Non-ABA Law School Dean takes questions

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
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reasonable_man
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Re: Non-ABA Law School Dean takes questions

Postby reasonable_man » Wed Feb 12, 2014 1:35 am

Well I have to admit - this is interesting. And I don't know why - but I don't hate this dean.

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patogordo
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Re: Non-ABA Law School Dean takes questions

Postby patogordo » Wed Feb 12, 2014 1:39 am

i actually don't really hate unaccredited law schools -- at least the ones that have greatly reduced tuition. they don't offer much, but there are plenty of accredited law schools that offer even less at 10x the price and 100x the promises.

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Re: Non-ABA Law School Dean takes questions

Postby BigZuck » Wed Feb 12, 2014 9:29 am

patogordo wrote:i actually don't really hate unaccredited law schools -- at least the ones that have greatly reduced tuition. they don't offer much, but there are plenty of accredited law schools that offer even less at 10x the price and 100x the promises.


Unless I'm doing the math wrong, tuition at this school is 66K. And they don't really offer scholarships as far as I can tell. It's not exactly a bargain.

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Re: Non-ABA Law School Dean takes questions

Postby MCL Law Dean » Wed Feb 12, 2014 9:59 am

BigZuck wrote:I'm still struggling to understand what niche market MCL is filling. Most attorneys I have met in Monterey County (young and old alike) went to places like Santa Clara, USF, and Hastings. Painting, say, Hastings grads as SF OR BUST and not willing to travel into the hinterlands of Monterey for a legal job sounds disingenuous at best. I'm sure there are DROVES of unemployed kids from the CA TTTs who would be more than happy to slum it in Monterey if it meant gainful employment.

Basically, you're making the Monterey Peninsula sound like its Copperopolis or something when in actuality it's one of the more desireable places to live in this country and Northern CA is teeming with JDs already.


OK, I'm back . . . had to interrupt my blogging to actual do some dean work. Back to the "niche" discussion. Our tri-county region of Monterey, Santa Cruz, and San Benito counties have a population of apx. 750,000 with Monterey representing about 60% of the total. We have two state universities (UCSC and CSUMB) and three large and locally respected community colleges (MPC, Hartnell, and Cabrillo). There is no law school. San Jose (75 miles) and San Francisco (120 miles) are the closest ABA law schools. That is our niche. 43 years ago, the local lawyers and judges founded our private, non-profit school to provide a regional law school and as a group (local lawyers and judges) they are still actively involved as faculty, trustees, and employers. I know TLSers assume "portability" when shopping legal education, but that is the luxury of traditional college students who generally have no family, work, or housing ties to restrict their mobility.

My "niche" argument is that with regulatory (ABA) changes, all regional law schools would be allowed/expected to identify their respective "niche" markets and adjust size, curriculum, cost and delivery methods to better serve that market. MCL is a practitioner-focused model. Legal writing is a practice skill, not an academic law review club, because we are not designed to teach/train judicial clerks or law professors. Other law schools can, and should, do that better. Our faculty are practitioners, not legal theorists, for the same reason. That is our "niche".

I believe that the legal academy would be much better served if this type of market segmentation was encouraged/required. Market differentiation provides choices, it doesn't limit them.
Last edited by MCL Law Dean on Wed Feb 12, 2014 10:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Non-ABA Law School Dean takes questions

Postby MCL Law Dean » Wed Feb 12, 2014 10:11 am

BigZuck wrote:
patogordo wrote:i actually don't really hate unaccredited law schools -- at least the ones that have greatly reduced tuition. they don't offer much, but there are plenty of accredited law schools that offer even less at 10x the price and 100x the promises.


Unless I'm doing the math wrong, tuition at this school is 66K. And they don't really offer scholarships as far as I can tell. It's not exactly a bargain.


No argument here. Our goal is to be a good value, not a bargain. From purely a price, not value standpoint, Santa Clara (closest ABA alternative) at $145K with rigorous scholarship stips or MCL at $66K with tuition rate guarantee (and BarBri included), provide a distinct choice. The value argument gets more complicated and requires monetizing prestige, status, ranking issues, licensure limitations, etc. On the one metric everyone seems to agree on . . . I think Santa Clara's (9 month) employment rate is around the national ABA average, 45-50% (LST) and MCL's is 88%.

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Re: Non-ABA Law School Dean takes questions

Postby MCL Law Dean » Wed Feb 12, 2014 10:18 am

patogordo wrote:i actually don't really hate unaccredited law schools -- at least the ones that have greatly reduced tuition. they don't offer much, but there are plenty of accredited law schools that offer even less at 10x the price and 100x the promises.


Now this is a backhanded compliment if there ever was one . . . however, quick correction, we are accredited by the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar of California . . . the same people who bring you the California Bar Exam. There are unaccredited law schools in California, but that is a different conversation (and one in which we likely agree more than disagree).

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Re: Non-ABA Law School Dean takes questions

Postby MCL Law Dean » Wed Feb 12, 2014 10:20 am

reasonable_man wrote:Well I have to admit - this is interesting. And I don't know why - but I don't hate this dean.


Thanks, Mom.

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Re: Non-ABA Law School Dean takes questions

Postby 2014 » Wed Feb 12, 2014 10:43 am

Are your faculty tenured or do you use a large amount of adjuncts? The reason I ask is that I'm curious how able you and schools in your position are able to weather market shocks where applications and matriculations drop. A big problem with the failing ABA schools you reference is that they have such high fixed costs that drops in enrollment necessarily result in tuition increases (or bleeding the endowment) and it seems like there's value, especially in your market space, in keeping faculty costs more variable.

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Re: Non-ABA Law School Dean takes questions

Postby BigZuck » Wed Feb 12, 2014 10:59 am

MCL Law Dean wrote:
BigZuck wrote:
patogordo wrote:i actually don't really hate unaccredited law schools -- at least the ones that have greatly reduced tuition. they don't offer much, but there are plenty of accredited law schools that offer even less at 10x the price and 100x the promises.


Unless I'm doing the math wrong, tuition at this school is 66K. And they don't really offer scholarships as far as I can tell. It's not exactly a bargain.


No argument here. Our goal is to be a good value, not a bargain. From purely a price, not value standpoint, Santa Clara (closest ABA alternative) at $145K with rigorous scholarship stips or MCL at $66K with tuition rate guarantee (and BarBri included), provide a distinct choice. The value argument gets more complicated and requires monetizing prestige, status, ranking issues, licensure limitations, etc. On the one metric everyone seems to agree on . . . I think Santa Clara's (9 month) employment rate is around the national ABA average, 45-50% (LST) and MCL's is 88%.


I'm sorry, but you're either willfully comparing apples to oranges or just lying. I don't see how there is any possible way that MCL is churning out lawyers at a rate of 88% of the class. That would mean it does a better job of creating lawyers than schools like UCLA and USC. There's just no way.

You're not comparing MCL's percentage of any old employment to Santa Clara's long term, full time JD required (aka lawyer) employment score are you?

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Re: Non-ABA Law School Dean takes questions

Postby MCL Law Dean » Wed Feb 12, 2014 12:07 pm

2014 wrote:Are your faculty tenured or do you use a large amount of adjuncts? The reason I ask is that I'm curious how able you and schools in your position are able to weather market shocks where applications and matriculations drop. A big problem with the failing ABA schools you reference is that they have such high fixed costs that drops in enrollment necessarily result in tuition increases (or bleeding the endowment) and it seems like there's value, especially in your market space, in keeping faculty costs more variable.


Good questions. We have no tenured faculty and all of our faculty are adjuncts . . . practicing lawyers and judges from the community who sign annual contracts each year. That said, about 1/3 have been teaching at the law school more than 20 years (some more than 30), about 1/3 have been teaching 10-20 years, and 1/3 have been teaching less than 10 years. Out of appx. 35 adjunct faculty, we usually turn-over 2-3 per year due to practice conflicts, retirement, job transfers, etc. We also utilize six teaching fellows who are recent graduates and provide a range of services, from co-teaching, to academic tech support (for some of the less tech-savvy professors), student tutoring, and they usually run/teach the practicum/skills add-ins to the doctrinal subjects.

It isn't really the non-tenure aspect that keeps our costs lower, it is the fact that 100% of part-time adjunct faculty salaries are for classroom teaching. We also pay all faculty the same rate, regardless of seniority, subject matter, clinical vs. doctrinal, legal writing . . . it is an egalitarian system where faculty get paid by the units taught and all units and topics are considered of equal value.
Last edited by MCL Law Dean on Wed Feb 12, 2014 12:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Non-ABA Law School Dean takes questions

Postby MCL Law Dean » Wed Feb 12, 2014 12:39 pm

BigZuck wrote:I'm sorry, but you're either willfully comparing apples to oranges or just lying. I don't see how there is any possible way that MCL is churning out lawyers at a rate of 88% of the class. That would mean it does a better job of creating lawyers than schools like UCLA and USC. There's just no way.

You're not comparing MCL's percentage of any old employment to Santa Clara's long term, full time JD required (aka lawyer) employment score are you?


BZ, I'll let you pick what and who you want to compare (See chart below). I know that it must be frustrating when the facts won't support you narrative. But "I don't agree, so you must be lying" ranks pretty low in effective argumentation. You certainly are entitled to your opinions and interpretations (from the safety of your anonymous avatar), but keep in mind that I have been willing to present information in my own name, and provide facts when available, and my best professional estimates when they are not.

MONTEREY COLLEGE OF LAW ALUMNI EMPLOYMENT SURVEY (2013)
Graduating Classes 2009-­2012
Number of Respondents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75
Number of Surveys . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75
Percent Survey Responses . . . . . . . . . . . . 100%
% of Graduates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .100%

Employment (9 months after graduation)
Employed . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88%
Not employed, seeking work .. . . . . . . . . . . 5%
Not employed, not seeking work . . . . . . . . 7%

Job Type/Job Status (9 months after graduation)
Bar Admission Required . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49%
JD Advantage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17%
Remained in Pre-­Law School Job
- Other Professional . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20%
- Other Non-­Professional . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2%
Not employed, seeking work . . . . . . . . . . . 5%
Not employed, not seeking work . . . . . . . . 7%

Current Employment
Employed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91%
Not employed, seeking work . . . . . . . . . . . 1%
Not employed, not seeking work .. . . . . . . . 7%
Retired . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1%

Job Tenure
Full Time, long-­term . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83%
Full Time, short-­term . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8%
Part­‐time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . 9%

If Working in a Law Firm -­ Firm Size
Solo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13%
2 to 10 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67%
11 to 25 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13%
26 to 50 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2%
51 to 100 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5%
More than 100 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0%

If Working in a Law Firm -­ What Type
Private Practice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74%
Public Agency . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14%
Non-­Profit Practice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5%
In-­house Corporate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2%
Academic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . 5%

If Working in a Law Firm/Public Agency -­ Position
Attorney . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74%
Judicial Officer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . 0%
Paralegal/Law Clerk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16%
Administrator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5%
Dean/Professor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5%

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Re: Non-ABA Law School Dean takes questions

Postby BigZuck » Wed Feb 12, 2014 12:47 pm

I don't have an avatar.

You said Santa Clara's employment was around 50%. Here is the class of 2012: http://law.scu.edu/careers/employment-data-2012/

So, were you willfully comparing apples to oranges in an attempt to mislead or just brain farting?

The thing that's most troubling to me is that assuming your data is true, you could have spun it in a way that made you look better than Santa Clara without resorting to gross mischaracterizations.

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Re: Non-ABA Law School Dean takes questions

Postby BigZuck » Wed Feb 12, 2014 12:50 pm

Also, the facts precisely fit my "narrative" and you were the one cherry picking and comparing data that isn't comparable.

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Re: Non-ABA Law School Dean takes questions

Postby midwest17 » Wed Feb 12, 2014 12:58 pm

MCL Law Dean wrote:
BigZuck wrote:I'm sorry, but you're either willfully comparing apples to oranges or just lying. I don't see how there is any possible way that MCL is churning out lawyers at a rate of 88% of the class. That would mean it does a better job of creating lawyers than schools like UCLA and USC. There's just no way.

You're not comparing MCL's percentage of any old employment to Santa Clara's long term, full time JD required (aka lawyer) employment score are you?


BZ, I'll let you pick what and who you want to compare (See chart below). I know that it must be frustrating when the facts won't support you narrative. But "I don't agree, so you must be lying" ranks pretty low in effective argumentation. You certainly are entitled to your opinions and interpretations (from the safety of your anonymous avatar), but keep in mind that I have been willing to present information in my own name, and provide facts when available, and my best professional estimates when they are not.

MONTEREY COLLEGE OF LAW ALUMNI EMPLOYMENT SURVEY (2013)
Graduating Classes 2009-­2012
Number of Respondents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75
Number of Surveys . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75
Percent Survey Responses . . . . . . . . . . . . 100%
% of Graduates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .100%

Employment (9 months after graduation)
Employed . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88%
Not employed, seeking work .. . . . . . . . . . . 5%
Not employed, not seeking work . . . . . . . . 7%

Job Type/Job Status (9 months after graduation)
Bar Admission Required . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49%
JD Advantage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17%
Remained in Pre-­Law School Job
- Other Professional . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20%
- Other Non-­Professional . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2%
Not employed, seeking work . . . . . . . . . . . 5%
Not employed, not seeking work . . . . . . . . 7%

Current Employment
Employed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91%
Not employed, seeking work . . . . . . . . . . . 1%
Not employed, not seeking work .. . . . . . . . 7%
Retired . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1%

Job Tenure
Full Time, long-­term . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83%
Full Time, short-­term . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8%
Part­‐time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . 9%

If Working in a Law Firm -­ Firm Size
Solo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13%
2 to 10 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67%
11 to 25 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13%
26 to 50 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2%
51 to 100 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5%
More than 100 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0%

If Working in a Law Firm -­ What Type
Private Practice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74%
Public Agency . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14%
Non-­Profit Practice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5%
In-­house Corporate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2%
Academic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . 5%

If Working in a Law Firm/Public Agency -­ Position
Attorney . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74%
Judicial Officer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . 0%
Paralegal/Law Clerk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16%
Administrator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5%
Dean/Professor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5%


So in other words, Big Zuck was right. You were comparing apples to oranges.

Your JD Required rate is 49%. Santa Clara's is 51.7%. Your JD Advantage rate is 17%, theirs is 20%. The main reason why your complete unemployment rate is lower than theirs is the problem that always comes from comparing PT programs to FT programs: you have a lot of graduates who stay in the same job they had before they went to law school. If someone keeps the same job they had before, it's hard to say whether law school was worth it for them, and whether that employment should be counted as a positive for the school.

I'm glad that your numbers aren't lagging way behind the bad ABA schools out there. But getting on Santa Clara's level isn't a particularly high bar, or one that you should really be proud of reaching.

Also, if you only have a total of 75 graduates in 4 years, but Wikipedia lists you as having an enrollment of 120 (I've been unable to find a source of official class profile data provided by the school) does that mean that it takes the typical graduate 6 years to complete your program? Or do you have really high attrition? Or is the 120 number incorrect? (I apologize if these questions have already been answered; I haven't read through the entire thread.)

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Re: Non-ABA Law School Dean takes questions

Postby MCL Law Dean » Wed Feb 12, 2014 2:26 pm

So in other words, Big Zuck was right. You were comparing apples to oranges.

Your JD Required rate is 49%. Santa Clara's is 51.7%. Your JD Advantage rate is 17%, theirs is 20%. The main reason why your complete unemployment rate is lower than theirs is the problem that always comes from comparing PT programs to FT programs: you have a lot of graduates who stay in the same job they had before they went to law school. If someone keeps the same job they had before, it's hard to say whether law school was worth it for them, and whether that employment should be counted as a positive for the school.

I'm glad that your numbers aren't lagging way behind the bad ABA schools out there. But getting on Santa Clara's level isn't a particularly high bar, or one that you should really be proud of reaching.


I am not trying to bash Santa Clara, the context of my comment was a limited example of one comparison of price vs. outcome. I looked at Santa Clara's US news report for 2012 which showed 38.5% employed at graduation, including JD required and J.D. Advantage. What I should have done was look up their LST report (as you did) for 2012 which shows 71.7% JD required and JD advantage to compare it to MCL's 66% for a much better apples-to-apples comparison. Point made and apologies to Santa Clara! What doesn't change is the point that you made better than I did. In a niche market like ours, a program like MCL can better serve its community with credible results at a price that is much less than the typical ABA model.

Your point about FT vs PT is also right on point, but I don't see how to resolve it. If the ABA schools would report PT scores and outcomes separately, we could do a more realistic comparison. But absent that, prospective students will need to try to sort out the disconnect. As I have previously posted, part of our market "niche" is that about 20% of our graduates remain in their previous jobs. That has been true since the start of MCL and is part of its original purpose. The typical categories are bankers, financial planners, realtors, entrepreneurs and small business owners who never intended to practice law, but wanted the legal education to enhance their business acumen. I know this doesn't translate to the typical ABA model and creates problems anytime comparisons are attempted, but it would be inaccurate to consider this a "negative" in assessing our results.

Also, if you only have a total of 75 graduates in 4 years, but Wikipedia lists you as having an enrollment of 120 (I've been unable to find a source of official class profile data provided by the school) does that mean that it takes the typical graduate 6 years to complete your program? Or do you have really high attrition? Or is the 120 number incorrect? (I apologize if these questions have already been answered; I haven't read through the entire thread.)


This might help. We currently have 120 students in a four-year, part-time program. However, during the 2009-2012 reporting period our annual enrollment ranged from approximately 100-115, because we had one aberrant year where we had a "perfect storm" of attrition and lost 15 students (due to a combination of health, job, divorce, and financial factors). Thank goodness we haven't had a repeat of that year and actually had an entering class of 36 last year which is 20% larger than usual. We would typically have expected 90 graduates over that four year period, and going forward would expect an average of 25-28 graduates per year.

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Re: Non-ABA Law School Dean takes questions

Postby BigZuck » Wed Feb 12, 2014 3:24 pm

So you misrepresented data, then accused me of having an agenda when in all actuality I was just properly reading the data and calling you out for being misleading? Cool!

You can hide behind the "Oopsies, my B bros!" all you want. And Hell, maybe it was a genuine Oopsies. But I still think its distrubingly negligent for you to in effect say "Well, I think we can all agree that we do a much better job at this whole creating lawyers thing than Santa Clara" when you're misrepresenting the data that proves that point.

Further, I find it ultra-disturbing that someone who runs a law school (aka a place that creates lawyers) had never given much thought to tracking how good their school was in that mission until some rando from the Internet had to suggest it to him.

I'll stop raging against the boomer machine right there, I promise.

I will say this in MCL's favor- if they really are doing as good a job as Santa Clara and at half the price then good for them. I would be totally fine with shutting down the Santa Claras and USFs of the world and letting these schools exist.

I also applaud you for working with the LST bros.

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Re: Non-ABA Law School Dean takes questions

Postby patogordo » Wed Feb 12, 2014 3:47 pm

Santa Clara is also luring kids in with their "ranked #3 in IP Law!" snake oil which is just sad

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Re: Non-ABA Law School Dean takes questions

Postby MCL Law Dean » Wed Feb 12, 2014 4:16 pm

patogordo wrote:Santa Clara is also luring kids in with their "ranked #3 in IP Law!" snake oil which is just sad


curious . . . if you were a BSE, with 3-5 years of experience, wanted to go into IP law, but fell well below the 3.87, 171 Stanford medians, where would you suggest they apply?

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Re: Non-ABA Law School Dean takes questions

Postby patogordo » Wed Feb 12, 2014 4:26 pm

MCL Law Dean wrote:
patogordo wrote:Santa Clara is also luring kids in with their "ranked #3 in IP Law!" snake oil which is just sad


curious . . . if you were a BSE, with 3-5 years of experience, wanted to go into IP law, but fell well below the 3.87, 171 Stanford medians, where would you suggest they apply?

i'd retake the LSAT and go to a splitter-friendly school like vandy/wustl/etc, depending on the scholarship. i'm assuming this hypothetical person wants to work in the bay area and has ties. that's what i did with a BSEE and a sub-3.0 gpa, and i'm working in CA. santa clara offered me something like $5k/yr. that would have been a terrible, terrible decision.

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Re: Non-ABA Law School Dean takes questions

Postby jenesaislaw » Wed Feb 12, 2014 5:44 pm

MCL Law Dean wrote:
patogordo wrote:Santa Clara is also luring kids in with their "ranked #3 in IP Law!" snake oil which is just sad


curious . . . if you were a BSE, with 3-5 years of experience, wanted to go into IP law, but fell well below the 3.87, 171 Stanford medians, where would you suggest they apply?


It is very sad that there are no middle options between Stanford and the schools you shouldn't go to if that is what you want to do.

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Re: Non-ABA Law School Dean takes questions

Postby timbs4339 » Wed Feb 12, 2014 11:07 pm

MCL Law Dean wrote:
patogordo wrote:Santa Clara is also luring kids in with their "ranked #3 in IP Law!" snake oil which is just sad


curious . . . if you were a BSE, with 3-5 years of experience, wanted to go into IP law, but fell well below the 3.87, 171 Stanford medians, where would you suggest they apply?


What I would do is attend a lower ranked school for free. If all I wanted to do was biglaw, and I didn't get it, drop out and go back to my old job. If I want to be a lawyer, then I'm not going to be buried in debt when I'm making 50K defending traffic tickets.

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Re: Non-ABA Law School Dean takes questions

Postby reasonable_man » Thu Feb 13, 2014 3:40 am

MCL Law Dean wrote:
reasonable_man wrote:Well I have to admit - this is interesting. And I don't know why - but I don't hate this dean.


Thanks, Mom.


I'm your daddy Mitch - not your mom. Get that straight. :lol:

All kidding aside, I'm an 08' grad of a 4th Tier ABA accredited school. I'm probably one of maybe 5 to 10 lawyers from my graduating class that is earning over 100K at this point in my career, despite the fact that the school pretty clearly implied that all of us would be where I am right now. Its shameful. So honestly, I have zero problem with what you're doing. $60,000 total tuition is a fair price for what you're offering (assuming what you say is true and students have ready access to jobs that start out at ~$50,000 per year). Frankly, your graduates are probably in a much better position than many of the 3rd and 4th tier ABA approved graduates floating around out there (who may or may not have access to a ~$50,000 per year job, but owe three times as much in student loans than your graduates).

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Re: Non-ABA Law School Dean takes questions

Postby MCL Law Dean » Thu Feb 13, 2014 6:21 am

patogordo wrote:
MCL Law Dean wrote:
patogordo wrote:Santa Clara is also luring kids in with their "ranked #3 in IP Law!" snake oil which is just sad


curious . . . if you were a BSE, with 3-5 years of experience, wanted to go into IP law, but fell well below the 3.87, 171 Stanford medians, where would you suggest they apply?

i'd retake the LSAT and go to a splitter-friendly school like vandy/wustl/etc, depending on the scholarship. i'm assuming this hypothetical person wants to work in the bay area and has ties. that's what i did with a BSEE and a sub-3.0 gpa, and i'm working in CA. santa clara offered me something like $5k/yr. that would have been a terrible, terrible decision.


My experience is that it is common for engineering graduates/IP prospects to be splitters since the GPAs are much lower. So you got scholarships with a sub 3.0? and did your CA IP job come from an OCI?

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Re: Non-ABA Law School Dean takes questions

Postby MCL Law Dean » Thu Feb 13, 2014 6:26 am

timbs4339 wrote:
MCL Law Dean wrote:
patogordo wrote:Santa Clara is also luring kids in with their "ranked #3 in IP Law!" snake oil which is just sad


curious . . . if you were a BSE, with 3-5 years of experience, wanted to go into IP law, but fell well below the 3.87, 171 Stanford medians, where would you suggest they apply?


What I would do is attend a lower ranked school for free. If all I wanted to do was biglaw, and I didn't get it, drop out and go back to my old job. If I want to be a lawyer, then I'm not going to be buried in debt when I'm making 50K defending traffic tickets.


So your advice is to apply as far down the ranking as required to get a free ride and then drop out if 1L OCI clerkships don't turn up a BigLaw option?

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Re: Non-ABA Law School Dean takes questions

Postby MCL Law Dean » Thu Feb 13, 2014 7:07 am

reasonable_man wrote:
MCL Law Dean wrote:
reasonable_man wrote:Well I have to admit - this is interesting. And I don't know why - but I don't hate this dean.


Thanks, Mom.


I'm your daddy Mitch - not your mom. Get that straight. :lol:

All kidding aside, I'm an 08' grad of a 4th Tier ABA accredited school. I'm probably one of maybe 5 to 10 lawyers from my graduating class that is earning over 100K at this point in my career, despite the fact that the school pretty clearly implied that all of us would be where I am right now. Its shameful. So honestly, I have zero problem with what you're doing. $60,000 total tuition is a fair price for what you're offering (assuming what you say is true and students have ready access to jobs that start out at ~$50,000 per year). Frankly, your graduates are probably in a much better position than many of the 3rd and 4th tier ABA approved graduates floating around out there (who may or may not have access to a ~$50,000 per year job, but owe three times as much in student loans than your graduates).


Thanks, DAD!

Good work on your part and I fully agree regarding the false implications (or worse) regarding costs and job prospects. Back in the dark ages (late 1970's) when I went to law school (University of Houston), the entire program, including academic counseling and OCIs, was designed around an institutionalized model that pretended that everyone was top 5% and heading to BigLaw. Everyone else was considered invisible (or unworthy of attention/concern). I didn't agree with it then and I obviously still disagree with that limited view of law school now.

One clarification, I wouldn't characterize any starting law jobs as "readily available" . . . and at the risk of being painted as a typical sh*#tboomer by the TLS trolls, I counsel our graduates that practice skills, reputation, work ethic, previous experience (including externships, part-time, and clerkships), and networking are what create job opportunities. Even in a small community like ours (perhaps even more so), legal employers have choices and it is clearly a "buyers market". It takes planning, flexibility, creativity, and a dedicated effort to get any job worth having. That part hasn't changed.




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