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Thread: California Law School distance learning

  1. #1
    Senior Member rdf's Avatar
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    California Law School distance learning

    Did you know that California is the only state that allows one to take the state bar exam after completing one of their accredited online law schools?

    This is amazing to me. These online law schools aren't ABA accredited, but it seems if you pass the bar after getting an online law degree and practice 4 or 5 years in California, many states then allow one to take the bar in their state.

    Also, this online law degree allows those who pass the California bar to practice in any and all federal courts across the nation.

    Something to think about...I've been pondering law school for over a year now. I tried to begin in an ABA accredited school last August, but didn't make the LSAT in time, and the cost would have made it tight for me.

    I'm still semi-planning to begin law school this August in MT, ABA accredited and all, but this online law school thing has piqued my interest. It takes an extra year, 4, but if California allows you to take their bar exam and become a bona fide attorney in their state....and the cost is a hell of a lot cheaper....???

    Just a note to those who are considering law school but can't afford it.

    Now I don't know what kind of luck you'd have in getting a job with an actual law firm with this degree, or if the state would hire you as an assistant prosecutor or as a public defender. I have no idea about that, but some online schools have pretty good reputations in the legal world. But if you have the drive and ambition and balls and think you are passionate enough, one could always hang out his own shingle and practice law in California for a few years, then if he wanted to move, most states would probably allow for one to take their particular bar exam.

    Distance learning has gained credibility in the past decade, and who knows, mabye by the time an online law school student graduated, the ABA might have relaxed their bylaws or rules somewhat.

    Just something to think about for those looking for a new career....the cost of online law schools is anywhere between 4K to 10K per year from what I've researched, much much less expensive than a real physical school. But is the investment worth it? I guess that question must be answered before one embarked on such a quest to attain a law degree via the Internet.

    Depends on if you want to live in California for 5 or so years, or forever, and it depends on how fervent you are in wanting to practice law.
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  2. #2
    so what kind of law are u pursuing im thinking of going into law school jsut started college with pre requisites newly injured 2 years ago still undicided what law i want

  3. #3
    Senior Member Clipper's Avatar
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    Thumbs down

    I would strongly discourage anyone from considering an online law degree. The money you "save" from getting a degree from such a school will bite you in the butt later on. Law school is unlike any other educational experience. Your ability to learn the law (and pass the bar exam and get a good job down the road) requires an experience you can only get from attending a traditional school. Classroom interaction is highly important, as is participation on a law review, in a moot court or in a clinical setting. You cannot do any of these things in an online setting. You need to immerse yourself in the legal community, networking with attorneys and judges and understanding how the law functions in the real world. Your law school education is about more than just learning subjects - it's about becoming a critical thinker, a good legal writer and understanding the principles behind the law.

    There are a variety of scholarships and other opportunities available to people with disabilities who seek to enter the legal profession. Pursue them. An online degree coming from an "institution" that is not ABA accredited is worthless. Don't waste your time.

    Clipper
    Second-year law student

  4. #4
    Senior Member MZack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clipper View Post
    I would strongly discourage anyone from considering an online law degree. The money you "save" from getting a degree from such a school will bite you in the butt later on. Law school is unlike any other educational experience. Your ability to learn the law (and pass the bar exam and get a good job down the road) requires an experience you can only get from attending a traditional school. Classroom interaction is highly important, as is participation on a law review, in a moot court or in a clinical setting. You cannot do any of these things in an online setting. You need to immerse yourself in the legal community, networking with attorneys and judges and understanding how the law functions in the real world. Your law school education is about more than just learning subjects - it's about becoming a critical thinker, a good legal writer and understanding the principles behind the law.

    There are a variety of scholarships and other opportunities available to people with disabilities who seek to enter the legal profession. Pursue them. An online degree coming from an "institution" that is not ABA accredited is worthless. Don't waste your time.

    Clipper
    Second-year law student
    Generally I agree. The SoCal market for new attorneys has been tight for years. People w/JD's from reputable schools routinely get turned away b/c others have a comparable degree but better credentials (internships, moot court, etc.) With competition as stiff as it is, I find it hard to believe that any govt agency or civil firm would hire someone straight out of an online law school.

    One could start their own practice of course, but that would probably be ill-advised straight out of school.

  5. #5
    I agree it sound really good about doing law school online. I have to say that going your pace is great in the point of view of an adult learner. But as have been said I still do believe that you need the traditional class curriculum to get into the real world. It will be very difficult to obtain a work without going the traditional accredited way until that changes by the accreditation agencies.

  6. #6
    Rdf - good luck with whichever avenue you choose .

    If I was about 10yrs younger I think I'd be going to law school as well. I was pre-law way back in '85 but went business instead due to $$. Education in law is an excellent skill and background to have. Hats off to all those that have accomplished their degree and passed their license exams.

    Onward and upward.

  7. #7
    Senior Member DaleB's Avatar
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    also - california is known as one of the toughest states to pass bar. something like 49% failure rate, if memory serves. i bet it's harder for students who avoided the brick-and-mortar route in favor of online. a good documentary i recently watched titled 'a lawer walks into a bar...' followed 4-5 law students through the end of school and on to the bar exam. some were online, others were accredited, one was a brick-and-mortar non-accredited called the 'peoples law school' or something like that. most failed. even one guy who was taking it for the 42 time. yes, after 41 failed attempts he tried again. and failed again. LOL.
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  8. #8
    [quote=rdf;810881]Did you know that California is the only state that allows one to take the state bar exam after completing one of their accredited online law schools?

    This is amazing to me. These online law schools aren't ABA accredited, but it seems if you pass the bar after getting an online law degree and practice 4 or 5 years in California, many states then allow one to take the bar in their state.

    Also, this online law degree allows those who pass the California bar to practice in any and all federal courts across the nation.

    Something to think about...I've been pondering law school for over a year now. I tried to begin in an ABA accredited school last August, but didn't make the LSAT in time, and the cost would have made it tight for me.

    I'm still semi-planning to begin law school this August in MT, ABA accredited and all, but this online law school thing has piqued my interest. It takes an extra year, 4, but if California allows you to take their bar exam and become a bona fide attorney in their state....and the cost is a hell of a lot cheaper....???

    Just a note to those who are considering law school but can't afford it.

    Now I don't know what kind of luck you'd have in getting a job with an actual law firm with this degree, or if the state would hire you as an assistant prosecutor or as a public defender. I have no idea about that, but some online schools have pretty good reputations in the legal world. But if you have the drive and ambition and balls and think you are passionate enough, one could always hang out his own shingle and practice law in California for a few years, then if he wanted to move, most states would probably allow for one to take their particular bar exam.

    Distance learning has gained credibility in the past decade, and who knows, mabye by the time an online law school student graduated, the ABA might have relaxed their bylaws or rules somewhat.

    Just something to think about for those looking for a new career....the cost of online law schools is anywhere between 4K to 10K per year from what I've researched, much much less expensive than a real physical school. But is the investment worth it? I guess that question must be answered before one embarked on such a quest to attain a law degree via the Internet.

    Depends on if you want to live in California for 5 or so years, or forever, and it depends on how fervent you are in wanting to practice law.[/quote

    RDF,have you checked with Ca. DVR re financial help? Show them how you are underemployed due to disability or demonstrate how this vocational goal is better for you considerinng your impairment and the earnings you will need to pay the high cost of living that spinal cord injury entails.

  9. #9

    Online Schools

    Only a person with debilitating back pain can understand that even the mundane activities like washing your face or brushing you teeth can be so painful, let alone leading a normal life. After my injury the doctor had advised me against running, going up a flight of stairs or lifting anything heavier than a plate, and I had a small injury. Anything as demanding as sports was totally out of the question.

    The first year I had to sit by and watch others doing things which I had always dreamed of doing myself. Then I said to myself no more and that is how came to be living the life akin to normal as normal can get for someone like me. That meant that I had to make some sacrifices. Full time school was out of question so i took online classes for criminal justice. Even though I am aware of the pitfalls of my decision, some might say that I am running from life, that it is the first sign of weakness, a negative attitude but then I know that I can enjoy life the way I want to and not live in pain just to show a brave facade to the world.

    Yes classroom interaction is vitally important as is participation in a law review but online virtual forums are bridging the gap and while it may not be enough it is at least something. Whatever your decision, good luck to you rdf.

  10. #10
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    rdf, the odds of doing law school on-line, passing the California bar, being a good lawyer, and having a good law career are extremely low. If you want to be a good lawyer, you need to go to a traditional, ABA accredited law school. Clipper's reasons are correct.
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