non A.B.A.?

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

Postby Vincent Vega » Fri Feb 05, 2010 10:31 pm

jazzluvr wrote: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.

I think it's a combination of these. I think it's one of the reasons why law schools seek to attract both qualified students and qualified faculty.

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Re: non A.B.A.?

Postby jazzluvr » Fri Feb 05, 2010 11:34 pm

Of course it's a combination. What I meant to say was that the higher pass rate is not necessarily due only to better teaching at the better schools. (In fact it may be the case that the lower-ranked schools "teach to the Bar" a little more than the higher-ranked ones.)

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Re: non A.B.A.?

Postby siliconvalleylaw » Sat Feb 06, 2010 1:19 pm

Halibut6 wrote:
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.

I am not going to go to Monterey School of Law, mainly because the practice where I am currently working is in Silicon Valley. My husband and I live in the Santa Cruz County, however I plan to practice law in the Silicon Valley upon graduation and passing the Bar.

I did get a 159 on the LSAT's. That MAY (but probably not) be enough to get me into SCU. However, the issue here is money. That is obviously not enough to get me a scholarship into SCU.

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Re: non A.B.A.?

Postby siliconvalleylaw » Sat Feb 06, 2010 1:21 pm

jazzluvr wrote: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.

I definitely believe this to be true. The professors and faculty at Lincoln are fairly impressive and high educated individuals. I think it is all up to the individual.

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Re: non A.B.A.?

Postby roguey » Mon Feb 22, 2010 12:37 pm

I just stumbled on this post, and I wished to add something. I currently work for an attorney in TN who went to Santa Barbara College of Law. It is non-ABA accredited, but that hasn't stopped him. However, he ONLY practices immigration, so he can practice in any state. When I was looking at my law school options, I initially wanted to stay here and continue working, so I was thinking about Nashville School of Law, which is also non-ABA. However, non-ABA schools do not qualify for student loan deferment, and I would not be able to afford LS AND my undergrad student loan payment at the same time. Also, I'm hoping to end up in WA, and they would not allow me to sit for the bar.

From what I have seen, it really depends on what you want to do in the future. Many state bars will let you sit for the exam if you meet certain criteria, even if you went to a non-ABA school. I know that TN won't unless you went to one of THEIR non-ABA schools, but most states are more forgiving. When I was looking into it, I found this - --LinkRemoved--. It is a listing of all the state bar requirements.

If you already have a guaranteed job, I would go for the non-ABA school. For one thing, most of those who go to ABA schools will graduate with a ton of debt (I am mentally and psychologically prepared for this), which makes job prospects their highest priority. If you go to a cheaper school and get a job making 30-50k a year, you are in a much better position than than someone graduating from Santa Clara with 80-100k in debt and making 60-80k a year. Especially in this economy, I think that financial security is more important. Heck, with no student debt, it would even be less troubling if you didn't have a job lined up. I know there were many Vandy law grads applying for an 8$ per hour receptionist job we had posted. I would much rather go to Nashville School of Law without going into debt than work for $8 an hour with 100+k in student loans hanging over my head.

Finally, (I know this is the case with Nashville S of L) the professors at some non-ABA schools are very well-connected within the community, and can be very good sources for future employment if you decide to go on to another job. Also, NSL is very well-respected in Nashville, so their grads are usually on equal footing with graduates from Memphis, UTK, or out-of-state schools. NSL graduates are also extremely well-connected because most of them are already professionals in other fields who are going to law school for fun or to enhance their current jobs. I know NSL has a lot of business owners who just want to get a better handle on the law. This could be invaluable in ways that most top tier law school grads don't seem to understand. In the end, connections and ability are the best tools for success in a career.

While a non-ABA law degree may not be as portable as one from Stanford, there is still something to be said for being good at what you do. Not everything is based on where one went to school. Being good in your field, networking, and having a good reputation is definitely more important than your Alma Mater.

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Re: non A.B.A.?

Postby darknightbegins » Mon Feb 22, 2010 6:22 pm

First off how did we get to talking about Standford when the OP was comparing Santa Clara and a Non A.B.A. school? If you plan on working in the Silicon Valley I would think Santa Clara would be one of the best place to go to school. You may have a job lined up, but in 4 years, will you still have that job? Will those connections still be there? Going to Santa Clara allows you to network and take advantage of the big Alumni base Santa Clara has in the Silicon Valley.

Is Santa Clara overpriced at sticker? Yeah. But one of the most important aspects about law school is the networking and connections you form from that school, especially compared to a part time, non A.B.A school. Unless you have some BIG connections I would think you could benefit from the connections Santa Clara has in Silicon Valley. Bite the bullit and go to Santa Clara.

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Re: non A.B.A.?

Postby CA Law Dean » Mon Aug 02, 2010 12:07 pm

Just wondered how it turned out for you in the Lincoln vs. Santa Clara. I think that the discussion of Non-ABA schools is very valid given the huge cost variation. Imagine your practice options without having a six-figure student debt to retire over the next 10-20 years. One correction from an earlier post . . . Monterey College of Law is one of the 15 state accredited law schools, not an unaccredited school. Also be careful about only looking at first-time bar pass rates when considering a law school. Many of the state accredited schools such as Monterey and Lincoln have a 70% cumulative pass rate which is very competitive considering that their graduates are working full-time and frequently take more than one sitting to equal the bar prep time of a traditional non-working law student. However, the out of state practice question is very important to consider, since not every state will allow non-ABA graduates to sit for their bar exam.

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Re: non A.B.A.?

Postby BeautifulSW » Mon Aug 02, 2010 5:35 pm

I believe that the correspondence Taft Law School claims a 72% Bar pass rate for those students who keep trying. I don't doubt it but I do recall seeing a story a few months (years?) ago about some poor fellow who took the California Bar exam FIFTY as in FIVE-ZERO times before he finally passed.

The OP is the exact sort of wanna-be lawyer for whom I think a California Bar accredited program might be the best choice. There IS NO reasonably priced ABA approved law school in California anymore. Even the UC System schools are terrifyingly expensive.

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