Game changer: William Mitchell College of Law ABA approved ONLINE JD program!

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haus
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Re: Game changer: William Mitchell College of Law ABA approved ONLINE JD program!

Postby haus » Mon May 25, 2015 5:21 pm

BigZuck wrote:Do they still do that Socratic nonsense in online classes? I'd imagine that the quality of education is way, way higher if they aren't doing that garbage.

No. occasionally we get a light version of this in residency classes. But for the online classes it is fairly straight forward lecture. To make up for the fact that we do not get called on in class we have online discussions. Each class is broken down into groups of ~10, a discussion prompt is distributed to the group, and each needs to submit an initial response to the discussion prompt. Once your initial post is submitted you gain access to the forum to see everyone else's responses. You are then required to respond to at least one other student. The discussion comments are then reviewed and graded (although they only make up a small portion of the overall grade, the feedback does help to determine if you are on the right path).

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Re: Game changer: William Mitchell College of Law ABA approved ONLINE JD program!

Postby haus » Mon May 25, 2015 5:26 pm

Desert Fox wrote:how much does it cost?

List price for next year is $28k. Although with scholarship, it was considerably less expensive. From what I understand the only stips placed on any of their scholarships are good standing.

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Re: Game changer: William Mitchell College of Law ABA approved ONLINE JD program!

Postby Capitol_Idea » Mon May 25, 2015 5:52 pm

haus wrote:
zacharus85 wrote:
lacrossebrother wrote:Given that lawyers have a monopoly on the legal profession, I'm not sure that it's "scammy" to provide a cheap and convenient alternative to become eligible to sit for the bar, but your belief in universal access to the law might not be as progressive as mine.

The "scammy" part is when it A. holds itself out as equivalent to a full-time accredited program and B. costs as muchas or near to said programs. If it is actually as good and costs significantly less, then MAYBE it presents some value.

We don't need more access to the legal profession - there are twice as many lawyers graduating every year than there are jobs for them. These new programs don't attract the 'bright but downtrodden' because a significantly good LSAT and GPA will net you a scholly at a decent school regardless of your socioeconomic status. There is an argument that plenty of 'bright' people don't get the right circumstances to focus in college (like working to support yourself, etc.) or can't afford LSAT prep or whatever but that's a function of how we perceive worth in legal academic selection - the solution there would be to reform how we select law students rather than just pumping out yet more of them.

First, the program is clearly a part-time program, not a full-time program, second, it is accredited by the ABA.

Many of us, me included, were accepted to other programs. But, I found the option at WM to be a better fit. Here we are in 2015, and every other school is fixated on the notion that Torts cannot be learned in any other way than sitting in a chair in a specific room at set times of the day, really?


'Good fit for you' as an individual and 'Good law school in general' are separable ideas. The program can be good for you personally but the school can be net bad if it primarily subsists on people who don't or can't get employed. Many of these programs make money on people that couldn't get in elsewhere because they didn't have the scores or grades - that's why hiring outcomes are (somewhat) useful metrics.

Regarding part-time programs, schools up to GULC's level have part-time programs - so just change my first criterion to compare across part-time programs and the result is still the same :P

I won't engage on the 'value' of the class time in-person vs. online because I think the classes are largely useless either way as it relates to actual legal practice.

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Re: Game changer: William Mitchell College of Law ABA approved ONLINE JD program!

Postby crazycanuck » Mon May 25, 2015 6:09 pm

zacharus85 wrote:
haus wrote:
zacharus85 wrote:
lacrossebrother wrote:Given that lawyers have a monopoly on the legal profession, I'm not sure that it's "scammy" to provide a cheap and convenient alternative to become eligible to sit for the bar, but your belief in universal access to the law might not be as progressive as mine.

The "scammy" part is when it A. holds itself out as equivalent to a full-time accredited program and B. costs as muchas or near to said programs. If it is actually as good and costs significantly less, then MAYBE it presents some value.

We don't need more access to the legal profession - there are twice as many lawyers graduating every year than there are jobs for them. These new programs don't attract the 'bright but downtrodden' because a significantly good LSAT and GPA will net you a scholly at a decent school regardless of your socioeconomic status. There is an argument that plenty of 'bright' people don't get the right circumstances to focus in college (like working to support yourself, etc.) or can't afford LSAT prep or whatever but that's a function of how we perceive worth in legal academic selection - the solution there would be to reform how we select law students rather than just pumping out yet more of them.

First, the program is clearly a part-time program, not a full-time program, second, it is accredited by the ABA.

Many of us, me included, were accepted to other programs. But, I found the option at WM to be a better fit. Here we are in 2015, and every other school is fixated on the notion that Torts cannot be learned in any other way than sitting in a chair in a specific room at set times of the day, really?


'Good fit for you' as an individual and 'Good law school in general' are separable ideas. The program can be good for you personally but the school can be net bad if it primarily subsists on people who don't or can't get employed. Many of these programs make money on people that couldn't get in elsewhere because they didn't have the scores or grades - that's why hiring outcomes are (somewhat) useful metrics.

Regarding part-time programs, schools up to GULC's level have part-time programs - so just change my first criterion to compare across part-time programs and the result is still the same :P

I won't engage on the 'value' of the class time in-person vs. online because I think the classes are largely useless either way as it relates to actual legal practice.


There is nothing wrong with having a large population educated in the laws, rules, regulations and rights of citizens and corporations in your country. You want as many as you can get. The issue is the price of the education. Charging 48k and 3 straight years of lost earnings is the real issue. The issue is not really whether people can find jobs as lawyers. Top students should get the good jobs and bottom students should not. The problem is the debt.

Schools should not be the regulators for how exclusive the profession should be. That should be left up to the actual regulators (the bar).

I'll post more when I get home later as there are a few posts here that I want to address.

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Re: Game changer: William Mitchell College of Law ABA approved ONLINE JD program!

Postby haus » Mon May 25, 2015 6:20 pm

zacharus85 wrote:'Good fit for you' as an individual and 'Good law school in general' are separable ideas. The program can be good for you personally but the school can be net bad if it primarily subsists on people who don't or can't get employed. Many of these programs make money on people that couldn't get in elsewhere because they didn't have the scores or grades.

For people who are hoping to pursue a traditional legal career path, this is not likely to be the best option, for several reasons. Near the top of this list is that law firms are conservative by nature. I expect that students will underperform for biglaw hiring, and this will likely continue until online/hybrid education is more common in the field (this may well be a very long way off).

As far as the hybrid program sucking up people who would be unable to get in elsewhere due to scores or grades, I think that this simply is not true. I will have to wait like everyone else, but I bet that the numbers for the hybrid classes will actually be higher than that for the brick and mortar students at this school. Almost everyone I have met in this program works, most have families. Some did not have any part-time options available where they call home, others like myself had options to attend traditional part-time programs, but preferred the added flexibility provided by the hybrid program.

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Re: Game changer: William Mitchell College of Law ABA approved ONLINE JD program!

Postby rinkrat19 » Mon May 25, 2015 6:20 pm

I have no problem with the People's School of Law in California. It's not accredited and hardly anyone gets jobs from there, but it's also dirt cheap. If People's School wanted to start a cheap online program, more power to them. PSL does exactly what it says on the tin: provides an inexpensive education in legal concepts.
William Mitchell claims to produce successful professional attorneys and charges large sums of money for the relatively slim chance of getting a lawyering job that will pay off a student's loans. Pumping out more of those degrees, whether in the classroom or online, is a bad thing for most people. In fact, I think probably about 50-75 law schools in this country should just close their doors. WM is, at best, on the borderline between 'ABSOLUTELY NEEDS TO CLOSE' and 'maybe ok to stay open if a bunch of other dumpster fires shut down.'

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Re: Game changer: William Mitchell College of Law ABA approved ONLINE JD program!

Postby Capitol_Idea » Mon May 25, 2015 6:21 pm

I agree that more people should be educated in our laws. More profit-seeking schools bilking people (largely in lower socioeconomic tiers) is not the answer.

These programs won't help to drive down the net cost of law school because there are significant restrictions in place that will permanently keep a certain subset at the top who can charge what they damn well please, and as many other schools as can get away with it will follow suit.

Advocating for more law schools to fix a broken law school system is.. Not correct. For every one Haus there are ten rubes who think they're writing their own ticket to a better life and taking out massive debt to do so.

Law schools don't hold the key to 'educating the citizenry about the law.' More transparent and sensible laws, more 'legal' work outsourced to market forces, and perhaps better inculcation of civic values in earlier education levels are all examples of ways to better achieve that goal, I think.

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Re: Game changer: William Mitchell College of Law ABA approved ONLINE JD program!

Postby Capitol_Idea » Mon May 25, 2015 6:23 pm

Haus I would be interested to see the employment numbers relative to average debt load for the school down the road.

Not challenging you here bc I don't have them either yet obviously, but I would be very surprised if it bucked the trend and honestly offered a net positive return for its student body.

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Re: Game changer: William Mitchell College of Law ABA approved ONLINE JD program!

Postby haus » Mon May 25, 2015 8:28 pm

zacharus85 wrote:Haus I would be interested to see the employment numbers relative to average debt load for the school down the road.

Not challenging you here bc I don't have them either yet obviously, but I would be very surprised if it bucked the trend and honestly offered a net positive return for its student body.

Since we are only one semester into the first hybrid class it is going to take awhile to see what these turn out to be, but I agree with you that this will be interesting. Although, I suspect that the numbers may be a bit difficult to make heads or tails of. For instance, I am a gov worker who currently makes a bit less than big law starting pay, but I am close enough to that level that by graduation I will be making a bit over that current threshold. This number will look good for the salary survey, but it is not reflective of what this program represents. There are a few others in my groups who are in similar situations, include a few medical doctors and business owners.

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Re: Game changer: William Mitchell College of Law ABA approved ONLINE JD program!

Postby Jaydee » Mon May 25, 2015 11:33 pm

haus wrote:
zacharus85 wrote:Haus I would be interested to see the employment numbers relative to average debt load for the school down the road.

Not challenging you here bc I don't have them either yet obviously, but I would be very surprised if it bucked the trend and honestly offered a net positive return for its student body.

Since we are only one semester into the first hybrid class it is going to take awhile to see what these turn out to be, but I agree with you that this will be interesting. Although, I suspect that the numbers may be a bit difficult to make heads or tails of. For instance, I am a gov worker who currently makes a bit less than big law starting pay, but I am close enough to that level that by graduation I will be making a bit over that current threshold. This number will look good for the salary survey, but it is not reflective of what this program represents. There are a few others in my groups who are in similar situations, include a few medical doctors and business owners.


This is what many don't get. I understand that this is a prestige-driven career, but, I intend to work for no one other than myself. I have many friends in practice who have promised to show me the ropes re solo practice. I have a nice govt pension coming in, savings, home paid, a business, etc. I'm looking to practice law semi-part time. i.e. do a few closings here-and-there, some contracts, uncontested divorces, etc... and based on what I want I don't think prestige will matter as much

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Re: Game changer: William Mitchell College of Law ABA approved ONLINE JD program!

Postby rinkrat19 » Mon May 25, 2015 11:45 pm

Jaydee wrote:
haus wrote:
zacharus85 wrote:Haus I would be interested to see the employment numbers relative to average debt load for the school down the road.

Not challenging you here bc I don't have them either yet obviously, but I would be very surprised if it bucked the trend and honestly offered a net positive return for its student body.

Since we are only one semester into the first hybrid class it is going to take awhile to see what these turn out to be, but I agree with you that this will be interesting. Although, I suspect that the numbers may be a bit difficult to make heads or tails of. For instance, I am a gov worker who currently makes a bit less than big law starting pay, but I am close enough to that level that by graduation I will be making a bit over that current threshold. This number will look good for the salary survey, but it is not reflective of what this program represents. There are a few others in my groups who are in similar situations, include a few medical doctors and business owners.


This is what many don't get. I understand that this is a prestige-driven career, but, I intend to work for no one other than myself. I have many friends in practice who have promised to show me the ropes re solo practice. I have a nice govt pension coming in, savings, home paid, a business, etc. I'm looking to practice law semi-part time. i.e. do a few closings here-and-there, some contracts, uncontested divorces, etc... and based on what I want I don't think prestige will matter as much

And why do you not get that what might work out fine for you and a very tiny subset of prospective law students is also likely to result in the financial ruin of many many more people than are in your little special snowflake club?

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Re: Game changer: William Mitchell College of Law ABA approved ONLINE JD program!

Postby Jaydee » Mon May 25, 2015 11:54 pm

rinkrat19 wrote:
Jaydee wrote:
haus wrote:
zacharus85 wrote:Haus I would be interested to see the employment numbers relative to average debt load for the school down the road.

Not challenging you here bc I don't have them either yet obviously, but I would be very surprised if it bucked the trend and honestly offered a net positive return for its student body.

Since we are only one semester into the first hybrid class it is going to take awhile to see what these turn out to be, but I agree with you that this will be interesting. Although, I suspect that the numbers may be a bit difficult to make heads or tails of. For instance, I am a gov worker who currently makes a bit less than big law starting pay, but I am close enough to that level that by graduation I will be making a bit over that current threshold. This number will look good for the salary survey, but it is not reflective of what this program represents. There are a few others in my groups who are in similar situations, include a few medical doctors and business owners.


This is what many don't get. I understand that this is a prestige-driven career, but, I intend to work for no one other than myself. I have many friends in practice who have promised to show me the ropes re solo practice. I have a nice govt pension coming in, savings, home paid, a business, etc. I'm looking to practice law semi-part time. i.e. do a few closings here-and-there, some contracts, uncontested divorces, etc... and based on what I want I don't think prestige will matter as much

And why do you not get that what might work out fine for you and a very tiny subset of prospective law students is also likely to result in the financial ruin of many many more people than are in your little special snowflake club?


Trust me, I get it. I know what will work for me! Everyone else, they should do their research to see what will work for them. For many, they will need that prestige degree. Me? I'm graduating with zero-debt. Many of us are content making "biglaw" salaries in our careers/businesses and want a law degree for reasons other that working in biglaw.
I would never, ever, want to work in biglaw. I wouldn't mind working for the govt but I can't because I'm drawing a pension from them (no double-dipping). I have a great job, but I don't want to haul my ass into the city every morning. I rather work closer to home.

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Re: Game changer: William Mitchell College of Law ABA approved ONLINE JD program!

Postby farman » Sun May 31, 2015 1:40 am

I beg to differ that William Mitchell is a "shitty" school. Since I am from MN I know several people in Biglaw who went there, and the State AG went to William Mitchell. In MN it has a good reputation, so for someone looking to stay in MN it isn't a "bad school."

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Re: Game changer: William Mitchell College of Law ABA approved ONLINE JD program!

Postby Mack.Hambleton » Sun May 31, 2015 1:49 am

farman wrote:I beg to differ that William Mitchell is a "shitty" school. Since I am from MN I know several people in Biglaw who went there, and the State AG went to William Mitchell. In MN it has a good reputation, so for someone looking to stay in MN it isn't a "bad school."


only about half of their grads actually become lawyers.

it is objectively shitty

http://www.lstscorereports.com/schools/ ... jobs/2014/

(55% FT-LT BPR)

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Re: Game changer: William Mitchell College of Law ABA approved ONLINE JD program!

Postby farman » Sun May 31, 2015 2:23 am

Mack.Hambleton wrote:
farman wrote:I beg to differ that William Mitchell is a "shitty" school. Since I am from MN I know several people in Biglaw who went there, and the State AG went to William Mitchell. In MN it has a good reputation, so for someone looking to stay in MN it isn't a "bad school."


only about half of their grads actually become lawyers.

it is objectively shitty

http://www.lstscorereports.com/schools/ ... jobs/2014/

(55% FT-LT BPR)

Relative to other schools you could say that, but it is just possible that the school attracts people who aren't as smart or as determined who end up in the lower half of their class and not surprisingly don't become lawyers.

The people I talked to that got into Biglaw were in the top 10% of their class, and I'm assuming the state AG was as well or at least got plenty of years of experience to get to her position. But to say the school itself is "shitty" because about only half of their class became lawyers I think is unfair.

I do think if you rank in the upper echelons of your class at William Mitchell you still can have decent career prospects.

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Re: Game changer: William Mitchell College of Law ABA approved ONLINE JD program!

Postby Mack.Hambleton » Sun May 31, 2015 2:35 am

yes and if you win the lottery youll become rich too. unfortunately 90% of WM's class can't be in the top 10%.

maybe relative to some other TTTT schools they're marginally better, but if half the class can't get jobs after spending three years of their life and hundreds of thousands of dollars (COA is 60k per year) thats pretty shitty

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Re: Game changer: William Mitchell College of Law ABA approved ONLINE JD program!

Postby BigZuck » Sun May 31, 2015 9:09 am

farman wrote:
Mack.Hambleton wrote:
farman wrote:I beg to differ that William Mitchell is a "shitty" school. Since I am from MN I know several people in Biglaw who went there, and the State AG went to William Mitchell. In MN it has a good reputation, so for someone looking to stay in MN it isn't a "bad school."


only about half of their grads actually become lawyers.

it is objectively shitty

http://www.lstscorereports.com/schools/ ... jobs/2014/

(55% FT-LT BPR)

Relative to other schools you could say that, but it is just possible that the school attracts people who aren't as smart or as determined who end up in the lower half of their class and not surprisingly don't become lawyers.

The people I talked to that got into Biglaw were in the top 10% of their class, and I'm assuming the state AG was as well or at least got plenty of years of experience to get to her position. But to say the school itself is "shitty" because about only half of their class became lawyers I think is unfair.

I do think if you rank in the upper echelons of your class at William Mitchell you still can have decent career prospects.

This shows a frightening lack of understanding of how a forced curve works and how legal hiring works, IMO.

But yeah, most schools have lay prestige and alums with stellar outcomes. Doesn't make a good percentage of them not hot garbage though.

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Re: Game changer: William Mitchell College of Law ABA approved ONLINE JD program!

Postby Louis1127 » Sun May 31, 2015 10:22 am

farman wrote:But to say the school itself is "shitty" because about only half of their class became lawyers I think is unfair.

Wait, what?

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Re: Game changer: William Mitchell College of Law ABA approved ONLINE JD program!

Postby JGMotorsport » Sun May 31, 2015 10:27 am

haus wrote:
BigZuck wrote:Do they still do that Socratic nonsense in online classes? I'd imagine that the quality of education is way, way higher if they aren't doing that garbage.

No. occasionally we get a light version of this in residency classes. But for the online classes it is fairly straight forward lecture. To make up for the fact that we do not get called on in class we have online discussions. Each class is broken down into groups of ~10, a discussion prompt is distributed to the group, and each needs to submit an initial response to the discussion prompt. Once your initial post is submitted you gain access to the forum to see everyone else's responses. You are then required to respond to at least one other student. The discussion comments are then reviewed and graded (although they only make up a small portion of the overall grade, the feedback does help to determine if you are on the right path).

This sounds too much like an easy undergrad course.

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Re: Game changer: William Mitchell College of Law ABA approved ONLINE JD program!

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Sun May 31, 2015 10:34 am

Literally never heard of this law school until reading this thread.

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Re: Game changer: William Mitchell College of Law ABA approved ONLINE JD program!

Postby haus » Sun May 31, 2015 10:35 am

JGMotorsport wrote:
haus wrote:
BigZuck wrote:Do they still do that Socratic nonsense in online classes? I'd imagine that the quality of education is way, way higher if they aren't doing that garbage.

No. occasionally we get a light version of this in residency classes. But for the online classes it is fairly straight forward lecture. To make up for the fact that we do not get called on in class we have online discussions. Each class is broken down into groups of ~10, a discussion prompt is distributed to the group, and each needs to submit an initial response to the discussion prompt. Once your initial post is submitted you gain access to the forum to see everyone else's responses. You are then required to respond to at least one other student. The discussion comments are then reviewed and graded (although they only make up a small portion of the overall grade, the feedback does help to determine if you are on the right path).

This sounds too much like an easy undergrad course.

So what element of the above makes this seem lightweight to you? The written discussions every week vice the chance of being called on in class? The notion that the discussion actually has an impact on your grade?

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Re: Game changer: William Mitchell College of Law ABA approved ONLINE JD program!

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Sun May 31, 2015 10:46 am

Now you can waste your money while sitting in your pajamas instead of in the classroom! Awesome.

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haus
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Re: Game changer: William Mitchell College of Law ABA approved ONLINE JD program!

Postby haus » Sun May 31, 2015 10:50 am

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:Now you can waste your money while sitting in your pajamas instead of in the classroom! Awesome.

Well, technically I think you could wear pajamas to a brick and mortar law school. Although personally I would feel more comfortable to do this in an online class. Plus the chairs at my house are more comfortable than the chairs in the classrooms of the schools I visited.

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Re: Game changer: William Mitchell College of Law ABA approved ONLINE JD program!

Postby Jaydee » Sun May 31, 2015 11:42 am

How is William Mitchell a bad decision financially when going there (the Hybrid program) will allow many of us to: 1. Keep our $150,000/yr jobs 2. not relocate/pay additional rent?
With regard to passing (or not passing) the bar even those attending T14s say that they didn't learn much in law school that helped them pass the bar; they had to take an outside class like Barbri or Piper.
Here's the math for me:

Full time law school (T 14): 3 years no income, $200,000 in tuition and room and board. Work full time afterwards making $65,000/year, if lucky, (for 3 years) to learn enough to go solo.

William Mitchell: 4 years of income at $150,000/year; $50,000 in tuition (after scholarship). Keep $150,000/yr job for 3 years while working part time for friends learning the law before going solo.




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