West Coast School of Law (WCSL)

Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by miguelstefan, Oct 16, 2005.

  1. miguelstefan

    miguelstefan New Member

    Does anyone has any experience with the West Coast School of Law (http://www.ccls.info/)? As I understand it they are California BPPVE approved. But is the school any good?
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 16, 2005
  2. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Good for what?

    If you complete the first year of study, then pass the FYLEX then complete the remaining three years of study, you will meet the educational requirements to take the California Bar examination. Pass that and meet the other requirements and you will become a California lawyer.

    If becoming a California lawyer is your goal and you are willing to devote literally two and a half hours a day, seven days a week, 50 weeks a year for each of four years, you CAN do it this way. A large handful of new lawyers qualify this way every year.

    You can view the Bar and FYLEX pass statistics by school at www.calbar.ca.gov under "Bar exam".

    But I have to tell you, this is doing it the hardest possible way.

    Now, is a degree from this school of any value for purposes other than taking the California Bar? I don't know. It certainly isn't a diploma mill but neither is it likely to offer the kind of education a resident accredited program will nor are its degrees going to carry much (if any) academic recognition.

    As always, decide what you want to do then be SURE that a degree from this school will meet your needs.

    Good luck!
  3. BryanOats

    BryanOats New Member

    Another plus, maybe, neither West Coast School of Law or CCLS show up on Oregon's ODA website.

    In fact, I don't see any of the other unaccredited Cal DL law schools there either.

    I wonder why they're not listed?
  4. BryanOats

    BryanOats New Member

    CA Correspondence Law Schools Registered with the Committee of Bar Examiners

    Cal DL law schools
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 17, 2005
  5. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    Possibly because ODA lets the Oregon state bar association take the lead on evaluating law degrees. Anyone wanting to practice law in Oregon has to go through the state bar anyway; the bar association undoubtedly has its own criteria for degrees, so ODA may simply defer to them.

    Is the school any good? The California bar stats show one graduate took and passed the general bar exam in 07/04. So WCSL has produced at least one lawyer. On the other hand, the stats show that 16 students took the FYLSX in 06/04, 10/04, and 06/05; only 3 were successful. So it appears that most of the students who enroll at this school struggle to even reach the general bar exam; most will probably never become attorneys. This is the typical pattern for California unaccredited law schools, so it's hard to say if WCSL is better or worse than average.

    I would give WCSL some credit for being candid:
  6. Guest

    Guest Guest

    An unusually uninformative site. With a lame site like that not sure if anything else would be worth finding out.
  7. miguelstefan

    miguelstefan New Member

    That is one of my key concerns with this school. The other being that I heard rumors about a one (yes one) man (faculty, dean, registrar, etc...) law school and I want to know if this one is it?
  8. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    The Oregon Bar requires attorney applicants to have a J.D. from ANY American law school and to have practiced for three of the immediate past five years as a member of a state Bar. They seemingly WOULD accept an attorney applicant with a degree from this school.

    Non attorney applicants and attorney apoplicants who lack the three years of experience MUST have a J.D. from an ABA accredited school.

    NB: The Oregon Bar would apparently also accept an attornye applicant with a J.D. from Pacific Coast University, an unaccredited resident California law school even though that school appears on ODA's banned list. I don't know how this would work.
  9. BryanOats

    BryanOats New Member


    Good point, as far as the (JD) law degrees from the unaccredited Cal DL law schools go. But one would think the people (or person) at ODA would explain such defferals on their website. But I haven't seen anything on it --ODA

    As well, there is more offered at most of these schools than just the JD degree. Some of them offer other degrees, like the AS, BS, MS, MA, MBA, MPA, etc.... I would think some of these fall well outside the juristiction of the Oregon State Bar.

    To me, the whole thing just dosn't add up.
  10. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Alan Contreras is a frequent poster on this forum. He is the Oregon official in charge, I believe, of the ODA.

    IIRC, ODA is most concerned about doctorate degrees, both professional and academic. Where there is a licensing board, ODA takes the advice of that board in making its determinations but I don't think ODA is in any way bound by that advice.
  11. BryanOats

    BryanOats New Member



    Not many of the DL law schools offer degrees above the JD level. I think there is SCUPS which offers a few doctorates and NWCU with their LLM and SJD.
  12. uncle janko

    uncle janko member

    Yes, WCSL is a one-man operation. Its owner told me so in a long and cordial conversation. He also indicated that there is very little instruction, if any: he sends the syllabus, book list, etc., and you're on your own. It sounds like totally independent study with a school moniker glued on top (for a fee). The owner is an articulate and forthright fellow, but so am I--and I don't run a law school (or a seminary) out of my office, and wouldn't presume to try.
  13. DesElms

    DesElms New Member

    Please know that I'm not trying to be confrontational or anything like that with these questions, but do we know this, or is the above just speculation?

    I mean... I've always wondered just what Oregon would have to say about any of the California bar-qualifying DL JD programs. We've talked here about how the Taft DL JD program is attractive if for no other reason than that its DETC accreditation automatically makes it acceptable in places like Oregon; and I've always speculated that in any state that adopts Oregon-like anti-diploma-mill statutes, a bar card in one's pocket would probably trump Oregon-like requirements of unaccredited degree holders.

    But do we now actually know what Oregon has to say about DL JD programs which are not accredited by agencies approved by the US Department of Education (USDE) and/or its Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA)?
  14. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    I suggested above that ODA might simply defer to the Oregon State Bar on that issue. This was pure speculation on my part. But note that ODA refers people with foreign medical and veterinary degrees directly to the respective state licensing boards. If ODA lets the medical board handle medical degrees, and lets the veterinary board handle veterinary degrees, then perhaps they let the state bar handle legal degrees.

    The Oregon degree law doesn't seem to make any exceptions for licensed professionals. Presumably if Oregon licensed someone with an unaccredited degree, then that degree could not be advertised, unless a disclaimer was included. But for practical purposes, the license is more important anyway, so you could advertise that instead.
  15. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Actually, we DO know what the Oregon Bar would say to an unaccredited, D/L J.D.

    If the applicant was a member of the Bar of another state and had practiced law actively in that state for at least three of the last five years, he WOULD meet the educational requirements to take the Oregon Bar exam. That's exactly what their rule says. Carving out an "unwritten" exception would be something they'd know better than to try.
  16. miguelstefan

    miguelstefan New Member

    Thank you uncle! As ususual you done your homework and mine.

    You are the best...
  17. Guest

    Guest Guest

  18. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member


    No, I hadn't seen it. Thanks. Shows that the BVPPE isn't doing its job, I guess.

    CalBar does not approve unaccredited schools of any sort; they merely accept registration statements according to their web site. Maybe that needs to change.

    Or maybe it's a clear example of why DETC accreditation is valuable even to a D/L law school.
  19. miguelstefan

    miguelstefan New Member

    Actually, the CalBar Committee of Bar Examiners (CALS) does approve (They say "Accredit") some non-aba resident law schools, but they only allow for registration of distance learning programs. Furthermore, several resident non-aba programs appear to be registered only. Check out http://www.calbar.ca.gov/state/calbar/calbar_generic.jsp?cid=10115&id=5128.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 21, 2005
  20. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    I worded my post stupidly.

    What I MEANT to say was, CalBar "accredits" some resident, non ABA schools but it does not "approve" schools, D/L or resident, that it does not "accredit".

    That's still clumsy.

    How about this? CalBar has only ONE approval process which is "accreditation". CalBar makes no representations at all concerning the quality of any law school it does not accredit.

    If BPPVE licenses a school to offer a four year D/L or resident J.D. degree, I don't think CalBar can refuse to allow that school's graduates to take the FYLEX or Bar exam once they've documented the required hours.

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