non A.B.A.?

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siliconvalleylaw
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non A.B.A.?

Postby siliconvalleylaw » Thu Feb 04, 2010 3:24 am

I have a couple questions. I currently work at a relatives law firm. I have a couple questions regarding choices for law school. I am recently married and live in the Bay Area. My only options for school (I cannot move out of the area - my husband has a steady well paying career and cannot be transferred) are in the Silicon Valley area i.e. Santa Clara and Lincoln Law School. I will definitely have a job upon graduating and passing the bar -regardless of where I attend. I would prefer not to incur tons of debt if it will not prove to aid me in the end.

Is my choice to attend Lincoln Law School of San Jose a bad one? If I do have a job upon passing the bar at a firm and I am already gaining experience in the field while attending school part time - is this a bad choice?

I understand that the stigma attached to not going to a top law school is there and heavily frustrating... but is this the only motivating factor? I find it hard to believe that the education will be much different, considering the faculty at Lincoln is fairly impressive with attorneys and judges with prestigious records and background education.

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grifter
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Re: non A.B.A.?

Postby grifter » Thu Feb 04, 2010 3:47 am

siliconvalleylaw wrote:I have a couple questions. I currently work at a relatives law firm. I have a couple questions regarding choices for law school. I am recently married and live in the Bay Area. My only options for school (I cannot move out of the area - my husband has a steady well paying career and cannot be transferred) are in the Silicon Valley area i.e. Santa Clara and Lincoln Law School. I will definitely have a job upon graduating and passing the bar -regardless of where I attend. I would prefer not to incur tons of debt if it will not prove to aid me in the end.

Is my choice to attend Lincoln Law School of San Jose a bad one? If I do have a job upon passing the bar at a firm and I am already gaining experience in the field while attending school part time - is this a bad choice?

I understand that the stigma attached to not going to a top law school is there and heavily frustrating... but is this the only motivating factor? I find it hard to believe that the education will be much different, considering the faculty at Lincoln is fairly impressive with attorneys and judges with prestigious records and background education.


Not going to top law school is not stigmatic and is quite a different matter from attending a non aba-approved law school. You should find out if the state of CA will grant you bar admission if you graduated from a non aba-approved school. I apologized that I am not familiar with the schools you mentioned in your post, so I can't be of further help. However, seeing that you have a guaranteed job, I will say you are in good shape as long as CA will admit you to the bar. Good luck

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BigA
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Re: non A.B.A.?

Postby BigA » Thu Feb 04, 2010 3:53 am

So you'd have the same job and salary upon passing the bar regardless of which school you went to? Seems like an easy decision. Just what if you want to change jobs someday?

siliconvalleylaw
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Re: non A.B.A.?

Postby siliconvalleylaw » Thu Feb 04, 2010 3:59 am

grifter wrote:
Not going to top law school is not stigmatic and is quite a different matter from attending a non aba-approved law school. You should find out if the state of CA will grant you bar admission if you graduated from a non aba-approved school. I apologized that I am not familiar with the schools you mentioned in your post, so I can't be of further help. However, seeing that you have a guaranteed job, I will say you are in good shape as long as CA will admit you to the bar. Good luck


Yes, this school is accredited by the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar of California. It just currently does not seek accreditation by the American Bar Association because it is only a part time facility and they do not offer full time courses. When I take the bar and pass, I will be an attorney by the State of California.

I think there is a level of judgment that I have come across when mentioning my options for schools. Not going to a top tier school amongst acquaintances has proven to cast a couple downcast gazes and comments of "you can always transfer".

I guess my issue is not receiving a level of respect upon graduating and becoming a lawyer as say, a person who has attended a more "prestigious" institution.

siliconvalleylaw
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Re: non A.B.A.?

Postby siliconvalleylaw » Thu Feb 04, 2010 4:00 am

BigA wrote:So you'd have the same job and salary upon passing the bar regardless of which school you went to? Seems like an easy decision. Just what if you want to change jobs someday?


What would changing jobs impact? I would still hold a J.D. Can you elaborate?

roadkilllaw
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Re: non A.B.A.?

Postby roadkilllaw » Thu Feb 04, 2010 4:06 am

bump

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PDaddy
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Re: non A.B.A.?

Postby PDaddy » Thu Feb 04, 2010 4:32 am

siliconvalleylaw wrote:
I guess my issue is not receiving a level of respect upon graduating and becoming a lawyer as say, a person who has attended a more "prestigious" institution.


Well, that may be a concern for you, but only to the extent that it affects your career options. When I talk to lawyers I like to ask what schools they attended for fun, trivia. But I would not assume one practicing attorney to be better than another because his school is ranked lower or considered less prestigious.

The fact is, what you do once you're out matters more than anything else. I have run into many lawyers from top schools who don't know their asses from a hole in the ground. And I have met attorneys from lower ranked schools - and even non-aba schools - who wax those top law school graduates.

Some of the most badassed attorneys come from T2 and TTT schools.

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BigA
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Re: non A.B.A.?

Postby BigA » Thu Feb 04, 2010 4:42 am

siliconvalleylaw wrote:
BigA wrote:So you'd have the same job and salary upon passing the bar regardless of which school you went to? Seems like an easy decision. Just what if you want to change jobs someday?


What would changing jobs impact? I would still hold a J.D. Can you elaborate?


My thinking being that some employers may be put off by the Lincoln LS name or whatever it is. Also I don't think you can work outside CA

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nealric
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Re: non A.B.A.?

Postby nealric » Thu Feb 04, 2010 10:11 am

You would have to take the baby bar, which has a heinously low pass rate.

But seriously, there are plenty of accredited schools in the Bay area. Why would you consider a non-accredited school unless you got rejected from every single one of them?

siliconvalleylaw
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Re: non A.B.A.?

Postby siliconvalleylaw » Thu Feb 04, 2010 1:20 pm

nealric wrote:You would have to take the baby bar, which has a heinously low pass rate.

But seriously, there are plenty of accredited schools in the Bay area. Why would you consider a non-accredited school unless you got rejected from every single one of them?


My options are limited because my husband works in Monterey County where we live, I currently work at a law office in the Silicon Valley and cannot afford to not work while in school. So commuting to San Francisco every night after work for night courses seems extremely strenuous, and not practical unless I can move to San Francisco.

siliconvalleylaw
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Re: non A.B.A.?

Postby siliconvalleylaw » Thu Feb 04, 2010 1:28 pm

nealric wrote:You would have to take the baby bar, which has a heinously low pass rate.

But seriously, there are plenty of accredited schools in the Bay area. Why would you consider a non-accredited school unless you got rejected from every single one of them?


also, Lincoln is accredited by the state and you do not have to take the baby bar.

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Mr. Matlock
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Re: non A.B.A.?

Postby Mr. Matlock » Thu Feb 04, 2010 2:09 pm

siliconvalleylaw wrote:
nealric wrote:You would have to take the baby bar, which has a heinously low pass rate.

But seriously, there are plenty of accredited schools in the Bay area. Why would you consider a non-accredited school unless you got rejected from every single one of them?


also, Lincoln is accredited by the state and you do not have to take the baby bar.

I live in California and am pretty well versed on this subject.

You are correct, you don't have to take the baby bar and once you graduate and pass the bar, you'll be qualified to practice law in California only. I would ask what is the Bar pass rate at Lincoln? These schools are notorious for extremely low pass rates. It doesn't help that California also has one of the toughest Bar exams in the country.

You also claim you are "guaranteed" a job after graduation and the Bar. Just know lots of things can happen in 4 years. Once you go down this road, there is no turning back (for the most part). No ABA school will accept a transfer from CBE schools. So if you did have to change, you'd be starting from scratch. Then there is always the "what if your husband takes a job in another state for whatever reason" question. Your degree would be essentially worthless. Also realize that if you need to take out loans, they are not federal loans, but private. Interest starts ticking at day 1.

Due to family, I'm pretty much tied to staying in California. But in the end, I still can't justify the risk of going the CBE route. Especially with the competition for jobs in the current economy. That said, if you feel you have all your bases covered and then decide to do it, good luck to you. It can be done and some have done it successfully. Just be willing to accept the facts of whatever may transpires in the future.

siliconvalleylaw
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Re: non A.B.A.?

Postby siliconvalleylaw » Thu Feb 04, 2010 3:07 pm

Mr. Matlock wrote:
siliconvalleylaw wrote:
nealric wrote:You would have to take the baby bar, which has a heinously low pass rate.

But seriously, there are plenty of accredited schools in the Bay area. Why would you consider a non-accredited school unless you got rejected from every single one of them?


also, Lincoln is accredited by the state and you do not have to take the baby bar.

I live in California and am pretty well versed on this subject.

You are correct, you don't have to take the baby bar and once you graduate and pass the bar, you'll be qualified to practice law in California only. I would ask what is the Bar pass rate at Lincoln? These schools are notorious for extremely low pass rates. It doesn't help that California also has one of the toughest Bar exams in the country.

You also claim you are "guaranteed" a job after graduation and the Bar. Just know lots of things can happen in 4 years. Once you go down this road, there is no turning back (for the most part). No ABA school will accept a transfer from CBE schools. So if you did have to change, you'd be starting from scratch. Then there is always the "what if your husband takes a job in another state for whatever reason" question. Your degree would be essentially worthless. Also realize that if you need to take out loans, they are not federal loans, but private. Interest starts ticking at day 1.

Due to family, I'm pretty much tied to staying in California. But in the end, I still can't justify the risk of going the CBE route. Especially with the competition for jobs in the current economy. That said, if you feel you have all your bases covered and then decide to do it, good luck to you. It can be done and some have done it successfully. Just be willing to accept the facts of whatever may transpires in the future.


Obviously I cannot predict that future but I do not foresee my husband moving to another state. He is pretty tied to California and has a job with the state. That said, I have contacted Santa Clara regarding transfers, and they do accept transfers from non-ABA schools. I do understand that it is very competitive, but to say they do not accept transfers is not entirely correct.

Yes, I realize that the loan issue is private and those debts mount quickly, which is my reason for going this route. I don't know if I am ready to incur six figures of debt - after graduating from an institution like Santa Clara, especially since my goal after graduation is not to work at a huge firm (which consequently can get you the salary to help you pay off your debts).

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grifter
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Re: non A.B.A.?

Postby grifter » Thu Feb 04, 2010 3:22 pm

siliconvalleylaw wrote:
grifter wrote:
Not going to top law school is not stigmatic and is quite a different matter from attending a non aba-approved law school. You should find out if the state of CA will grant you bar admission if you graduated from a non aba-approved school. I apologized that I am not familiar with the schools you mentioned in your post, so I can't be of further help. However, seeing that you have a guaranteed job, I will say you are in good shape as long as CA will admit you to the bar. Good luck


Yes, this school is accredited by the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar of California. It just currently does not seek accreditation by the American Bar Association because it is only a part time facility and they do not offer full time courses. When I take the bar and pass, I will be an attorney by the State of California.

I think there is a level of judgment that I have come across when mentioning my options for schools. Not going to a top tier school amongst acquaintances has proven to cast a couple downcast gazes and comments of "you can always transfer".

I guess my issue is not receiving a level of respect upon graduating and becoming a lawyer as say, a person who has attended a more "prestigious" institution.


After the first few years into your career, you will be measured by your track record and not so much by where you went to school. Your plan seems to be okay only that you are assuming no foreseeable change in circumstances and personal career choice. If you are okay making this assumption, then go ahead with your plan.

However, this assumption won't make too much sense if these schools cost more than $10,000-$15,000 a year. Law school is an investment and you seem to have "put all your eggs in one basket" in this case. Again, if you feel comfortable with that, then by all means do what you think you need to do. Good luck

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nealric
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Re: non A.B.A.?

Postby nealric » Thu Feb 04, 2010 3:27 pm

I understand that the stigma attached to not going to a top law school is there and heavily frustrating... but is this the only motivating factor? I find it hard to believe that the education will be much different, considering the faculty at Lincoln is fairly impressive with attorneys and judges with prestigious records and background education.


I do think there can be a big difference in quality of education if you are talking about "top" schools and absolutely bottom of the barrel schools (state/unaccredited)

Compare the faculty at Lincoln:
http://www.lincolnlawsj.edu/abt-faculty.html

to Stanford:
http://www.law.stanford.edu/directory/p ... a%20Cohen/

The faculty at Lincoln are mostly reasonably accomplished lawyers, while the faculty at Stanford are the preeminent scholars in their respective fields. Keep in mind that the Lincoln professors won't be full-time, which may impact their teaching ability. Having had classes from both academics and adjuncts, I can say that adjuncts are very hit or miss, while full-time profs tend to be much more reliable. That's going to create a huge difference in not only quality, but type of education. The difference is probably going to be considerably less if you are comparing Lincoln to Santa Clara.

After the first few years into your career, you will be measured by your track record and not so much by where you went to school.


True, but your track record is often determined by where you went to law school.

siliconvalleylaw
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Re: non A.B.A.?

Postby siliconvalleylaw » Thu Feb 04, 2010 3:39 pm

nealric wrote:
I understand that the stigma attached to not going to a top law school is there and heavily frustrating... but is this the only motivating factor? I find it hard to believe that the education will be much different, considering the faculty at Lincoln is fairly impressive with attorneys and judges with prestigious records and background education.


I do think there can be a big difference in quality of education if you are talking about "top" schools and absolutely bottom of the barrel schools (state/unaccredited)

Compare the faculty at Lincoln:
http://www.lincolnlawsj.edu/abt-faculty.html

to Stanford:
http://www.law.stanford.edu/directory/p ... a%20Cohen/

The faculty at Lincoln are mostly reasonably accomplished lawyers, while the faculty at Stanford are the preeminent scholars in their respective fields. Keep in mind that the Lincoln professors won't be full-time, which may impact their teaching ability. Having had classes from both academics and adjuncts, I can say that adjuncts are very hit or miss, while full-time profs tend to be much more reliable. That's going to create a huge difference in not only quality, but type of education. The difference is probably going to be considerably less if you are comparing Lincoln to Santa Clara.

After the first few years into your career, you will be measured by your track record and not so much by where you went to school.


True, but your track record is often determined by where you went to law school.


I will be working in a law office through school.... this will also improve my experience upon graduating. I could continue to work in this law office after I graduate and pass the bar, but if I do not, I would hope that my experience through school at this office, my passing of the bar will make a larger impact than where I received my education.

Also, you feel that the comparison between Lincoln and Santa Clara is far less than comparing Stanford to Lincoln? While I agree, I am surprised by that because Santa Clara has such an upstanding reputation.

MurderafterMidnight
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Re: non A.B.A.?

Postby MurderafterMidnight » Fri Feb 05, 2010 2:32 am

grifter wrote:
siliconvalleylaw wrote:
grifter wrote:
Not going to top law school is not stigmatic and is quite a different matter from attending a non aba-approved law school. You should find out if the state of CA will grant you bar admission if you graduated from a non aba-approved school. I apologized that I am not familiar with the schools you mentioned in your post, so I can't be of further help. However, seeing that you have a guaranteed job, I will say you are in good shape as long as CA will admit you to the bar. Good luck


Yes, this school is accredited by the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar of California. It just currently does not seek accreditation by the American Bar Association because it is only a part time facility and they do not offer full time courses. When I take the bar and pass, I will be an attorney by the State of California.

I think there is a level of judgment that I have come across when mentioning my options for schools. Not going to a top tier school amongst acquaintances has proven to cast a couple downcast gazes and comments of "you can always transfer".

I guess my issue is not receiving a level of respect upon graduating and becoming a lawyer as say, a person who has attended a more "prestigious" institution.


After the first few years into your career, you will be measured by your track record and not so much by where you went to school. Your plan seems to be okay only that you are assuming no foreseeable change in circumstances and personal career choice. If you are okay making this assumption, then go ahead with your plan.

However, this assumption won't make too much sense if these schools cost more than $10,000-$15,000 a year. Law school is an investment and you seem to have "put all your eggs in one basket" in this case. Again, if you feel comfortable with that, then by all means do what you think you need to do. Good luck


What i would like to know, is if a person obtains a LLM from a(decent) aba law school after getting a non aba JD, how much will this help there career prospects?

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TTH
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Re: non A.B.A.?

Postby TTH » Fri Feb 05, 2010 2:48 am

You still wouldn't be able to practice outside the state of California.

A non-ABA JD simply isn't worth the risk.

siliconvalleylaw
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Re: non A.B.A.?

Postby siliconvalleylaw » Fri Feb 05, 2010 2:21 pm

TipTravHoot wrote:You still wouldn't be able to practice outside the state of California.

A non-ABA JD simply isn't worth the risk.


But if you know that you are never going to leave the State of California - is that, in your opinion, the only reason not to risk it?

Renzo
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Re: non A.B.A.?

Postby Renzo » Fri Feb 05, 2010 2:28 pm

OP, the stigma against the less highly regarded schools is 99.995% due to the difference in job prospects. But you essentially have a job already, so there is no point in worrying about it. Mr. Matlock's advice is good (a little over-cautious maybe, but that never hurts). I would say just be realistic about what school will cost you vs. what you'll be making at the family firm, and do it.

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Aeon
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Re: non A.B.A.?

Postby Aeon » Fri Feb 05, 2010 2:30 pm

Non-ABA-accredited schools aren't for everyone, but it sounds like you might be in a situation where it may make sense for you to attend such a school. I'd also keep in mind that California's bar exam is among the most difficult in the country, but if you spend the time preparing for it, there's no reason why you couldn't pass. Ultimately, this is a situation where you have to weigh the pros and cons of all options as they relate to your own situation and priorities, and then make the decision that makes you happiest. Good luck!

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nealric
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Re: non A.B.A.?

Postby nealric » Fri Feb 05, 2010 2:44 pm

What i would like to know, is if a person obtains a LLM from a(decent) aba law school after getting a non aba JD, how much will this help there career prospects?


LLMs are pointless for U.S. trained lawyers unless they are in Tax and from NYU, Georgetown, or Florida.

While I agree, I am surprised by that because Santa Clara has such an upstanding reputation.


It's not a bad school, but it's several orders of magnitude away from Stanford.

jazzluvr
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Re: non A.B.A.?

Postby jazzluvr » Fri Feb 05, 2010 9:05 pm

Some states DO allow you to practice after attending a non-ABA school in CA if you've practiced a certain number of years. I don't know which ones.

I went through something similar last year - got into JFK with a very large scholarship, and also USF with no money, and agonized like hell over it. Checked out JFK, found that some of the profs were really smart and some ..um...weren't. (That and the administration was an entity I didn't want to be in bed with for three years, from the Kafka-esque experience with them over two months.) So after much agonizing I decided against it, started over, and got into a good school for this year. But now I'm sweating the issue of how much it's going to cost. It's a trade-off for sure, but in the end I decided I didn't want JFK after my name.

OTOH, I know someone who went to Lincoln and placed first (over a Boalt student, who placed second) in the CA Bar Employment Law section student writing competition. (It didn't hurt that this person was a professional writer and editor before entering law school.) The person recently passed the Bar with no problem and has a good job.

I think this is just a very difficult and individual decision.

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Vincent Vega
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Re: non A.B.A.?

Postby Vincent Vega » Fri Feb 05, 2010 10:23 pm

Mr. Matlock wrote:I would ask what is the Bar pass rate at Lincoln? These schools are notorious for extremely low pass rates. It doesn't help that California also has one of the toughest Bar exams in the country.


According to the California bar's website (LinkRemoved), the most recent bar examination saw only 20.3 percent of Lincoln graduates pass the bar. Compare this to Stanford's 92.1 percent and Santa Clara's 74.6 percent. This results in significantly better prospects for actually passing the bar after one graduates.

siliconvalleylaw wrote:My options are limited because my husband works in Monterey County where we live, I currently work at a law office in the Silicon Valley and cannot afford to not work while in school. So commuting to San Francisco every night after work for night courses seems extremely strenuous, and not practical unless I can move to San Francisco.


If you're still into the whole unaccredited school thing, wouldn't the Monterey College of Law be much closer to you? It also is unaccredited, and its recent bar passage rate was 13.8 percent, which isn't significantly less than Lincoln's.

siliconvalleylaw wrote:Also, you feel that the comparison between Lincoln and Santa Clara is far less than comparing Stanford to Lincoln? While I agree, I am surprised by that because Santa Clara has such an upstanding reputation.


Stanford is considered by most to be the second (tied with Harvard, or close to it) best law school in the entire country. You have to score in the 98th percentile on the LSAT to have a prayer at non-URM admission to Stanford. Santa Clara's median LSAT is 160, which is about the 80th percentile. That is still respectable, but nowhere near the difficulty of getting into Stanford.

jazzluvr
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Re: non A.B.A.?

Postby jazzluvr » Fri Feb 05, 2010 10:29 pm

Not necessarily true that the higher Bar pass rate at the better schools is due to the schools' better teaching. More likely that smarter people go there to begin with, who are more likely to pass the Bar in any case.




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