she would've been that much closer to completing her law degree. Also, I can't fault Concord here because they clearly spelled out the limitations of their EJD program. Yes it's debatable as to whether they should have offered it in the first place but she's a big girl and chose to pursue that path. And as far as wanting to be a practicing paralegal, she could've picked up an associates degree in paralegal studies and studied for and passed her certification exams, if indeed that was required by the law firm that she worked for. Or she could've just simply worked as a legal secretary and been trained by her attorney to be his/her assistant as she attended law school. But like they say-- hindsight is indeed 20/20.
  12. Garp

    Garp Active Member

    She borrowed money for school and living expenses for a degree that clearly had limited application. She may end up applying for tax payers to eat the cost based on her almost fraud like complaints.

    The person may have been better off going to NWCULaw (?), pay 12,000 for the degree and, if she beat the odds (which are not good) and made it, practice in federal courts. They have actually produced lawyers (see alumni page). Without ABA accreditation, I am not sure that Concord is a whole lot more useful. Plus, there aren't enough positions for attorneys let alone EJDs.
    sideman likes this.
  13. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Everything you can do with a non-Bar J.D. you can do without a non-Bar J.D. I suppose the degree gives the holder a somewhat tenuous claim to being a "doctor" but that's not a good enough reason in my opinion to shell out tens of thousands of dollars not to mention the significant effort that on-line or correspondence law study requires. (I've studied law both ways, in residence and by D/L; distance learning is harder.) The sole unique value of the J.D. is that it allows the holder to take a state bar exam. It has always seemed to me that the least "prestigious" law degree physically possible, a correspondence degree from a California school, still has carries potential value far beyond the expense and effort IF the holder uses it to obtain a California law license. A law license is a valuable credential especially where the holder didn't borrow two hundred thousand dollars to get it. But absent the law license, it's hard to see why anyone would bother.
  14. heirophant

    heirophant Well-Known Member

    Back in the day, one of my professors taught the Philosophy of Law. His educational background was a PhD (or DPhil or whatever), from the University of Leeds (in England) plus a JD from I don't know where. I do know that he wasn't an attorney and wasn't a member of the bar.

    Another possible application of a non-bar JD might be for an aspiring politician. Legislators are the ones who write laws after all, and it would probably help for them to know what does and doesn't make legal sense, is consistent with existing law, is enforceable, and doesn't have all kinds of unintended consequences.

    That being said, in my opinion Nosborne is obviously right that it's hard to justify the time and cost of a typical non-bar JD, especially at a reasonably credible school, unless somebody is really into this stuff.
  15. Garp

    Garp Active Member

    In terms of people borrowing money and claiming to be misled, I wonder how much blame should be on the person researching the degree? Should tax payers be forced to eat the cost of people's loans when they bought into a school's claims for convenience or just wanting to believe.

    Has that line been determined (by the feds) in the case of for profits and writing off loans?
  16. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    You're asking a simple consumer protection question that is easily determined. The federal government can cancel student loans granted to students attending failed schools. To what extent it should, if at all, is a matter of judgment or opinion.
  17. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    In the spirit of a national human resource development strategy, I would like to see the federal government give consideration to the course of study students undertake, with an emphasis on those with a national interest. Tying those to obligatory forms of public service after graduation (in order to grant loan forgiveness on a sliding scale) could help serve that cause as well.
  18. jonlevy

    jonlevy Member

    Generally these non bar JD are a joke, something a law book salesmen (when they still existed) used to have on their calling cards or wannabe lawyers. But Concord is an exception to the rule because if I remember correctly that degree is regionally accredited. But among lawyers, I'd say someone with an Executive Law Degree is still esteemed somewhere between a jailhouse lawyer and independent paralegal.
  19. sideman

    sideman Active Member

    Just to clarify---are you saying that all of those that graduated with a law degree, whether executive or even bar qualifying, and didn't want to take the bar and just wanted a regimented education in the law, are somewhere in between a jailhouse lawyer and an independent paralegal? Is this what you meant? And are you also stating that Concord, because of being regionally accredited, may be better than or equal to a regionally accredited legal studies degree, even though ABA accreditation is the only nationally recognized form recognized in the U.S.? Is this what you meant to say?
  20. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    I don't think a non-Bar J.D. from, say Taft or Concord is a joke. The requirements are significant and the cost is not trivial. I've known a handful of people who went that route, usually after deciding that the Bar programs were too onerous. They are, too. The Bar student must document 864 hours of study per year for each of four years and pass the Baby Bar within the first three consecutive administrations following the first year. These are definitely tough hurdles but they don't have much to do with the substance of a legal education. Essentially, the student will work, eat, sleep and study law for four years straight. Calbar accreditation or ABA approval eliminates both of these requirements.
    sideman likes this.

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