Monterey College of Law - an accredited non-ABA Option

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
User avatar
cron1834
Posts: 1921
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2014 1:36 am

Re: Monterey College of Law - an accredited non-ABA Option

Postby cron1834 » Tue Feb 25, 2014 3:43 pm

MCL Law Dean wrote:
cron1834 wrote:I don't think that the existence of a non-ABA school is an automatic travesty, especially one that's been around for a long time (starting up in a dumpster-fire legal economy, like Indiana Tech, is farfar worse).

However, the dishonesty in comparing all-employment %s at one school to lawyer-employment %s nationwide is flagrant. Intentionally misleading and scummy. Refusing to address this after repeated claims and repeated responses is likewise dirty. Come on, Dean. Own up to this.


You haven't been following the posts here or in the referenced posts under law school admissions. No refusal at all, just no reason to repeat the same information. The MCL 2009-2012 alumni employment survey results are posted following as close to LST and NALP stats as possible, given our very small cohorts. You are certainly welcome to draw your own conclusions, of course, so am I. Since the posters most outraged seem to be safely ensconced in east coast T1 law schools, I am not quite sure what point is trying to be made. You are not, and never were our market or the market for any non-urban regional law school that serves the needs of communities where there is no BigLaw, BigCorp, or BigGov. However, outside of this bubble, there are alternative models of legal education that provide credible, sustainable programs. I am not sure why that idea is so threatening to some . . .

I just finished reading an article discussing racism and poverty law. The discussion was about how individual bias can influence effective client representation. It provided a surprisingly hopeful viewpoint.

If categorization and bias come so easily, are people doomed to prejudice, xenophobia, and racism? It's pretty clear that we are susceptible to prejudice and that there is an unconscious desire to divide the world into "us" and "them." Fortunately, however, research also shows that prejudices are fluid and that when we become conscious of our biases we can take active—and successful—steps to combat them.


I HAVE been following these posts. You made an apples-to-oranges claim in the third post of this thread and have yet to offer any sort of mea culpa for this. You later offered full-picture statistics, which is good, but Zuck was right - you were deliberately misleading.

For the record I'm unlikely to go to an east coast school, in case that helps.

User avatar
MCL Law Dean
Posts: 164
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2013 12:03 am

Re: Monterey College of Law - an accredited non-ABA Option

Postby MCL Law Dean » Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:00 am

Dingo Starr wrote:
Dingo Starr wrote:
MCL Law Dean wrote:For example, I am not aware of a single law or law related job in our tri-county area that would pay enough as a starting salary to service a $150K law school tuition loan, plus interest. Not one. Senior DAs, superior Court Judges, (and small law school deans) in these communities make about what is advertised as starting associate salaries in BigLaw. And yet, we still need starting DAs, Public Defenders, and new private practitioners to serve our community. What I have suggested from the very beginning is that non-urban markets that share this characteristic would benefit from a law school model that provides legal education at a cost that reflects the reality of the local and regional markets. In our case, MCL has been doing that for 43 years, so my point is that it is possible.

Sounds good, right?
My question is this: what kind of scholarships do you offer? If my numbers set me up for a full ride at an ABA school (and I only have loans to cover COL), what incentive is there for me to attend a CalBar school? It is not as though this kind of school competes in the USNWR. My numbers, then, are effectively useless as leverage for scholarship money. Is this not the case?
As someone who was contemplating JFK before reading TLS, and opening my eyes, I am genuinely curious.

Before this thread gets locked, or my post gets stuck on the invisible last page, could I have my questions answered?
Pretty please?


We offer no significant first-year scholarships. We do have a program that provides a lower tuition rate for applicants who provide evidence of economic hardship. If you have a full ride at an ABA law school (subject to all of the cautions recounted here on TLS regarding job access, etc), I can't imagine why that wouldn't be a better option than paying to attend a CALS law school. The only exception would be if the community where you wish to practice has a CALS law school and you are interested in an evening program so you could start working in a law firm while attending school. You could likely pay the lower tuition rate as you go and graduate with three years of law firm experience along with your JD. Of course this is small-firm, not BigLaw, so a life-style, job style decision is involved as well.

User avatar
MCL Law Dean
Posts: 164
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2013 12:03 am

Re: Monterey College of Law - an accredited non-ABA Option

Postby MCL Law Dean » Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:04 am

ChampagnePapi wrote:The OP reads like a bad onion article.

EDIT: Btw monterey is only paradise if you're 65+.


That might be the best compliment I have ever received about my writing. I can go with that. But, don't forget we have Santa Cruz as well for the non-geriatric set.

User avatar
Rahviveh
Posts: 2271
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2012 12:02 pm

Re: Monterey College of Law - an accredited non-ABA Option

Postby Rahviveh » Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:16 am

MCL Law Dean wrote:
ChampagnePapi wrote:The OP reads like a bad onion article.

EDIT: Btw monterey is only paradise if you're 65+.


That might be the best compliment I have ever received about my writing. I can go with that. But, don't forget we have Santa Cruz as well for the non-geriatric set.

Bahahahaa. You wrote this yourself? You wrote an article about how great your life is and how you stare out the window at beautiful scenery and hike all the time? You don't have interns or admin staff to do it for you? Pathetic.

User avatar
MCL Law Dean
Posts: 164
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2013 12:03 am

Re: Monterey College of Law - an accredited non-ABA Option

Postby MCL Law Dean » Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:27 am

Gooner91 wrote:What is cost of living like in this area? Seems expensive. If the jobs you can get even assuming a positive outcome cannot finance a 150k debt out of this school, is it enough to pay off the debt it costs to attend?
What would you estimate the COA is? Assuming you are financing your education through loans and do not have any financial support from family.


No question that on average, the cost of living is higher here, as it is in most of the coastal communities of California. Primarily because the cost of buying a house can be outrageous. Everyone who I know that made the leap to purchase a home (including me), can only do so with a two-income household. That said, it can be done, but not likely on the starting salary of a new lawyer. The rest of the cost of living, food, utilities, etc. seem about the same as elsewhere.

First, let me say that I don't think that we have any students fully financing their tuition and fees, or if we do, it is only a rare few. Since we are an evening program, most students pay as they go, since they are working during the day. Only about a third of our students take out any loans and the average graduating balance is about $35K. Since the loan data is private and not through the school, this is not an exact calculation, but it is an estimate by evaluating the amount of direct payment loan checks we receive. To answer your question, if you fully finance your MCL tuition and fees it would be approximately $68K at 7-8% over ten years. That will be approximately $800-825 per month for 120 months. I certainly wouldn't suggest that route, because although it wouldn't be considered crippling debt, it would be a challenge to service even that level of debt on a starting salary of $50-60K.

User avatar
MCL Law Dean
Posts: 164
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2013 12:03 am

Re: Monterey College of Law - an accredited non-ABA Option

Postby MCL Law Dean » Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:28 am

ChampagnePapi wrote:
MCL Law Dean wrote:
ChampagnePapi wrote:The OP reads like a bad onion article.

EDIT: Btw monterey is only paradise if you're 65+.


That might be the best compliment I have ever received about my writing. I can go with that. But, don't forget we have Santa Cruz as well for the non-geriatric set.

Bahahahaa. You wrote this yourself? You wrote an article about how great your life is and how you stare out the window at beautiful scenery and hike all the time? You don't have interns or admin staff to do it for you? Pathetic.


Yesterday, I even washed the coffee cups in the faculty/staff kitchen.

User avatar
Hipster but Athletic
Posts: 1993
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 2:15 pm

Re: Monterey College of Law - an accredited non-ABA Option

Postby Hipster but Athletic » Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:52 am

How arrogant do you have to be to conclude that the majority of a certain school's student body is unable to make informed decisions as well as yall can

User avatar
Hipster but Athletic
Posts: 1993
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 2:15 pm

Re: Monterey College of Law - an accredited non-ABA Option

Postby Hipster but Athletic » Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:54 am

I'm team MCL bc I'm pro choice

User avatar
MCL Law Dean
Posts: 164
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2013 12:03 am

Re: Monterey College of Law - an accredited non-ABA Option

Postby MCL Law Dean » Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:02 pm

worldtraveler wrote:Why should anyone choose your law school over People's College of the Law, which is by far the cheapest non-accredited option?


Aimed at addressing inequities in law and society, PCL was founded in 1974 for individuals historically denied access to legal training and representation. The school maintains a socio-political requirement that states: "An eligible candidate will be able to demonstrate a commitment to progressive social change."[2] PCL uses alternative methods of law school admissions, which does not rely on the LSAT because it is considered culturally biased. Tuition is kept low through the use of volunteer faculty, consisting of working Attorneys, Judges and law professors. Students and members of the PCL community volunteer to maintain the facilities, allowing all students to graduate debt free.


Personally, I admire and support the concept of PCL and if I lived in LA somewhere in the vicinity, I would volunteer to teach there. The issue is very similar to any regional law school, and even more so for CALS law schools, or unaccredited law schools . . . portability of the degree. Once you leave the immediate market area of a local/regional law school, the reputation of the program is unknown and will not help much in early career opportunities. However, at some point, your skills and experience take precedence and become the primary (but not exclusive) basis of employment selection for most jobs. The exception is academia, where academic pedigree influences opportunities virtually forever.

User avatar
PepperJack
Posts: 646
Joined: Sun Sep 29, 2013 1:23 pm

Re: Monterey College of Law - an accredited non-ABA Option

Postby PepperJack » Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:14 pm

Out of curiosity, the students going to your school likely have sub 3.0 GPA's and sub 140 LSAT's. Being that law is truly a profession that requires a certain amount of academic intelligence to be successful how do you justify admitting students in the most competitive state for legal work in America? What value do they have to the market?

Students will sign up, because there is an overconfidence problem when it comes to intelligence because the lack of 1 agreed upon intelligence measure leads everyone (particularly lower IQ individuals) to believe they're all special. Don't you feel wrong given your superior knowledge of the legal market to take their $, and let them crash and burn? Do you consider yourself to be a fiduciary to your students, and if yes do you think telling them to believe in their dreams satisfies it more than worrying about whether they'll be facing potential homelessness in 3 years?

User avatar
MCL Law Dean
Posts: 164
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2013 12:03 am

Re: Monterey College of Law - an accredited non-ABA Option

Postby MCL Law Dean » Wed Feb 26, 2014 5:45 pm

PepperJack wrote:Out of curiosity, the students going to your school likely have sub 3.0 GPA's and sub 140 LSAT's. Being that law is truly a profession that requires a certain amount of academic intelligence to be successful how do you justify admitting students in the most competitive state for legal work in America? What value do they have to the market?

Students will sign up, because there is an overconfidence problem when it comes to intelligence because the lack of 1 agreed upon intelligence measure leads everyone (particularly lower IQ individuals) to believe they're all special. Don't you feel wrong given your superior knowledge of the legal market to take their $, and let them crash and burn? Do you consider yourself to be a fiduciary to your students, and if yes do you think telling them to believe in their dreams satisfies it more than worrying about whether they'll be facing potential homelessness in 3 years?


I'll do everyone a favor and file this one under DNFTT.

User avatar
Iroh
Posts: 129
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:20 pm

Re: Monterey College of Law - an accredited non-ABA Option

Postby Iroh » Sat Mar 01, 2014 7:47 pm

Dean Winick,

How many recent (say, in the last 5 years) MCL students are currently working as ADAs in the counties of Monterey and Santa Cruz?

User avatar
MCL Law Dean
Posts: 164
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2013 12:03 am

Re: Monterey College of Law - an accredited non-ABA Option

Postby MCL Law Dean » Sun Mar 02, 2014 3:35 pm

Iroh wrote:Dean Winick,

How many recent (say, in the last 5 years) MCL students are currently working as ADAs in the counties of Monterey and Santa Cruz?


For the 2009-2012 reporting period, 6 out of 42 graduates who are in the "JD Required" category reported that they were working in the DA, PD, City or County Atty. Offices. I think that we have 2 more in the class of 2013, but I can get more specific numbers next week.

User avatar
BuckinghamB
Posts: 457
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2011 3:37 pm

Re: Monterey College of Law - an accredited non-ABA Option

Postby BuckinghamB » Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:19 pm

MCL Law Dean wrote: ask and I will answer . . . angry trolls included. Dean Winick


MCL Law Dean wrote:I'll do everyone a favor and file this one under DNFTT.



LOL

User avatar
Iroh
Posts: 129
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:20 pm

Re: Monterey College of Law - an accredited non-ABA Option

Postby Iroh » Mon Mar 03, 2014 12:22 am

MCL Law Dean wrote:
Iroh wrote:Dean Winick,

How many recent (say, in the last 5 years) MCL students are currently working as ADAs in the counties of Monterey and Santa Cruz?


For the 2009-2012 reporting period, 6 out of 42 graduates who are in the "JD Required" category reported that they were working in the DA, PD, City or County Atty. Offices. I think that we have 2 more in the class of 2013, but I can get more specific numbers next week.


I ask, because you earlier wrote:

MCL Law Dean wrote:For example, I am not aware of a single law or law related job in our tri-county area that would pay enough as a starting salary to service a $150K law school tuition loan, plus interest. Not one. Senior DAs, superior Court Judges, (and small law school deans) in these communities make about what is advertised as starting associate salaries in BigLaw. And yet, we still need starting DAs, Public Defenders, and new private practitioners to serve our community.


How many do these counties actually need, though? As a resident of the Central Coast, I was unaware that these city and county offices were hiring very many recent grads each year. Also, after looking through profiles on linkedin, it seems that most attorneys who work and have worked in the DA's offices of Santa Cruz and Monterey have gone to schools like Santa Clara, USF, McGeorge, California Western School of Law, and Southwestern. So while MCL is the only law school in the area, it seems to face pretty stiff competition from many other schools. While Santa Clara does not have a sterling reputation on TLS, it is considered pretty respectable in the Monterey Bay. Obviously, Santa Clara costs far more than it is worth, but I'm not sure how comfortable I would be going to MCL knowing that I would be competing with desperate Santa Clara grads.

User avatar
MCL Law Dean
Posts: 164
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2013 12:03 am

Re: Monterey College of Law - an accredited non-ABA Option

Postby MCL Law Dean » Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:21 am

Iroh wrote:
How many do these counties actually need, though? As a resident of the Central Coast, I was unaware that these city and county offices were hiring very many recent grads each year. Also, after looking through profiles on linkedin, it seems that most attorneys who work and have worked in the DA's offices of Santa Cruz and Monterey have gone to schools like Santa Clara, USF, McGeorge, California Western School of Law, and Southwestern. So while MCL is the only law school in the area, it seems to face pretty stiff competition from many other schools. While Santa Clara does not have a sterling reputation on TLS, it is considered pretty respectable in the Monterey Bay. Obviously, Santa Clara costs far more than it is worth, but I'm not sure how comfortable I would be going to MCL knowing that I would be competing with desperate Santa Clara grads.


Let me break up your question, since these are excellent points that you are making.

How many new DAs, PDs etc are needed each year? In the tri-county area (Monterey, Santa Cruz, and San Benito) I have seen recent years where there were no new hires and years where there have been as many as 2-3 in each county. The random factors are budgets, retirements, judicial appointments (creating vacancies), moves into private practice, etc. I wish I could tell you that there is some predictor that would offer a better guarantee for a specific graduating year, but it doesn't work that way.

MCL vs. Santa Clara et al. I think that the Monterey DA recently told me that they now have 50+ attorneys on staff and the PD has about the same. Santa Cruz and San Benito would probably double that number (just an estimate). I have no doubt that the more senior in the offices you go, the more diverse the law school distribution. That is true in the general bar as well. That said, what both the DA and PD have told me related to our graduates is that: 1) in every recent case, the MCL grads they hired had already been working there during law school. This clearly has given them a leg up in the hiring process, since they are a known commodity; and 2) they are influenced in hiring by candidates who have ties to the community and are likely to stay here to practice rather than looking for short-time positions.

From a local employer's standpoint, law school cost or reputation will not be important, but experience, skills, work ethic, and team chemistry (particularly in small departments) will be the basis of their decision. From a personal standpoint as an applicant, I think that the advice provided here on TLS related to student loan debt and opportunities to get quality internships, clinics and work experience while in law school are right on point.

If absolutely everything above were equal, I would recommend an ABA law school over a CALS school for the reason that there is no future limitation on sitting for other state bar exams. Otherwise, I think that you need to continue to do exactly what you are doing, investigate options. I suggest talking directly to current lawyers in the DA and PD offices to get their opinions, and don't merely rely on second-hand info from the law schools. If you need introductions to the DAs or PDs in the central coast area, IM me and I'll provide contact info for you.

User avatar
Iroh
Posts: 129
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:20 pm

Re: Monterey College of Law - an accredited non-ABA Option

Postby Iroh » Tue Mar 04, 2014 12:59 am

That's very nice of you, but I'm already good friends with a judge in the area, and I don't have an interest in working on the Central Coast. There's a (very) small chance I might return if I decide to go public interest, because at least then I could use LRAP. Santa Cruz is a pretty fun place, but it's becoming harder and harder to make a living there. Out of all of my college graduate friends, none of them, as far as I know, are making very much money. The ones who are making what I would call a decent living have had to move out of the area.

I understand your point, that if you want to work on the Central Coast, MCL is at least a reasonable choice compared with schools like Southwestern, California Western, and even Santa Clara. That said, going to law school with the intention of working in such a small market seems like a risky proposition to me.

User avatar
MCL Law Dean
Posts: 164
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2013 12:03 am

Re: Monterey College of Law - an accredited non-ABA Option

Postby MCL Law Dean » Tue Mar 04, 2014 9:34 am

Iroh wrote:That's very nice of you, but I'm already good friends with a judge in the area, and I don't have an interest in working on the Central Coast. There's a (very) small chance I might return if I decide to go public interest, because at least then I could use LRAP. Santa Cruz is a pretty fun place, but it's becoming harder and harder to make a living there. Out of all of my college graduate friends, none of them, as far as I know, are making very much money. The ones who are making what I would call a decent living have had to move out of the area.

I understand your point, that if you want to work on the Central Coast, MCL is at least a reasonable choice compared with schools like Southwestern, California Western, and even Santa Clara. That said, going to law school with the intention of working in such a small market seems like a risky proposition to me.


You sound like you are considering all of the right things and matching them to your personal interests. Keep a careful eye on the student debt risk and you are definitely on the right track. Good luck.

User avatar
MCL Law Dean
Posts: 164
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2013 12:03 am

Re: Monterey College of Law - an accredited non-ABA Option

Postby MCL Law Dean » Wed Mar 05, 2014 1:06 pm

The State Bar of California and the ABA are moving toward accreditation of on-line law schools. This process is also likely to increase the use of distance education and hybrid (part on-line/part in-class) courses in traditional bricks-and-mortar law programs as well. Just curious about how you would react to these types of course options being added to your law school?

User avatar
North
Posts: 4041
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2011 7:09 pm

Re: Monterey College of Law - an accredited non-ABA Option

Postby North » Wed Mar 05, 2014 1:37 pm

An opportunity for law schools to cut their costs while continuing to raise tuition?

How could someone be against that?

User avatar
MCL Law Dean
Posts: 164
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2013 12:03 am

Re: Monterey College of Law - an accredited non-ABA Option

Postby MCL Law Dean » Wed Mar 05, 2014 1:47 pm

North wrote:An opportunity for law schools to cut their costs while continuing to raise tuition?

How could someone be against that?


Actually, if done correctly with a high level of interactivity, hybrid courses are more expensive to develop/deliver than lecture hall format courses. They bring more and varied content (video/current legal cases/guest lecturers/mini quizzes) into the syllabus and provide those students who do not necessarily thrive in the traditional Socratic method a supplemental way to be more engaged. Done poorly (ie. boring video lectures replacing boring classroom lectures) they are indeed cheaper and ineffective.

User avatar
MCL Law Dean
Posts: 164
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2013 12:03 am

Re: Monterey College of Law - an accredited non-ABA Option

Postby MCL Law Dean » Mon Jul 07, 2014 2:34 am

As we wrap up our 2014 admission cycle, I just received our preliminary profile of the 2014 entering class (compared with previous years below). Despite what is reportedly going on nationally (lower admission standards to fill classes), it appears that MCL has held steady with our admissions criteria. We still have a few weeks left to consider late applications, but we are very pleased with our 2014 1L class so far.

MCL Data LSAT --- UGPA
Year: 25th/Med/75th --- 25th/Med/75th

Fall 2014:141 147 148 --- 2.74 3.28 3.58
Fall 2013:138 144 148 --- 3.00 3.29 3.59
Fall 2012:141 146 148 --- 2.67 3.03 3.60
Fall 2011:140 148 152 --- 2.95 3.21 3.44
Fall 2010:142 146 151 --- 2.96 3.20 3.43

User avatar
eriedoctrine
Posts: 306
Joined: Tue May 13, 2014 1:00 am

Re: Monterey College of Law - an accredited non-ABA Option

Postby eriedoctrine » Mon Jul 07, 2014 2:37 am

MCL Law Dean wrote:As we wrap up our 2014 admission cycle, I just received our preliminary profile of the 2014 entering class (compared with previous years below). Despite what is reportedly going on nationally (lower admission standards to fill classes), it appears that MCL has held steady with our admissions criteria. We still have a few weeks left to consider late applications, but we are very pleased with our 2014 1L class so far.

MCL Data LSAT --- UGPA
Year: 25th/Med/75th --- 25th/Med/75th

Fall 2014:141 147 148 --- 2.74 3.28 3.58
Fall 2013:138 144 148 --- 3.00 3.29 3.59
Fall 2012:141 146 148 --- 2.67 3.03 3.60
Fall 2011:140 148 152 --- 2.95 3.21 3.44
Fall 2010:142 146 151 --- 2.96 3.20 3.43


:lol:

03152016
Posts: 9189
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2011 3:14 am

Re: Monterey College of Law - an accredited non-ABA Option

Postby 03152016 » Mon Jul 07, 2014 2:48 am

with all due respect dean...
a 138 score on the lsat is in the bottom 10% of test takers
it is equivalent to someone who answered five questions correctly per section
guessing the rest at complete random
a quarter of your class had that score or lower last year

do you truly, honestly believe that a student who can only answer five questions out of 25 correct per section on the lsat is likely to do well in law school, pass the bar, and become an effective attorney?

if not, why would your school admit such an applicant and accept their tuition?

User avatar
Hipster but Athletic
Posts: 1993
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 2:15 pm

Re: Monterey College of Law - an accredited non-ABA Option

Postby Hipster but Athletic » Mon Jul 07, 2014 2:51 am

MCL Law Dean wrote:As we wrap up our 2014 admission cycle, I just received our preliminary profile of the 2014 entering class (compared with previous years below). Despite what is reportedly going on nationally (lower admission standards to fill classes), it appears that MCL has held steady with our admissions criteria. We still have a few weeks left to consider late applications, but we are very pleased with our 2014 1L class so far.

MCL Data LSAT --- UGPA
Year: 25th/Med/75th --- 25th/Med/75th

Fall 2014:141 147 148 --- 2.74 3.28 3.58
Fall 2013:138 144 148 --- 3.00 3.29 3.59
Fall 2012:141 146 148 --- 2.67 3.03 3.60
Fall 2011:140 148 152 --- 2.95 3.21 3.44
Fall 2010:142 146 151 --- 2.96 3.20 3.43

Is it your opinion then that anyone who wants to be a lawyer should be able to be one? What LSAT score to you represents a legitimately stupid person? Or lazy person? Why do you make people take the LSAT if you're comfortable with it identifying that legitimately stupid and/or lazy people attend your school?




Return to “Ask a Law Student / Graduate”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: AZ123, clueless801 and 6 guests