Concord Law School

Review Averages: 5.8 out of 10 (37 reviews)
Ranking: #63

For more than a decade, Concord Law School has been enabling students to earn juris doctorates (JDs) and executive juris doctorates (EJDs) online. Their part-time programs last four years and three years, respectively. Students who successfully complete the JD program may apply for admission to the State Bar of California.

Accreditation: State of California by the Bureau of Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education
Non-Profit: Yes
Country: USA
Website

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Concord Law School Reviews:

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Do Not Attend
Juris Doctor - March 28, 2017
I am sharing my experience and OPINION. I WAS a first year law student that started April 1st, 2016. Oh the irony of that date. I am posting this to inform others of my disappointment with Concord as I learn about more and more of my fellow classmates being dismissed due to a C- grade, it seems this is the majority of my class (so far maybe 3-4 that actually moved on to take the FYLSE). I am not afraid to go public with my disappointment with Concord, this is outrageous that they would do this to a class and their students that they are supposed to be getting to the exam. Upon speaking with other schools, my grades would have been well above passing along with my classmates. What a way to protect your FYLSE pass rate, by eliminating those of us that you think wont pass that exam, that is what it looks like from here. That is unfair to it's core. Telling us that a C- is failing with the State Bar, when other schools say differently, a mere 2.0 gets them to the exam, even with lower grades, and they have notice to improve, not just dismissal and thank you for your 10k. Shame on you Concord. I am just glad I learned this before proceeding any further. The one instructor that teaches the subjects does not even practice in California and can not answer any of your questions, its a joke. AVOID.

Hard Work Returns Great Value
JD Program - August 23, 2016
CLS provides an excellent legal education. The path to success, however, is not easy. It takes dedication, many hours, and practice, practice, practice. If you are looking for a fast, short-cut way to learn the law, look elsewhere. You'll need to spend at least 75% of the time that students in a full time devote to learning. At the end of the journey, you'll know the law and see the world from a new, rewarding perspective.

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Please read before enrolling
JD Program - November 18, 2015
Please read this if you are thinking about attending Concord Law. I have toyed with the idea of going to law school for a few years. I have taken the LSAT, albeit without much preparation and scored 153. My undergraduate gpa was 3.4 with a gpa of 4.0 in my major classes. Long story short I had options besides Concord but the extremely low cost of tuition coupled with their marketing made me think it might be a viable option to earn my JD. First off what is good about Concord: Books- they use the same curriculum as many ABA accredited law schools. Lectures- in each module there are one or two recorded lectures by practicing attorneys. (this will likely be your only experience with a successful practicing attorney at Concord) Unfortunately that is all I have to say positive about the school. Negatives Not ABA accredited- this is something that I went in knowing but underestimated the implications of. Without ABA accreditation a graduate's options are extremely limited. Get licensed and practice in CA as no states offer reciprocity, work in an extremely limited capacity in a federal setting or work in the backroom at a law office doing research. Don't take my word for this, search for graduates of non ABA accredited law schools (especially Concord) and see how many have been admitted to the bar's of other states. 4 Year JD- Though billed as a part time program, the amount of reading and note taking required is about 30 hours a week. That extra year or two not only represent additional tuition but lost opportunity as you will have no time to work or spend doing anything outside of reading or briefing. FYLSE- Because the school is not ABA accredited all students must take and pass the First Year Law Student Exam after their first year of school. The cost of the test is $740.00 (as of 2015) and Concord students pass this exam at about a rate of 1 in 3 for first time test takers. Of course you can take it again (at $740.00 a go) but you will not get credit for any of the law school you attend past the first year until you pass it. No practicing attorneys- This is something that was completely misrepresented on their website at the time I applied, they have since updated their website however it can still be a bit misleading. When you go to their faculty page you will see the names and faces of some attorneys, many of whom have successful practices. These attorneys prepare lectures for Concord which you watch as part of the modules they are not Concord faculty. Live classes- After attending the first four live classes (who are all taught by one professor) I began noticing a trend. The class time was dominated by the same students each week, asking the same irrelevant questions and who needed the most basic parts of the reading explained to them. The instructor seemed content to spend the majority of the time telling these students how to take notes, and letting them guess at the substantive parts of a case. In other words their was no real instruction in terms of Law. Bar passage rates- Compared with similar schools concord's bar passage rate is better but still far below most ABA accredited schools at 39% passage for first time takers in January 2015 . (worth noting: 1 in 5 Concord students pass the FYLSE and approximately 2 in 5 of those students who go on to complete the four years and take the bar pass it. I urge you not to take my word for it but do your own research.... Save your money and take a trip, start a business, buy the law books and study on your own, get a job flipping burgers all of which are a better use of your time.

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Loved it!
Juris Doctor - October 8, 2015
I finished my JD in 2008. As an adult, with a family and a business, I always wanted to go to law school, but life derailed my ambitions, and I had always seen law school as one of those things "I should have done.." Working in the telecom industry, I figured that the time had come (in 2003) to look into whether it would be possible to do an on-line degree. I was excited, my husband suspicious. I let him vet the program and he decided it would be a good opportunity, and (back then) the price seemed right! The books are the same that all law schools use, and many of the professors were also professors in brick and mortar schools. For the most part, they were great. A couple were not. But that is probably the case with all schools. I found that school was always responsive, as were the professors. The best were the friends and study mates that I found along the way. Some of us met at the end of the first year, studying in LA with Bracci for the FYLSE> Others, I met at graduation. Many are still my friends and we visit when we can. They were an amazing group. Unlike other law schools, we were all older, with careers and previous degrees that law was building on. Most other law schools are filled with recent or relatively recent college grads, who have no idea what the work world is about. I have taught as a fill in for a friend at a local, prestigious law school, and I know what they students there are like, smart, but not like the students at Concord. Law school is hard, on-line school is hard, and you are on your own, no one to coddle you to finish your work or graduate. But it is an amazing opportunity. As for the technology, I imagine it is much more sophisticated now than 10 years ago, when I was there. Back then, however, it was pretty great, on-line classes, teachers picking on you to answer, but then the opportunity to view the lectures on your own time, if you had conflicts because of your kids soccer game or a business meeting. Great.

Hoops not worth jumping through
JD Program - October 6, 2015
Classes sometimes didnt work live so they rescheduled. If You get a c- in a class they kick you out of the entire program and take your money and then try to put u in a non-jd program just to fill spots. there is a lot of turnover in the admin staff and it was hard to keep up with the changing advisors etc. if you are a working mom barely making it like i am and your dream is to become an attorney, do it Anywhere but this wannabe online school that forgets they are distance learning junk and not Harvard.

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Learning Format!
Juris Doctor - May 17, 2015
After reading the reviews, I had to speak up! I am in my 1st year, so i'm speaking from that perspective. The value of this online education is directly related to the time you dedicate to it. The format is very easy to follow, but only if you have the time. Like any Law school, it is hard. You must dedicate your time. The format is in Modules: 1,2,3 etc. If you follow the format, read the material, watch the video, attend the class, and take the quiz, you WILL get it! There really is no way to fail if you do the program exactly as it is set up! It is TIME consuming, and you must have it to succeed. I did great the first few Modules, as I dedicated the time to it. However, I am working full time, and more hours than I was supposed to. This has caused me to lag in my studies! Through no fault of Concord, i am unable to keep up! It is about time and dedication. If you are not working full time, and are only working 20 hours a week, or less, you can do it. If you are working full time, you wont be able to do it. Regardless if you manage your time. Not if you have any family or life at all..Its all about dedication, and working part time or less. I WOULD RECOMMEND CONCORD TO ANYONE. But you must have the TIME!

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Concord is exceptional
JD Program - March 30, 2015
I am a 4th year student at Concord Law School. I am also a physician who attended and trained at UC Berkeley, UCLA, Stanford, and Univ of Washington. I feel that I have received an education on par with any of these schools. I am interested in Health Law. Concord not only provided an extremely strong core curriculum, but also allowed me to take electives that will help in my pursuit. These electives included Health law, Administrative Law, Medical Product Liability, and Medical Risk Management, among others. I am developing a medical device and was able to take Patent Law, Patent Claim Drafting, patent litigation, and Patent Application drafting. Finally, I took a Trial Advocacy Class in the event that I would do some expert work. And I have no doubt that I will pass the bar. I am a member of one of our two moot court teams. We will compete against other school at the Traynor competition in April. We don’t miss out on these opportunities simply because we be in the same room as each other. I communicate with my teachers by phone and over the internet. The only real difference between Concord and the traditional law schools is that I am not physically next to my classmates. I think that by excluding these schools, Texas will lose out on a unique type of lawyer. One who has career and life experience. And lawyers like this could make unique and significant contributions to the people of the state and law in general.

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Disappointing/Frustrating
Juris Doctor - March 5, 2015
One of the most frustrating features of this program was the administrative level of communication, or lack of same. I found once I had posted a question it took several days if not longer to receive a response if at all. The posting of semester grades was unacceptable. It was my experience that semester grades were not posted in a timely manner. The grades from a previous semester consistently were not posted until at least two/three weeks into the current semester. Clearly this created registration/financial aid issues. If you waited for your grades to register you were locked out of the Concord portal. This exasperated an already frustrating scenario. It also resulted in my beginning the current semester two/three weeks behind the pace set by the Concord Administration. The series of on line lectures for the Constitutional Law course were a taped voice only,there was no visual component to the lesson. Lack of visual input created a poor learning environment. Unfortunately many of the pre-taped videos were older and of a lesser quality. At no point did I experience a live face to face video conference/discussion with a professor. Based upon this experience I have pursued other options.

9 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Horrible Financial Aid
JD Program - August 1, 2013
Concord law school has the worst financial aid department I have ever worked with! Not only do they work you to the bone, on what is called a part-time schedule, then they have the nerve to hold up your student loan stipend, when you need it to pay for that ridiculously expensive FYLSE! Unbelievable! Save your time, money and energy. After all the expense of this place, you'll probably end up not being able to transfer your credits to a brick and mortar school anyway. It's not worth it!

33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
Quoting my 1st Year Prof - Law School is DARN HARD
JD Program - June 12, 2013
This is LAW SCHOOL. I chose an online program because I know independent learning is best for ME. If you are not an effective independent learner, if you do not have the discipline, if you are not ready to devote every non 9-5 workday minute to your studies, think again! I read, I listened to lectures over and over,created outlines worthy of Bar Prep study, PARTICPATED in the online classes, made friends and talked "offline" with classmates...I LEARNED. I passed California's first year law student's exam on the first try. I am entering my 4th year and will have my JD next year, will sit for and PASS the Bar. I am a 51 year old mother of a teen, and work full time. Not for the faint of heart but if you want to be a lawyer on your own terms and not be chained to brick and mortar, this is the program for you...provided you do not make the mistake of thinking an online program is a watered down, walk in the park program. It is NOT. Ask any of the Professors, this program meets (exceeds in the amount of writing you will do)brick and mortar schools out there. If you are ready to WORK, go for it. Best of luck!!

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Old Comments

Nov. 29, 2010, 4:33 a.m.
0 votes/
I think having a ABA accreditation is important.  I personally think Harvard University and other ABA schools should have online law programs.  Many state schools and private colleges have online programs for other degrees, why not law?  As far as Concord Law school, if people feel it's a good investment then attend that school.
Nov. 17, 2010, 7:24 a.m.
0 votes/
All I can say is WoW. I have my BS, and my MATS and was considering Concord Law school for my doc. degree. So all i can say to those who are considering Concord. Just go for It!
Oct. 29, 2010, 4:04 a.m.
-1 vote/
I realize it is their not there.
Oct. 29, 2010, 4:02 a.m.
+1 vote/
I would like to hear from lawyers that obviously passed the bar, and graduated from Concord Law School.  What they are doing, and how there career is progressing.
Oct. 21, 2010, 2:06 p.m.
0 votes/
I am not shocked by "Young Carolina's" comments or positions.  His views demonstrate his youth and lack of life experiences (No offense carolina).  The beauty of the law is that two people can look at the same glass as full or empty and both parties would be correct. If and when one looks at the average age of a law student (25) you would have to agree that at that age you wouldnt challenge anything that you were told (at 25 you havent experienced enough in life to do so).  If online schools help to create a more diverse view of the law, what would it hurt?  If young carolina were truly secure with his alma mater he would not be so concerned with online law students or programs.  Its been my experience that unless you have or are attending Harvard or Yale, it really doesnt matter what Law School you attend.  Would young Carolina like a list of Carolina graduates who make the industry look bad?  C'mon "YC" show a little maturity in your posts and a little less arrogance.
Sept. 23, 2010, 1:33 a.m.
0 votes/
I decided to go to law school after working many cases as an expert witness.  I talked to many of my friends who have there own practices and told them of my intentions to attend the standard brick and mortar institutions.  The majority of them told me that in retrospect they would have preferred to have gone to an online school such as Concord.  My opinion is that if you are a working professional who can spend your free time studying this is the right choice for you.  I still work as an expert witness and find my classes much more engaging as a result.
Sept. 21, 2010, 12:54 p.m.
0 votes/
There's a couple of things I've noticed about many of these online schools.  They seem to better serve individuals who have already built a reputation as a productive worker or go-getter in their respective fields.  They already have work historys or track records that degrees from these online schools seem to compliment.  For instance, I've Googled phrases like "he earned a" or "she earned a" then I plug in the degree type and online school to finish the sentence, and I come up with some pretty interesting stuff.  I see high-powered folks who have earned their degrees from Concord School of Law and other online/non-traditional schools.  But, they earned these degrees only after they've established themselves in a certain field.  Conversely, I am seeing more and more folks with degrees from "top colleges" flocking to online schools for more education or to even get a teaching job because that degree from that "top college" didn't open the doors they thought that it would.  Just a couple of observations.
Sept. 4, 2010, 7:30 a.m.
+2 votes/
Lets look at how many Concord students pass the Baby Bar.  

207 taken
37 passed 

17.9% for the first year exam.  CA State accredited correspondence schools passed 39.7%.  Even Concord's rival, the unaccredited DL CALIFORNIA SCHOOL OF LAW passed 28.6%.  

For those that don't know, non-ABA students have to take the Baby Bar to be able to sit for the bar exam.  Concord sends a bunch of people to take the 1st year test and what do we get?  Massive failures even twice as bad as other unaccredited DL schools.  Concord had 1/3rd of all the test takers and the greatest percentage of failures.  Only 85 out of the 207 were first timers.  So more than half have taken it more than once yet keep failing.  What is Concord doing with all your money?  Certainly not preparing students to take the only exam they are allowed to.
Aug. 31, 2010, 3:46 a.m.
0 votes/
Jay I assume if you are in your second year you passed the baby bar, so why not stick it out. I am no expert but since the school is not ABA sanctioned, it is unlikely your courses  would be accepted at a B&M law school. Why not ask Concord or better yet the school you are planning to attend or apply too.
Aug. 26, 2010, 12:17 a.m.
0 votes/
I am seriously considering going the DL route to get a law degree. I have a poli sci degree (from a brick & mortar school) and scored a 151 on the lsat(stupid games section). After graduating i got a job in an unrelated field (family business) making good money. Now that the economy is in the tank, I can't afford law school, and with a family to support, I don't have the time. I had a few conversations with a couple of attorneys I know, and their biggest concern was that there is no way an online school could prepare you for for the bar exam. Neither of them were too concerned about finding a job, because as they both put it "like anywhere else, it's about who you know", and "If you think being a lawyer is easy money you got another thing coming". One of them actually specifically mentioned that the bar examiners were tougher and harder on the DL examinees then they were on the B&Ms. Any thoughts? Because I am completely torn on whether I should put in the time and effort.
Aug. 29, 2010, 2:31 a.m.
0 votes/
Carolina Law is a dumb ass!!!!!!!!!!! Are you sure you went to a top law school? I thought you went to University of Sesame Street.
Aug. 24, 2010, 2:01 a.m.
+1 vote/
I am a Concord student and actually in my second year, but is is so difficult to combine work and this online learning. It is just not working for me.  I think I will discontinue and try to get into a traditional law school because I know that will be a lot better for me. My questions are 1.Will traditional law schools (DC law schools in particular) accept credits from an online law school? 2. Will they still ask me to take the LSAT even though I'm a 2L? Experts please help.
Aug. 20, 2010, 3:01 a.m.
0 votes/
Thanks for the encouragement and the statistics Esq. I decided on Concord Law School (CLS) and started in June of this year. So far so good, it is excellent and fits in good with my job as a CEO of a $80 million contracting firm in Florida. Fact is it is very challenging and rewarding at the same time. I also looked at Oak Brook and almost went there, but decided on CLS because it was larger. That said, Oak Brook seems to be the leader when it comes to the Baby Bar Exam year after year. Anyway, I agree with you. I work with several attorneys, in several states including DC, and they are all every supportive of my decision to go to a DL school. Fact is it has already helped me in my day to day conversations concerning contracts and torts law issues and concerning my own company. CLS is a great avenue for people who need to keep working. Fact is there are a lot of military and government folks in my class and the school in general, which gives them a chance to follow their dream and still support themselves and possibly their family as well. Hope to run into you in the near future when I pass the bar in California as well. By the way, did anyone say that the CalBar is probably the hardest bar exam in the US. I think passing the CalBar is a great achievement and tells me you must have learned something good at your DL Law School.
Aug. 19, 2010, 3:33 a.m.
0 votes/
To Esq., I like that you used statistics to make your point.  I am not a lawyer, but if you pass the CA Bar Exam one would should be viewed as an equal? 

This pedigree non sense seems to be an attempt to justify spending 6 figures at a school that has a name and or ABA approval. Or maybe people like North Carolina are afraid to go against a DL graduate, and get her butt kicked in court.

I have been told that these same costly schools do not even teach you how to practice law or even file a case in court.  

So at the end you learn how to practice law after leaving school.
Jan. 3, 2013, 1:07 p.m.
0 votes/
I can't speak for everyone but, I have been attending since September 2012 and I have to say that I have learned a vast amount of information about the law in such a short amount of time. It is not an easy program and their is A LOT of reading, however, there are recorded as well as live lectures that are archived, there are plenty of supplementary materials available for your students, helpful professors and academic advisers that respond to your questions quickly and thoroughly and you are allowed to start student groups. You have to practice time management skills because there is a lot of time needed to focus on your studies (I was told that on average 30 hours a week before entering the program) while juggling your other responsibilities such as family and career. I fell behind due to personal issues that had to be addressed, but I'm with determination, motivation and support I am catching up. I also believe that this school should be ABA Accredited because of the curriculum, difficulty of the online exams and difficulty of the Cal Bar exam. I even emailed an ABA representative about the issue and was informed that they are working towards acknowledging online law schools.  Online school is not for everyone but if you find that online school is for you than Concord Law School would be a great selection!
July 9, 2012, 8:29 p.m.
0 votes/
I passed the baby bar on the first try. It was not easy. During my third year, Concord did not make a link to required course available. They noticed at the end of the year. Then I received an e-mail that I have to repeat my third year or move to EJD program because I am lacking units. They would not work with me at all. So I lost three years of my studies and have more student loans. They pay attention only during the first year because of the baby bar, then you are on your own. 
Aug. 25, 2011, 3:32 a.m.
0 votes/
I am a 3L at Concord.  Many, many years ago I went to a Tier 1 B/M law school for first year, and did well.  But life intervened and I could not continue.  I wound up doing graduate work in another field.  When I found myself living in a small village with no law school within 4 hours (one way) of me, I began to consider online legal education.  I have a lot of experience with online education - I thought I might enjoy being a paralegal and thus completed a BS in Paralegal Studies with Kaplan (Concord's parent company).  I work > 40 hrs/wk and am a single Mom of a special needs child.

My impression, from day 1 at Concord, is very positive.  Compared to my B/M Tier 1 school, Concord meets, if not exceeds, my learning experience.  The live professors have been excellent in all ways:  they lead lively, in-depth discussions, respond almost immediately (24-48 hrs.) to email questions/issues, for the most part grade the essays themselves (there have been a couple of courses in which TA's graded the essays, but always under the prof's eye), and are responsive and forgiving of student life issues interfering with module progress.  The taped video lectures should be updated, but they are certainly sufficient, along with the reading and assignments, to get you past the FYLSE (and I am sure the Bar).

I put a tremendous value on quality of teaching and convenience.  Without an online program, I would not be able to complete my JD.  The other programs I considered pale in comparison to Concord.

Highly recommend IF...you are motivated...you understand how to navigate online schooling...you can budget your time...you take initiative in talking to professors and classmates...you take advantage of everything Concord offers you in every single module...you are willing to work HARD...it's grad school - it's law school.  It's supposed to be hard.  No one is going to spoon feed you, no matter where you go to law school.

Fin Aid?  It's a pain, but if you keep on them they deliver.  Fin Aid is becoming a pain in the pants everywhere.

Employment?  Lawyers.  CA.  Really?  Anyone needs to ask?
July 15, 2011, 9:44 p.m.
0 votes/
Overall, I feel like Concord does everything that traditional law schools do... and a little more.  There are negative posts regarding stuck up professors, going over cases not assigned in the reading, conflicting essay comments, etc.  Get over it. Law school is hard. It's also a lot of work. Come to class prepared to kick butt.  Concord gives you the tools you need to succeed.  They do NOT hold your hand.  Personally, I feel like the professors are attentive, knowledgeable, and respectful.  The most "stuck up" professor that I had was for one of my electives this year (3L) but he was also the best professor I've had at Concord to date.  They're not necessarily there to be your friends, but to teach - and that is how they should be judged!

I have no doubt that I am earning a quality legal education.  I feel like my experience has been better than the experiences of my friends that went to brick and mortar law schools.  In most circumstances, you get out what you put in.  I put in a lot of time and energy, and feel like I can hold my own with the majority of brick and mortar law students. My only concern is if or how the name on my degree will limit my opportunities as I look for a job after I graduate and pass the bar.
July 16, 2011, 8:44 p.m.
0 votes/
Your employment concerns are valid.  There is a student who graduated from ABA law school in San Diego and is alleging in the lawsuit that the school was misleading in their after graduating employment statistics.  Apparently the student graduated with honors.  The law field is about pedigree, but I guess you could always go solo.
April 21, 2011, 2:33 p.m.
0 votes/
I contacted Concord a few years back and eager to start. I was told I had to take an online entry exam to determine if I would be accepted. I did well, but then they didn't really ask for much other information and began pushing start dates and tuition amount, and financial aid (loans). I just didn't have a good feeling about it afterwards and decided not to pursue. Reviews such as those on this website reinforces I made the right decision.  
April 13, 2011, 5:14 a.m.
0 votes/
Thanks alot - your anesrw solved all my problems after several days struggling
Aug. 18, 2010, 10:11 p.m.
0 votes/
Regarding Carolina Law’s most recent gloat about Concord’s recent general bar results…what is you motivation here?  Concord’s pass rate for February was 24%.  Not great.  But you should also consider that there are several ABA schools that posted similar scores or worse:

UC Davis – 25%
Whittier – 13%
7 other Calif. ABA schools posted 0% pass rates

Out-of-state ABA schools:
Cooley – 18%
Penn State – 33%
Lewis & Clark – 33%

Calif. Bar-accredited schools:
JFK – 13%
Monterey – 38%
Trinity – 18%
A 30% overall pass rate in this category.  

So, why pick on Concord’s results?  Or DL law schools in general?  The bar exam isn’t easy.  Personally I think some students simply don’t prepare like they should.  Heck, I worked in a firm that allowed a Stanford grad six attempts at the California bar.  He was a law review kid too.  (Sorry to all you Stanford grads out there.  Just making a point about preparation, not the school.)  

I obviously know and work with attorneys of all kinds and from all types of schools.  All of them agree that the school you attend really only matters when you start out (after the bar).  Yes, it matters in prepping you to take and pass the bar (of course).  Which I feel my school did well for me.  I know plenty of people who are successful, high paid attorneys (working in firms) that attended non-ABA schools.  The stigma is not as bad as it is portrayed by some.  It’s not the easiest route, in school and after, but a DL law degree doesn’t define you as a second-class citizen.  

Another interesting nugget of info for you all…Plenty of my fellow classmates were older, and were either CPA’s, MBA’s, CFO’s, COO’s, or similar.  I’d say it was an even mix of recent undergrads and these other types.  Not your typical law school student body.  

Bottom line:  Law school doesn’t define the lawyer.  Sure, it can help to go to a widely-recognized school.  But if you can’t do that, go to the best school you can.  If that ends up being a California DL school, so be it.  I always think of the adage about “What do they call a med school student who graduated last in his class?  Doctor.”  It applies here too for the most part.  If you pass the bar, that’s what matters first and foremost.  If you don’t pass that, it doesn’t matter where you went to school.  

As a DL law school student, you know what you’re getting into before you start, and these schools aren’t selling themselves as the same experience as a tier-one school.  So, what’s the reason for debate and comparison?  Times are changing and so are law schools.  If you don’t agree, nobody asked you.
Aug. 18, 2010, 10:10 p.m.
+1 vote/
(You just couldn't resist, could you Carolina Law?)

TO ALL - Honestly, I think this whole discussion has been healthy.  It shows many examples of the opinions regarding “DL” law schools.  It has also shown some of the ugly biases against any change in the system that has been in place for so long.  

Bottom line, go to the best school you available to you that you can afford.  The school does not make the lawyer.  

I spent 12 years as a corporate paralegal doing general counsel work.  Before that, I started in immigration law, moved on to civil trial work, and then found a "home" in in-house work.  During my time as a paralegal, I've trained many a new associate on how to do their job.  This included recent law grads from all over the "tier" spectrum.  Boston College, NYU, Berkeley, UCLA, and yes, a certain school in Durham, NC to name a few.  And coming in, all of them were as green as the grass out in front of the building.  

After suffering through the irony of training people to do things I moved past years ago, while they were getting paid much more than I was to do it, I decided to go to law school myself.  Logistics and tuition considerations (after seeing what grunt associates and friends had to endure in their initial job searches and positions) led me to attend a California DL law school (Oak Brook).  I graduated in 2009 and took the February 2010 California bar exam and passed.  I completed my JD and have zero debt afterwards.  Life for me has changed a bit in my professional career because of it (obviously).  I’ve had lots of great offers from great firms.  Most of which greatly appreciated my law school path.

Having said all that, I just wanted to point out a couple of things.  The requirements that the Committee of Bar Examiners in California put on resident law students versus non-resident is vastly different.  As a non-resident law student, you’re required to spend 864 study hours per year, for a minimum of 48 consecutive weeks each year, for four years.  A resident law student’s requirement is 270 hours per year.  Going to a DL law school is not easy.  Especially when you are still working full-time.  

Also, the Baby Bar (FYLSX) is not optional as some of you seem to think.  You have to take and pass the exam within the first three available administrations of the test following your first year of law study.  You can’t earn credit for any study after the first year until you pass the test.  Again, this test is not optional for DL law students.  Also, another piece of trivia about the exam, transferring first-year students from out-of-state ABA schools have to take and pass it too.
Aug. 13, 2010, 8:27 a.m.
0 votes/
Guess it is time for a Concord Cal Bar exam update!

Feb 2010, 71 took the exam and 17 passed for a 24% pass rate.  That is down from 38% the past July.  Repeaters were 53 with 8 passing for 15%.  It looks pretty clear there is no pattern of improvement but utter incompetence.  

Good job Concord! Will post the July results as soon as they are up.
Aug. 6, 2010, 12:59 a.m.
0 votes/
Don't you people understand!?  Online law school MUST be no good.  You can do it anywhere, on your own schedule, it isn't too expensive and it will get you where you need to go.  Therefore there is no real reason not to enroll.  There are no excuses for not enrolling and spending four years busting your butt for a law degree.  Gosh!  There just has to be a reason!!  Let's see...  ONLINE SUCKS!!!!  That's the ticket!  Thank God I found a reason not to do it.  It sucks!  Oh my, that was close!  I almost had to enroll and work toward my dream.  Oh well, better see what's on TV.  Maybe someday there will be a law school I can respect; Then I'll enroll.  For now, best sleep and dream of someday being a lawyer.
July 29, 2010, 7:22 a.m.
0 votes/
I've read all of your arguments and, to be truthful, you are all giving me a headache, lol.

Online schools are basically 'the wave of the future'. Yes, there is room for a LOT of improvement but that doesn't mean it isn't a bad idea. There are ways to get more interaction and the school will need to address this. Many great ideas come from forums such as this one.

I'm not a law student but was just researching online schools and saw that there was an online law school and was intrigued. I don't understand how someone can possibly work full-time and do well in their studies..especially law school. just because it is an online environment does not make it easier. In fact, it probably makes it harder. That is, in my humble opinion, the reason why there are so few pass rates.
July 26, 2010, 3:50 p.m.
0 votes/
I'm attending Concord, and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. The financial aid has been a mess for the last 7 months. I get requested for information that I have sent them over 5 times. Then their reporting of my school status gets over-ridden by another school that I attended because they don't use the national reporting data that is done via eletronic means. That means that every 2 weeks or so my loans that were in deferrment go into repayment. You tell the administration the issue, and they wont listen to the problem with solutions. They then do research and come to the same conclusion you gave them weeks prior.
The assistant dean is useless. You ask for assistance and you get told basically to figure it out. You are paying for all this money, and you spend most of the time self studying the laws. You get told you don't need the live classes to do any of the course work, but if you miss them, it affects your grading. 
Each professor has different requirments. I'm lucky that mine is so honest and will explain things. Others are just there.
Think twice before applying to this school. It has its negatives and positives. By-the-way, they prepare you for CA bar exam. Make sure that your state will allow you to sit for their bar exam right after taking, passing, and being submitted into the CA bar. THere are a number of states that will not.
June 4, 2010, 5:30 p.m.
+1 vote/
The following "doctrine" can also serve as "the bible" to those out there who are determined to obtain a JD/LL.M: 

Letter to William H. Grigsby on August 3, 1858

My dear Sir:
Yours of the 14th. of July, desiring a situation in my law office, was received several days ago. My partner, Mr. Herndon, controls our office in this respect, and I have known of his declining at least a dozen applications like yours within the last three months.

"If you wish to be a lawyer, attach no consequence to the place you are in, or the person you are with; but get books, sit down anywhere, and go to reading for yourself. That will make a lawyer of you quicker than any other way. Yours Respectfully" (Lincoln, 1853)

The gist of this timelessly thoughtful concept is: Our resolution to succeed is more important than anything. So anyone here can get books used by Yale, Harvard and Cornell professors and read them ANYWHERE (including in ANY LAW SCHOOL) until you understand their features. Upon passing the BAR Exam you will be a lawyer and a lot of avenues will open up. You'll realize that a lot of what was said here is married to a very narrow minded point of view, making the conclusions irrelevant for it will never be applied to you because you are more open minded and a more resourceful professional. You will also be grateful that the non-traditional method trained your mind to be a non-traditional INDEPENDENT thinker (you have earned it,you are now an excellent problem solver-and that is what good attorneys are--they are good problem solvers(period!!). Note that you 1st get good before you become excellent. Lastly, let us not be remiss that a good lawyer is also a good human being. A good human being shines forth in the courtroom and miserable lawyers are not good human beings because legal education does not teach them anything about humanity and humility. The playing field that many are so fearful of, will ONLY be leveled and career fulfillment will only occur once you find your calling within the law.
May 2, 2010, 1:06 p.m.
0 votes/
I just received word that I have been accepted into the ABA's CLEO Program and have a seat reserved for me at FIU's Law School.  This is a new law school, but has an excellent reputation and is moving up the law school rankings every quickly.  I have spoken to several Miami and Florida attorneys and they have all had positive experiences with new graduated attorneys.  Their bar passage rate is one of the best in the State. Also, they run about $8,000 per year tuition.  Now that is a great deal.

That said, I'm visiting them in a couple of weeks to make my decision.  I still feel Concord Law School will be my choice, because of its flexibility.  Also, their fundamentals course (pre-law school 6 week course) that I just finished was very good and if that is any indication of the education you receive from their school, I'm in!
April 28, 2010, 2:56 a.m.
0 votes/
I really can't believe these self proclaimed lawyers on here have the time to write....working so many hours and making good 6-figures...Very funny
April 15, 2010, 8:08 p.m.
0 votes/
You are dead on.  I'm thinking the same thing, with an international twist.  Our engineering and business degrees coupled with a JD, gives us a leg up I believe.  

Also, the CA bar will not hurt us at all, future lawyer
April 8, 2010, 2:18 a.m.
0 votes/
Hi All, 

Like ‘Coriolis’ and ‘perpestive student 4’ (circa Jan 2010) I have an undergraduate Engineering degree, an MBA, and I am now working on my PhD. 
 
I am interested in Concord, for the online format.  I did my MBA online and I did not have any issues with the program, even though the JD is about twice as long I think I have demonstrated the discipline for online study.  Just like my MBA I want the JD to suit my own purposes rather than use it as a credential to market myself to some company.  Specifically, I am on an entrepreneurial path and I would like to file my own patents.  The cost of a single patent nearly eclipses the cost of attending Concord.  The notion of opportunity cost does factor into my decision however, because the 4yrs spent clawing through the program will certainly dilute the time I can spend researching.  

In any case, just wondering what your thoughts are on a Concord JD with the goal of Patent Attorney in mind.  The Cal Bar is fine for this purpose because all patents are federal in nature.   So far this plan suits me well because if any of my own ventures miss by a ” wide margin” I can still land on my feet and recover by offering my services to assist others in pursuit of patents. 

If anyone has any critical comments based on my plan please weigh in.
April 4, 2010, 1:10 p.m.
0 votes/
HR Manager for JD, I too have worked in HR during my career and I believe you'll be set with a Concord Law Degree. I just finished the fundamentals course and I can tell you it has been great so far. I'm loving it, fact is I can't put it down and finished the six week course in 3 weeks.

I addition to a background in HR, I also have an engineering degree from Univ of FL and a MBA from Central Michigan, which I believe we make me very valuable when I finish.

There is no driving any where and you make your own hours, you just have to be disciplined.  But if you really want to do it, and can't quit work, this is the best way to go.

So far it is great.
April 2, 2010, 1:22 a.m.
0 votes/
I am an HR Director with a Masters in Labor Relations from Rutgers University.  My choices are..  No Law Degree - because I simply do not have the time to commute, work full time and attend regular law school or an online JD to gain knowledge, which would assist me with my career in Human Resources. I would possibly take the CA bar, but would not have any intention of practicing. Any feedback would be appreciated.
March 24, 2010, 8:01 p.m.
0 votes/
I surely enjoyed reading all your comments. I am a foreign lawyer, I also hold a Bachelor degree in Economics from the most prestigious institution in my country (Mexico), and I am 100% sure that distance learning is a good option. 

Personally I obtained my JSD from a brick and mortar University, but in reality I skipped many classes because of my tight schedule. I firmly beleive that learning is a personal choice. I graduated Summa Cum Laude by the way... 

In the present I am applying for an LLM at NYU, Harvard and othe Ivy League Universities, but would love to have the option to take DL. 

Once I finish my LLM I will give a serious thought to enroll in the Concord Law program, hopefully it will be ABA credited by that time.

Best of luck to those who are enrolled in DL programs and I tell you if you love the law, you will be an excellent lawyer, regardless of the money you make.

REGARDS TO ALL
March 18, 2010, 9:14 p.m.
0 votes/
Go with Florida Coastal its a great school. I have two professors in my legal studies program that graduated from there and recommends them to all of us.
March 1, 2010, 10:23 a.m.
0 votes/
Bottom Line, 

The major factor was the flexibility. Currently I'm employed, in fact I'm the CEO of a company I founded, so I'm not going to be able to leave my job completely, I have to stay nearby.  I'm selling half of the company to the employees through an ESOP. I do plan on having a job when I finish, I'm not planning to work at a law firm, I'm looking at just corporate counsel type work.  

And finally, I plan on also finishing an LLM in International Law at Liverpool University, also online, when I finish Concord Law School.

So, It was mainly the flexibility of studying at home, and continuing to make myself available to my company during my law studies the first year.

The other factors are the low cost of Concord Law School compared to the private schools that accepted me; the potential Concord Law School has to possibly change the way ABA accredits in the future; and the method of teaching Concord Law School employs.  

I think if you apply yourself, Concord's method of teaching will be very beneficial. I'm exited to start in June 2010, wish me luck.
Feb. 22, 2010, 3:18 a.m.
0 votes/
Future Lawyer, the first word that came from my mouth is...Wow! From ABA approved law schools to an online law school. Other than the traveling what other factor(s) came into play?  Would be interested in hearing your thoughts.
Feb. 22, 2010, 12:20 a.m.
0 votes/
I found this today, it might be useful to many of you/us. You can write the ABA with your concerns. There is supposed to be an ABA review later this fall 2010. READ FOR YOURSELF!

 I found this website, and here is the link:
//fastcase.blogspot.com/2009/07/aba-to-reconsider-accrediting-distince.html

I copy and pasted this article from the above site:

ABA to Reconsider Accrediting Distance Learning Law Schools in 2010
 
Most states require candidates to be graduates of ABA-approved law schools in order to sit for the bar exam.  To date, the ABA has not approved any "distance learning" law schools.  ABA Standard 306 cites the ABA's "general policy" from Standard 304(f) that a law school shall not grant credit for study by correspondents.

However, the ABA Standards Review Committee intends to review these policies in the Fall of 2010. Above the Law posted a statement from an ABA spokesperson who asked readers for comments and suggestions regarding a potential change in the ABA's policy:

The Standards Review Committee will produce a report on recommended changes to the standards when it finishes its work, and it will then hold public hearings. But even before then, it is seeking comment... [I]t would be lovely if you included in your story the following line: Comments and suggestions should be sent to Charlotte Stretch, Assistant Consultant, stretchc@staff.abanet.org.
Feb. 20, 2010, 8:33 p.m.
0 votes/
Well I got accepted to six ABA schools to-date, Florida Coastal, Cooley, Ave Maria, Thomas Jefferson, Phoenix, and Charlotte and I'm still waiting to hear back from 8 others.  That said, I have decided to go to Concord Law School.  I am 52 years old, selling my business, and would like to travel a little bit.  Concord is the only school that gives me the chance to do that while still studying.

So, come June I'll be a Concord Law School Student.

Wish me luck.
Jan. 22, 2010, 12:42 a.m.
0 votes/
Thanks for the comment, I agree.

I'm down to my last local ABA school, before I decide on Concord.
Jan. 20, 2010, 6:56 p.m.
0 votes/
Future Lawyer, before you decide on a law school consider the possibilty of living in that particular area. 

Tier 2 schools are likely considered regional schools at best; however below tier 2 you probably should stay local or at least in that state when looking for a job. 

This is not to say that you cannot find a job outside the local sphere of a lower tier law school, but it will be harder. Good Luck!!!
Jan. 17, 2010, 10:18 p.m.
0 votes/
Well, I'm waiting to see what law school accepts me before I make the decision to go to Concord.  I took the LSAT, but scored low.  Still, I applied to 28 schools from Florida to California, including several major cities in between like Atlanta, Philly, Chicago, New York, New Orleans, Dallas, and San Diego.

So far I have been accepted to two ABA schools, FL Coastal and Cooley.

Lets see what happens.
Jan. 10, 2010, 4:44 a.m.
0 votes/
Sounds like we are being a bit sensitive and defensive. No one, as far as I know is saying Coriolis lied about anything.  On the other hand, if you cannot prove to me you've accomplished the things you have stated, then how can I take you seriously. Show me is what I am about! Or do you need a law degree to say that?
Jan. 9, 2010, 7:07 a.m.
0 votes/
So far Coriolis has said a lot more interesting and useful things than many others have - patent agent to patent attorney...interesting! Given there are 169000 'active status' attorneys in CA, why would Coriolis lie, and why would you question that?

Hearing the experiences of one grad, and how they used a law degree is what makes this forum interesting. We all know that online law degrees are inexpensive, and that ABA are perhaps too strict about them, and that online law degrees allow remote/busy individuals to become attorneys, and an ABA school will provide more opportunities, and and and and.....

What isn't discussed much is how being a new attorney from an online school has positively (or negatively) impacted their career/life/happiness/salary. That's the real reason a person should pursue an online degree, not because it's cheap or possible!

****Call-out to Online Grads who've passed the bar: how has this experience tangibly changed your life? Have you started a successful career or practice because of it? Did it end is unsuccessful job searches? Please share your interesting experiences!

(And thanks Coriolis for your posts.)
Jan. 9, 2010, 2:58 a.m.
0 votes/
Coriolis so you passed the CA Bar Exam, how about allowing us to check your name out with The State Bar of California.
Jan. 7, 2010, 5:31 a.m.
0 votes/
Hi "perspective student 4",

If you are going to try this, then I would like to offer you some advice.

1. To pass the FYLSX take Tim Tyler's course at lawtutor(dot)org and purchase all of his materials as you go through law school. He is amazing. I killed the baby bar and the full bar because of his program.

2. You will need to pass the Patent Bar. Advice. Buy the "Practitioner's Manual of Patent Examining Procedure" from West and READ EVERY PAGE OF IT.

3. Become a patent agent ASAP and start prosecuting however you can.

4. The key to being a great patent attorney is to LOVE THE EVIDENCE. Your clients will presume you know the law (and you must, COLD!) if you can connect with them on the evidence (technical stuff in the invention). You could go to Yale 10 times, but if you cannot understand the evidence you cannot be an patent attorney (period). 

Hope this helps.
Coriolis
Jan. 4, 2010, 6:11 p.m.
0 votes/
Hi Coriolis:
I’m an engineer with 12+ years of experience in the power generation area; I achieved 3 college degrees BSME, MS Software Engineering (1999) and a MBA obtained in 2003.

Coriolis Your comments provided me the answer that I was looking for in order to get enrolled in a law degree from Concord law school. No offense to the lawyers, but as an engineer I don't see the test that I would fail.

Coriolis I wish the best for you in this new career journey.
Jan. 2, 2010, 4:05 p.m.
0 votes/
Hi All,

I graduate from Georgia Tech where I studied Computer Science and Chemical Engineering and have a MS in Pharmaceutical Chemistry, a MS in Molecular Biology and an MS in Biological Chemistry and was a practicing patent agent. I live in California and selected Concord because I travel a lot because when I was attending Concord I also worked full time as a high level manager in a software company and was required to travel domestically and internationally frequently. I could never attend regular law school because of the attendance requirements. After graduating, I formalized my independent patent law practice and now have a significant book of business. I am now expanding my practice into FDA law and Health law and will be getting an LLM from Concord when they start offering one (soon from what I hear). Frankly, my clients have never had any issue with where I went to law school (infact they rarely if ever even ask). 

I passed the Baby Bar and the CA full bar of the first attempt and felt Concord gave me a wonderful **opportunity** to learn the law. Frankly, I meet a lot of lousy lawyers because they do not love the law or are not really committed to the practice of law. No law school will ever make this person better!

Things are changing and sooner or later I do believe the ABA will change. Just keep in mind that a great many lawyers are not practicing law. They work in other lines of work that is not directly correlated to law. Be careful using statistics. It is kind of like the argument that all Patent Attorneys are patent prosecutors. Actually, that is not true at all.

The moral of the story...LOVE THE LAW and build a great reputation with your clients and the business will come. There is never a shortage of good lawyers.

Coriolis
Jan. 2, 2010, 2:41 a.m.
0 votes/
I would love to see a show down in any CA trial court room between a Concord Law graduate, up against an arrogant, top-tier attorney like Carolina. No doubt, Carolina is afraid the Concord graduate would run circles and tap dance around his or her (Carolina) ass in the courtroom.  

Nothing better than watching the underdog give opposing counsel a good old fashion legal ASS WHIPPING in the courtroom! Damn, this is pure ecstasy. 

Street Law Student, Third Year
Non-ABA Approved School
Dec. 31, 2009, 3:06 a.m.
0 votes/
Suebell, Thanks for your input.  I'm seriously considering Concord as well.  I've applied to 16 ABA schools and I am waiting to see the results.  I should know by the end of January.  I have a high GPA, but a low LSAT (140's), so I think my best shot is the lower tier schools.  Anyway, I too think Concord would provide a good education.  Let me know how the Baby Bar goes.
Dec. 26, 2009, 5:42 p.m.
0 votes/
I just finished my first year at Concord. Like others who have commented, I wanted to attend law school and had no better option than DL.  My goal is to have a doctorate in law, that will complement my professional work (there is a health law concentration available).  I researched and found Concord to be the best fully on-line, part time law program available.  I graduated summa cum laude as an undergrad(Concord does have a GPA requirement by the way). Colleages and friends were horrified at first and advised me to take advantage of the legal education available at the schools around me (Cambridge, Boston).  As much I would agree the name "wow" factor would be greater, I simply would not have the time or band-width to attend.  I work more than full time as an executive, I travel, I have kids. Frankly, it is on-line or no school at all for me. This first year was challenging and exhilarating.  The interactive nature of the weekly live class was excellent. The testing is high pressure -- Concord works to prepare its students for the FYLSE and the Bar.  I am told the approach is to push students harder than typical 1L programs and I believe that is to weed out underperformers early. Believe me, I envy the full-time young students who have the leisure to think of nothing but their legal education, while many of us at Concord are juggling significant life burdens as well.  It is this that creates a kind of skill that may be unique to the part time learner of the law. We are older, wiser and have a perspective based in reality and hard work that can't be replicated in other learning environments.
Dec. 19, 2009, 5:17 a.m.
0 votes/
The Baby Bar and the CBX are two very different things.

The Baby Bar is, as I said in another post, a competition.  The California Bar grade this test in such a way that only a pre-defined number of people will pass it.  Look at the statistics on the BB over the last ten years from the site that I mentioned in my previous post.

Concord's performance to date on the CBX has been disappointing.  No two ways about it, their graduating class, all of whom passed the Baby Bar, only pass the CBX at an overall rate of 40% to 50%.  On the first try it is typical somewhere between the mid-30's and the low 40's.  The CBX is not a competition and ABA students from other california schools perform considerably better on the test.  

Nevertheless, it is the best performance by any non-ABA school out there if you look at the number of people that Concord has taking the bar compared to the number from other unaccredited schools.
Dec. 18, 2009, 11:27 a.m.
0 votes/
Is the CBX really that hard to pass if you are serious about passing it? If you are serious about something and the law school does their part, you should be able to pass the test.  It is all about you at that point.  If Concord provides the education, then why would passing the CBX or Baby Bar be a problem?
Dec. 17, 2009, 6:34 p.m.
0 votes/
Several hundred Concord students have passed the CBX.  However, of that group, I don't think that many of them are actually practicing law.  There is a glut of lawyers and the competition is fierce in California, because of schools like Berkeley, Stanford, Hastings, UCLA, USC, Pepperdine, and many others.

I think that Concord Law School would be good on your resume if you were trying to enhance your career, especially if you passed the CBX.

Go to an ABA school if you possibly can.
Dec. 16, 2009, 11:53 a.m.
0 votes/
Great comments and advice.  All I want to know is can you get a job with a Concord JD and roughly what does it pay.
Dec. 15, 2009, 3:43 p.m.
0 votes/
Folks -- Beware of information regarding FYLSX psaage rates.  The dreaded FYLSX is a different animal than just about any other test out there.  When I say dreaded, I say so for good reason, because the passage rate on this test is extremely low.

There are some things that prospective FYLSX takers need to know.  Unlike the bar or even the LSAT, the FYLSX is essentially a competition.  The California Bar grades the test in a completely subjective manner that allows for a certain percentage of people to pass on any given administration.  For example, even if you answer all of the multiple choice questions accurately, the bar may determine that too many people did well and deduct points from your score.  So the trick of the FYLSX is to score in the top quarter of the test takers.

The key statistic when you look at bar results is not the percentage of passers but the number of passers.  For example, if there are 500 people taking the test and school A only allows their five best students to take the test, than there is a possibility of having a 100% pass rate.  But if school B sends 200 people to take the test, then it is statistically impossible, because 200 people represent 40% of the test taking pool and the bar will only typically only allow  25% of applicants to pass.  However, if school B can get 70 of their 200 people to pass the test, then you have a better chance at school B then at school A where only five people get to take the test.  That is why Concord is the best of the DL schools. 

Of course, it can be argued that school A is better because they do their own weeding.  Statistically speaking, though, you have a better shot of passing at school B than at school A in the model I've described.

Incidentally, people who fail this test are not "dumb" nor incompetent.  They just failed to make the cut.  If you added a mix of ABA students from T3 and T4 schools, the ABA students probably would do no better.

Why not weed at the beginning of the process with the LSAT?  As I said in an earlier post, Concord and other non-ABA schools make first year (and even sometimes second year) tuition profits off students who take this test.  As stated above, around 66% to 75% of 1ls are elminated by this test.  If Concord had a competitive admissions policy and reuired the LSAT, they would never get the tuition money from those who fail. 

Why does the Cal Bar allow this?  The bar makes money off of it as well, because it costs about $500.00 to take the test.  Do the math.  Multiply $500.00 times 500 or so students. They all have to pay and the state keeps the money.  The question really is, why would the Cal Bar *not* allow this under the circumstances?

Generally speaking, the best course of action is -- if possible -- avoid the FYLSX and just take the LSAT and go to and ABA school.  Ultimately, the LSAT and the FYLSX do the same thing -- namely, they keep you out of law school.
Dec. 14, 2009, 11:19 p.m.
0 votes/
Roger -- I took your advice and looked at the Cal Bar statistics that you include here.  As you said, these come right off the bar.

It seems to me that Concord Law School has done reasonably well on each administration of the California Bar.  Their bar passage rate is not as good as most ABA schools, but if you look at out of state ABA schools, Concord is almost always better than a few of them.  Also, Concord consistently has a lot of students taking the bar, so the numbers seem indicative that they have some smart people going to school there.

Incidentally, Concord beat the pants of Michigan's Cooley School of Law in every single administration of the Cal Bar that I looked at.  Granted, Cooley is generally the joke of the ABA, but statements that Concord's program is weaker than all ABA schools just don't stack up based on these documents from the ABA.
Dec. 14, 2009, 3:28 p.m.
0 votes/
Again, here is the link to the Ca. Bar statistics.


tinyurl.com/va2s


When you look at statistics, you need to look for trends over a period of time.  For example, I've read a lot about the California School of Law and the fact that 100% of their students passed the FYLSX.  The problem with that is it involves one administration of the test and a small sample of students.  

Incidentally, if you research Oak Grove, you'll find that they also have a high FYLSX passage rate.  This is because they only allow a small number of students to take the FYLSX based on some specific preparation.

Concord has enabled the largest number of people to pass the FYLSX.  In addition, Concord's Bar overall passage rate hovers somewhere between 45% and 50%.  This is below ABA standards at California Law Schools.  However, if you check the statistics carefully, you'll find that many out-of-state ABA schools have students sitting for the California Bar.  Concord does as well or better than some T4 out of state schools.  That hardly redeems their program, but it does put things in perspective.

I'm not defending Concord or DL law schools.   In their current state, Concord and other DL schools will never gain acceptance in the ABA because they do not require the LSAT, do not use the Socratic method, and do not regulate their tests well enough.  All of these issues are fixable from a technological standpoint.  

However, these schools exist to make money.  Factually, they do let students in who could not qualify for ABA schools and they derive money from those students.  As other have pointed out, many of those students are frequently weeded out by the FYLSX.  Anyway, Concord and the ABA are at an impasse -- COncord will not change its practices and the ABA will not lower standards.  Unless Concord is willing to require the LSAT and teach the Socratic method, the ABA will never accredit them.  End of story.

However, Concord does provide a service to some students who have the ability to become lawyers.  Some of the students at Concord do pass the bar and the FYLSX on the first try. It is hard for me to believe that anyone who can pass the FYLSX and the CBX on the first try could not attain a decent enough score on the LSAT to attend at least a T4 or even a T3 accredited school.  As has been stated so many times, anyone who can attend an ABA school surely would.  But some qualified students cannot because of business schedules, personal conflicts, and so on.  So they go to Concord and pass the bar.  I say good for them, because those are not small accomplishments.  So don't rain on the parade of someone who does that.

Concord students face a huge disadvantage on the traditional job market, but many of them have other motives for attending law school.
Dec. 14, 2009, 2:25 p.m.
0 votes/
Many of you are discussing the Bar Passage statistics of various schools in California.  The California Bar publishes these statitics.  Please look at:

tinyurl.com/va2s
Dec. 3, 2009, 9:58 p.m.
0 votes/
I would also say that Even though Concord is not ABA accepted it is new. If you want a degree to be a lawyer to practice law fully Then Concord is not for you. if you want to be able to do certain things and do not live in California, Then you should check with your states regulations for non-ABA accrediated schools
Dec. 3, 2009, 9:54 p.m.
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I am getting ready to finish my 1L at Concord and came across this site on accident. I have have heard both positive and negative, good and bad views. I really do not know what to make of it all. I have a BA from one of the best school in the nation and I live in Texas. I have no intention on really practicing law fully in the state, but wanted to utilize my knowledge for my personal business. I have studied along side students from ABA accredited Schools and we use the same books and cases. I ONLY HEARD OF CONCORD BECAUSE MY FRIEND WHO IS A ATTORNEY STEERED ME TOWARDS THEM. I think times are changing and I hope that one day DL law students will be allowed to take the bar in other states. 

I feel that no matter what you should use the education to your means and wants.
Nov. 28, 2009, 6:38 p.m.
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I am a business coach and have owned a couple successful companies allowing me some freedom. I am teaching part time for fun at community colleges and was wondering if any one knows if any of these online law degrees would allow me better teaching options i don't care about the school i teach at just so i can share my business knowledge.
Oct. 19, 2009, 2:19 p.m.
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Any lawyer, in NY who spends this much time bashing Concord, has way too much time on their hands,or a lot of money. But then,  time equals money.... You must not have a lot of the latter since you appear to have a lot of time :)
Sorry, this soon to be CA Lawyer and Concord Graduate calls it like she sees it :)
Times , they are a changing.....
Aug. 25, 2009, 9:45 p.m.
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Wow, this was a very interesting thread. I am currently in an excellent profession earning six figures with a great career prospects. Both of my degrees have come from brick and mortar schools. Law school has always been something I have wanted to do. But, I have been unable to find the time required to dedicate to it. I thought Concord might be an option for me, but at the end of the day, I am not sure how much it is worth.

Anyway, great discussion!
Aug. 24, 2009, 6:16 p.m.
+1 vote/
Joel,

Like you, I had a lot of questions about Concord's credibility as a Law School. However, after taking an honest inventory of my personal time and financial constraints, I realized that my concerns were moot. My personal circumstances would not allow me to attend a traditional law school PERIOD! After that simple exercise, it became VERY clear that I could only attend law school online.

The next step, following that revelation, was finding an online law school that seemed to be more progressive/aggressive in becoming ABA Accredited; and I was compelled by the results of MY research that Concord was leading the way in that effort. Although there were no guarantees that Concord would be accredited in my life time, I was willing to take the risk considering the alternative(A. Get an online Law Degree or B. Get no law degree at all)

In my case, the personal choice to attend Concord was based on facts; not personal opinions from people on a board/blog. When I say facts, I mean that I took an objective approach to solving my problems/concerns. I recommend that you do that same, by asking/answering tough personal questions objectively. Ask yourself some of the following questions:

1. Do you want a law degree to practice law, use the degree in a non bar environment, or just for the sake of saying I have a law degree?

2. Are you in a position to afford and attend a brick/mortar school that will provide you with the Law Degree you want? 

3.Will attending that brick/mortar school allow you to be worry free as to whether the degree will be respected in the field of Law or not? 

4. Is attending a traditional law school even an option based on your time constraints or other responsibilities?

5. What's your personal risk tolerance for attending a Law School that doesn't produce the level of respect that you expect as a professional in the field?

These are just a few examples...

I'm proposing an objective method because people's opinions matter as it relates to THEIR personal experiences. That's it. Their opinions (mine too) should not be used to predict what future opportunities exist for Concord graduates or any other Law School graduates for that matter. If you want the respect of a Harvard LS Graduate, then you should go to Harvard. I think it would be delusional to go to Concord LS and expect to receive the same respect as a Harvard LS Grad. I'm not saying that Concord isn't of equal quality; I'm simply acknowledging that the perception of Concord's quality is not at Harvard's level at YET.

That being said, I'm sure there are Harvard LS grads NOT working in the law field. My point is, the school name (Harvard or Concord)will only get you so far in life; the rest will have to be earned through personal effort and knowledge. Just my opinion...
FYI... I start Concord 1st Sept. If you want to know how it goes, leave me an email. I will check back periodically for your response.

Good luck!

JS
Aug. 24, 2009, 12:24 a.m.
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Joel, there are plenty of websites dedicated to all of your questions - search for "online law degrees" and similar related terms in Google. It's a deep rabbit hole of information.
Aug. 23, 2009, 10:20 p.m.
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I am a future attorney and I have a question because I see all these comments on Concord and I was wondering what will it have to benefit in the future because don't get me wrong I'm just like the next person that wants the best for his family and future.
Does Concord open the door to a good future meaning a availability to jobs being a lawyer?
Would all states accept the Degree if I got it from Concord? If so what states would that be?
And another question if I did graduate from Concord would I be able to become a attorney anywhere in the US?
"Please comment"
Thanks
Aug. 22, 2009, 12:17 a.m.
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God I didn't think I would ever get through reading your tyraids - and some of you are lawyers!
I've been evaluating enrolling at Concord largely because I have a family and a really great day job and also because traditional law schools, like most traditional universities, will consume your life with nonsensical currucula filled with coursework that will have nothing to do with the practice of your profession.  Face it, univerisities are in the business of selling credit hours.  To that end, they need to make their degrees valuable.  They know that most students pick "better schools" because of the marketability of the brand and not how well they will actually be prepared for their professions.  Seeing the creme of the "ivy league" crop totally screw up corporate America and the government should be proof.  Further, as an architect, I have worked with a LOT of lawyers and what school they came from has no corelation to their prowess in the court room.  
The ABA schools are always fighting tooth and nail to keep the doors shut less they face competition.  That's corporate life in America.  If you can't or won't be innovative then you purchase government protection.  In this case, its states requiring ABA backgrounds.
As for the inability to practice in other states, not true at all.  Though I live in Indiana, I can pass Concord, the Cal bar and practice in CA if I set up a PC in a co-op office there.  I can maintain membership in the Cal bar and after five or so years of membership (not necessarily practice)in the CA bar, I can apply to Indiana or many other states and gain provisional authority for one year and if I chose I can apply for regular/permanent priveledges.
In any case, I seriously think that most people that enter law school are dillusional anyway.  The vast majority flunk out.  Of the remaining students that go on to graduate and pass the bar, 90% will spend the next five years of their life in endentured servitude to law (puppy mills) firms working way beyond 70 hour weeks for no additional compensation and then MAYBE get the opportunity to litigate cases, which is what they wanted in the first place.  Very few will get good jobs at innovative firms or with corporations that cultivate their own talent and not clerk their formative years away.
Besides, it's worth $50M to have JD next to your name, who cares about being a lawyer anyway.
Aug. 11, 2009, 3:40 p.m.
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Well, with hopes I will never need a divorce attorney. But if I do I would go to an attorney that knows divorce law. For the other stuff, contracts and the sort, it would be nice to have a degree that allows me to serve as my own legal council should I need to. I did all the research for my first set of contracts (no lawyers involved), so I know I can do it without law school. However knowing I could successfully serve my business as an attorney would be good for my business. Plus my family makes a good point in that most wish I would return to school and complete my studies. I guess you could say they gave me something to think about. 

On the other hand of that, I could do so much more with the money I'd use for tuition. It's a decision that I'll have to ultimately make for myself. I don't reckon it will be a quick decision, I am still very much undecided. The only thing I know is that it will be school online for me, as I do not have the ability to quit on my responsibilities in life to attend campus in a day program. There are no colleges near me either, so commute would be an issue as well.  I have things to deal with over the next few weeks, but with hopes I will know with one hundred percent conviction what I will do after that time.

Thanks again for your input on the school. Again, best wishes in your studies.
Aug. 11, 2009, 6:18 a.m.
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I understand there has been some great debate over the practice of law but I seem to remember a conversation with an attorney in which we discussed there are something like 300 areas of law one can work, so one with a degree is not mandated to drag along under mountains of cases or in a firm with peons to do your work for you. If one desires there is patent law where you work with clients who are happy and know what they want and there is no real debate involved. The law field affords so many choices in areas one would not even consider to be a law position. I was told once pick a job that you love and you will never have to work a day in your life. DL allows those of us who have no desire to attend brick and mortar schools the chance to obtain our goals without the negative views that society is quick to press. I hold a high value for education, but education simply encourages the individual to utilize free thought and convey those thoughts into terms others can understand. Educated decisions should be made when deciding where one goes to school and those choices are to be made by that individual and speaking negatively in regards to other people’s choices and individual freedom does not make one seem superior, sadly it comes across as asininity. My only hope is that anyone who reads this understands that whatever choice they make it is exactly that: Their choice. Bravo for those who stood their ground and maintained dignity in their posts.
Aug. 11, 2009, 6:17 a.m.
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I quickly left that environment for DL so I could be viewed as equal to every other student.  The DL format does not allow anyone to judge me beyond my academic performance and I have no pressure to verbally communicate with anyone. I personally have not viewed myself as disabled however I understand in general that is how I am viewed. Please let me point out I have never had a GPA lower than 3.8, I enjoy learning and study I am in my final term at Kaplan due to complete my degree in Paralegal studies On Sept. 8th, 2009. I will be returning to Kaplan and following through at Concord. I agree whole heartedly it is not the name of the school that makes the student but the knowledge the student possesses to build a career.
Aug. 11, 2009, 6:17 a.m.
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First, I have to say that I stumbled upon this site and read every post. I found this to be interesting reading and several have given great insight in regards to the difference between brick and mortar and DL education. While this is apparently a great debate here and issues such as money and location have been brought up for topics I personally felt compelled to present another reason that justifies DL.
Disabilities; Not everyone that has a disability was born as such, whether it is paralysis or being blind. DL in my personal opinion “levels the playing field” and I will give my own experience for example. I was not born deaf; I attended brick and mortar school and became a nurse. I worked in the field several years before going completely deaf. When that time came I knew I had to go back to school originally I attended brick and mortar to find that the professors and classmates viewed me one of two ways. Either I had no disability (meaning they would talk and become aggravated when I had no clue what they were saying) or that deaf equated I was dumb.
Aug. 10, 2009, 8:16 p.m.
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Like yourself I had a specific interest in only a couple of subject areas. Turns out I'm enjoying it all more than I thought; not what I was expecting at all.

If you have 'little interest in the law for the most part', and your only purpose is to understand straight-forward legal aspects of your business, then you might want to consider doing a short business/legal course at a local college or reading a small-business focused business law book which usually covers those very stright-forward things you mentioned. You'll still need a lawyer for anything beyond the straight-forward, but then again I'm not sure Law School will give you everything you're looking for either. For example: I'm presuming an IP lawyer is probably still going to a divorce lawyer when they want a sterling job done.

Without law school you'll have several thousand hours remaining to study your love (art/archeology)!!! "Dipping your toe in" is inexpensive so perhaps it's still worth a go. If you do choose to go, then it probably matters less which DL school you choose compared with the bigger decision of whether to go, or pursue other interests. They all use similar books, teaching the similar material and similar cases to ultimately sit the same bar exam. If you're unsure then you're probably in the same boat as thousands of other law students over the years! Heck, try both and finish the one you like best; it isn't a life-long decision like marriage! Good luck with your decision Tay, let us know what you decide.
Aug. 10, 2009, 11:50 a.m.
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Thanks so much NWCU Student. This is a really tough choice for me because I have little interest in law for the most part. I like it, but given a choice I would rather be studying art or archeology. On the other hand, I see where the law degree could help me with my business (I run an online art gallery but will grow it into an off line business as soon as I find a location that works for me). I will need to be able to handle contracts for presenting artist, and with my own art, I will need to deal with contracts for those I hire to pose for me. Legal stuff I'd rather be able to take care of myself. As well as real estate contracts, etc.

I'm leaning toward NWCU because of the cost. For somebody who doesn't have a passion for law it doesn't make much sense for me to spend six figures on law school. Plus, I don't have time to commute. I have to work to pay bills, and I have other obligations to consider as well. So, I know I will be attending school online; where online is a completely different story. But, I also realize that somewhere throughout the process I may change my mind and decide I love law and really want to practice. I doubt it, but you never know. I've studied things that I thought I would love and ended up hating it. I checked with the states that I may be moving to in the upcoming years and one in particular has reciprocity so if I pass the bar in CA, I will be able to sit for the bar in their state as well. So I guess being able to practice is a question that I have pretty much answered for myself. Whatever I do, I want to finish the program and not drop after a couple classes. So it is really important for me to get it right the first time around. My plan is to apply sometime this week, as long as I feel sure about it. If I don't I won't as I can't bring myself to start something I'm not sure I want to finish. I can't realistically start for another month and a half anyway as I will be paying out of pocket and need to make sure I have the money ready to pay for books.

Thanks for responding. Every little bit helps. Best wishes for success with your studies. Who knows, maybe I'll see you in class soon :).
Aug. 9, 2009, 10:49 p.m.
0 votes/
Hi Tay,
I did a fair amount of research into these DL law schools earlier in the year. I already have a career and I'm a business-person at heart, so I don't ever see myself as a lawyer. The legal area has so many opportunities for the business-wise e.g. foreclosures/sheriff auctions of property. Lawyers have an almost monopolistic understanding of these complex yet business-lucrative processes. These are my reasons for wanting more knowledge in this opaque area. Also I'm finding the analytical thought process law is teaching me is worth my time.

Anyway, so I wanted to only "dip" my toe into the law student waters, so I looked at four factors when evaluating DL law schools:
(1) Cost = tuition
(2) Outcomes = pass rates in the baby bar and bar exams
(3) Reputation = number of students, industry reputation, time in operation.
(4) Admissions = who do they accept

Concord no doubt sells itself better on their website than all other DL law schools. Not one to give into hype, I took all emotion out of my decision - it came down to a toss-up between NWCU/Concord/OBCL. All three had comparable outcomes so they are all doing something right (tie). Concord releases more grads each year, but NWCU had been around a lot longer (tie). All DL's are not ABA-approved, so all probably opened up the same doors in CA, and non where nationally approved by state bar associations (tie). OBCL had consistently high outcomes for DL's, but had a very strict code-of-conduct so I wasn't even eligible to enroll. Finally NWCU won on the cost factor (NWCU+). There are a couple of other DL law schools left to investigate too, but remember I was initially only dipping my toe in; although now my objectives have changed a little....

So here I am in NWCU now and loving it. The favorite part of my study program are the real-time webcam classes - twice weekly I spend 1-2 hours in a video class with a dozen students led by a NWCU professor. This is as close to a real class-room as one could desire, and perhaps other DL law schools have these too but I hadn't seen any that did back in Jan.

Ultimately everyone's reasons are personal, but there's mine. I hope it helps you with your decision. Sign-up and you'll be in the course within a couple of weeks, and then you'll know pretty quickly if it's for you or not. Finally there's the refund policy if you find it's not what you're looking for. Think long and hard about it - it's a four year adventure! 
GOOD LUCK TAY. Let me know if you have any other questions.
Aug. 9, 2009, 11:54 a.m.
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I think some of the comments here really just further the perception that lawyers are snobs. I have worked for traditional universities and online universities, and I notice the good and bad in both. As for all employers hiring based on grade point average, that is not true. I have seen (first hand and second hand) many companies that hire simply because the person has a degree, and never once asked for GPA. I move around a lot, and one of the jobs I managed to get when I lived in AZ was due to the fact that I had a degree, plus experience in writing (though not in the industry specific writing). It wasn't the school name, as while the school I went to is highly known and respected in the state it's located in, they had never heard of it in AZ. Never once did they ask my GPA. Perhaps knowing that I obtained the degree answered the questions, Could I start something and follow through, and Did I successfully complete the program. I also think it gives the employer an idea that you're able and willing to learn. Although I do not in anyway agree with the idea that going to school makes you a better candidate for a job. 

DL programs are great for people who do not have access to traditional schools (be that location, cost or time). As many have said, it's what you bring to the program. If you're not willing to put in one hundred percent it won't matter if you go to a campus for class or to your home office.

As for the bar, not everybody who attends law school is there to practice law. Yes, I know, "law school," but some people return to school for personal development. There are also those who study it to assist them in their current careers. My interest in law would be to better help me with the incorporation of my business, and any legal issues that arise with contracts I must sign. I'd rather understand things for myself than have to run to a lawyer for every question. One gets tired of getting screwed with their pants on, and sometimes it's nice to be able to hold your own in all aspects of business. Plus, after having to leave a traditional grad school due to family problems, I really want to finish my doctorate degree (though not in psych as I was a psych major before). I'm an artist and writer by passion, not a lawyer, but I am thinking of attending law school for the aforementioned reason.

For the poster at Northwestern California Law School, I'd be interested in your experience as I am considering attending that school over Concord. Could you please let me know of your experience there? Any information on teachers and the educational structure would be much appreciated.
Aug. 7, 2009, 4:31 p.m.
0 votes/
Sometime ago I had a similar problem Patricia, and I asked to be changed to a new admission counselor. Not sure if it is the school or simply a few or a couple of employees not doing their job. With some hiccups it was resolved.
Aug. 4, 2009, 10:15 p.m.
0 votes/
Good luck in getting them to call you back. Donna from there has promised to call me for the last month. I make an appt and she never calls. Then I get an e-mail from her saying how sorry she was and that she will call me the next day, I have yet to hear from her. You cannot get in unless they call and talk with you about the program.
I am not impressed and I will look else where.
July 19, 2009, 11:16 p.m.
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Cheers to Justice 1, NWCU and all of you who are open-minded about Concord.  With 22 years as a paralegal (with local, state, and national certifications and honors), I have considered this school and will probably be doing this soon.  Yes, I am older, so is that against me as well as DL? I fear Carolina Law would say so.  But I can get even older with a J. D. - or without one.  Yes, I will be learning online because I do not live anywhere near a law school and have to work to support myself and my family.  I have a husband who is ill and a mother in assisted living, both of whom need my time and care.  Yes, I will have to pass the California Bar and I wish to work as an attorney.  But I don't plan to practice in some "elite" firm, thank you.  I've had quite enough of that.  I plan to help the common person, and animals - those who cannot speak for themselves and make a difference with whatever time I have left on this earth.  I don't need to make $100,000 per year; I've been down that road and the rewards aren't worth it. As several prominent California lawyers teaching at a recent convention in San Diego told me, there is nothing wrong with Concord, and your success depends on the goals you have in mind.  Is it worth it to you personally to have a J.D.?  My answer is yes.  My great-great grandfather, James S. McCartney, was attorney general of Illinois during the 1880s.  He had worked and studied under President Lincoln and was an officer during the Civil War.  My grandfather was a lawyer with the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., a graduate of the University of Texas.  His son, my uncle, followed in his footsteps and is now retired.  He graduated "summa cum laude" from Johns Hopkins.  When I told him of my plan to attend Concord, he said several of his friends had ended their careers trying to take the California Bar, meaning those from Johns Hopkins or other equally prestigious schools.  Nothing worthwhile is ever easy.  Quite frankly, however, I think I have a good head start. Carolina Law, I think your comments are rude and discouraging to those who have no other option, and you remind me of some very arrogant, short-sighted people I have had the misfortune of working for in the past - but never again.  I'll let you know when I pass the Baby Bar. 8-)
June 19, 2009, 2:50 a.m.
0 votes/
Lawyer2B thank you for your feedback.

I'm assuming you passed the Baby Bar. So what year are you in Law School L2,L3 or L4? The reason I ask is that I looked up the stats for Oct 08 Baby Bar, and the pass rate was only 14% for Concord students.
June 18, 2009, 4:35 a.m.
0 votes/
In all, Concord Law school is a pioneering academic institute that will, in due time, pave the way for new standards established by the "ABA." Yes, it currently has limitations, but many of us who desire a law degree and may not have any viable options, accept such challenges. 
Folks, the desire to attend law school is often decided by those who sadly relate the legal profession with earning a salary of $100,000+ a year. What a poor decision and long-term commitment to make in attempts to generate such an income. Especially, when there are so many other routes one could employ to generate such an income for far less time and without the substantial student loan debt. There are so many students who attended law school for the wrong reasons and with a false sense of security and/or knowledge of what they believed the profession to be. This is so prevalent today; evidenced by the increase in books available on Amazon.com geared towards helping lawyers who are burned out or totally disappointed transition out of the profession into one that best fits their personality and personal likes. 
Many of us who are already conditioned within our current family and/or profession understand that obtaining a legal education is not all about the money. It’s about the desire to elevate our knowledge, profession, business, and others within the community. Imagine one who could serve within a governmental or local role as an attorney, for much less pay in comparison to other “corporate law positions”—but with more fulfillment because there’s less to no debt and because we enjoy the role for all the right reasons we decided to attend law school.  
No doubt, I believe that Concord plays a integral role in educating lawyers for the future. It’s certainly due time for others to acknowledge the success of the program as well.
June 18, 2009, 4:34 a.m.
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Sadly, what really bewilders me is the fact that there are still those who can’t envision the existence of a successful distance educational law program. Why? There are many on-line educational programs geared toward educators, computer specialists, engineers, physician assistants, and nurses--to name a few that produce outstanding professionals every year!  
Ironically, these same professionals educate our youth for the future, enhance our technology, implement new safety protocols for our country, and even utilize their skills acquired through these programs to save our lives! If on-line education is good enough to help professionals learn how to improve and/or save lives, then it should be good enough to teach man how to critically think, utilize the law learned and integrate the law into one’s practice to successfully maintain society. 
Without a doubt, Concord's program is extremely difficult. Law school IS and SHOULD be difficult because of the complex information to comprehend in such a limited time, critical thinking skills required and vital ability to apply the law.  And despite what some depict of the program, it is not a "Here-are-the-notes-study-on-your-own-and try-to-pass-the-bar course." Guys, it’s not an academic program that merely provides study materials, video lectures and a reading schedule. This is not the case at all. Think about it: there are airline pilots, practicing engineers, physicians, non-profit business owners, nurses, dentists, and business executives, to name a few, that matriculate and successfully graduate from Concord Law every year. These same professionals who desire to obtain a law degree would simply have their dreams deferred permanently if they had to attend a traditional based law program. Can you imagine a dentist having to decide if he should close up his practice just to attend law school to help further his professional goals? 
Despite what is often poorly portrayed, Concord Law’s entire learning environment is state-of-the art. During classes, which are held weekly: like traditional-based-law expectations, students are expected to attend class fully prepared with all assigned cases briefed, reading assignments complete, and personal notes readily accessible. The professor has the ability to interact with all students simultaneously and often times call upon a student at anytime to answer questions—for all other students to witness. So, I would say this is similar to the Socratic Method.
June 18, 2009, 4:32 a.m.
0 votes/
First, I would like to say that I am a PROUD Concord Law Student. I simply love the program. I’m proud of my experience thus far and equally proud to be a pioneer and advocate for the distance educational experience. 
Let me begin by providing some additional insight regarding my background: I am a mother of small children, a wife, a small business owner and an advocate within my community. I hold a Masters Degree and as a "Generation Xer" I wholeheartedly embrace both technology and change. Now I chose Concord because of its reputation, innovation, valued tuition price and complete distance learning opportunity. In all, such features afford me the ability to run my current practice, raise my children and serve within my community. Attending a local law school in my area is simply not an option due to my personal and professional obligations and the cost of tuition.
Initially, my main goal for attending law school was simply to gain additional knowledge and develop my skills for my growing practice.  However, as my studies progressed, I soon acquired a yearning to utilize my law degree to advocate for those who are less fortunate. 
Although at this moment (as I too believe that the ABA guidelines will soon change---much like society is changing as a whole at a rapid pace) the options on "where" a Concord law graduate can practice is limited. However, this soon too will pass. States throughout the country are now being petitioned /challenged by Concord graduates” for a right to practice. The funny thing is: these Concord graduates are winning their cases in these states and being permitted to practice.
Prior to 1878, before the ABA standards were implemented, attorneys where trained via self-taught studies or privately, much like a long-term apprenticeship by other practicing lawyers. This was the same method many of our country’s forefathers, such as Abraham Lincoln learned.   
Overall, Concord has made significant gains in such a short period. Recently, Concord law graduates have successfully been sworn into high Supreme Court positions. Concord Law is definitely representing and presenting a hard case for the “ABA” and other antagonists to deny!
June 17, 2009, 4:12 p.m.
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I find it hard to believe that any online law school could offer any education compared to actual attendance at an ABA approved law school.  One cannot describe what it is like to be up to your eyeballs with reading assignments, due dates, and the pressure of attending law school in general.
June 16, 2009, 4:50 p.m.
0 votes/
Is Concord worth the time and effort if you are serious about becoming a lawyer? Would like to hear from former students...graduates or not? Or any information that would assist me in making up my mind.
June 2, 2009, 6:45 p.m.
0 votes/
I really enjoyed reading the comments written by The Amazing.

 They were well written and it is true that many of us, including myself, have met individuals in our professions where their top level education is nothing more than dressing on a bottom level performer.  

Would you hire a Harvard graduate who took the bar 5 times to pass or the DL graduate who passed it the first time with no problem?

Carolina Law does have a valid point in that grades and schools are many times the only thing that employers have to look at because the person does not have enough professional background.

I vote for a change. Instead, bag the school on the application and as an alternative require the release of an actual score on the bar and how many times it took them to pass.

I dare say there might be a few Harvard grads who would be embarrassed by the results.
June 2, 2009, 6:32 p.m.
0 votes/
Even with the lower pass rate, I would be willing to listen to and hire a Concord graduate who passes the CA bar. One thing that many of us forget is that most if not all of these students are working full time while going to school, working full time while studying for and taking the FYLSE and the bar. Many have graduate degrees already under their belts in other professions, adding another facet to their knowledge. I dare wonder if a 20-something in a brick and mortar ABA law school on loans or daddy's dollars has the ability to prosper under that load.
May 30, 2009, 9:12 a.m.
0 votes/
After reading all posts on this page, it seems Carolina Law would accept a Concord graduate that proved competent.  unfortunately, I also believe Carolina Law sees an online degree as a lesser degree (in general) that would somehow undermine the efforts of his/her traditional classroom education and would lessen the public's perception of attorneys.

There is no difference between a degree from Harvard and a degree from the School of Hard Knocks if the knowledge produced was the same.
May 30, 2009, 8:58 a.m.
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I just stumbled upon this board and am absolutely dumbfounded by the comments of CarolinaLaw.  I am a licensed physician in CA that graduated from the (according to the AMA) top school in the country (no name dropping).  I graduated with people I wouldn't trust to dress my dog's hang nail.  I also know physicians that graduated from "no-name" institutions.  Some of these docs are the most talented professionals in the medical field.  To generalize, as you so in-eloquently have, that the proficiency of a graduate is directly commensurate to the type of institution in which they attended is absurd.

I don't pretend to understand its origin, but you, sir or ma'am, have a chip on your shoulder of immense proportion.  Why you have taken up the cause of belittlement towards a non-traditional education or its graduates is beyond me, but it doesn't speak too highly of your ethics or maturity.

With you being a self-proclaimed attorney of measure, my suggestion to you would be to direct a portion of your "persistance to the cause" to a more worthwhile endeavor.

May you find a smidgeon of enlightenment from my input.
May 29, 2009, 11:38 p.m.
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Open question to all: does anyone know what jobs DL grads end up doing in real life 1/5/10 years out? Does anyone know real life DL grads and what they are doing right now?  This would be the most useful to know!


Carolina Law - not everyone is aiming for the Supreme Court or a higher echelon positions in top NY law firms. For every graduating class at Princeton, there will be a hundreds of students that don't come 2nd in their class. I'm not asking about what a future president will think of a DL degree, rather what are the "regular job" prospects for regular DL grads. So far I’m hearing there are none. Just as some ABA-approved grads end up unemployed, some non-traditionally schooled lawyers end up as lawyers and  judges. Let's examine the median as the top and bottom of any area won’t be applicable to most people.

BTW, I haven't dismissed you in any way (unlike much of the forum here...not that it concerns you I'm sure), but your rofls and dismissal of my comments were a little arrogant. It made me realize you value education perhaps a little *too* much. I made the MBA vs. drop-out observation with some level of knowledge; something I didn’t learn in a classroom. One of my staff has an MBA, and while he's an intelligent guy, I also work with a high school drop-out who runs rings around him. And yes, he gets selected for IT/business projects above others because he could "get the job done". Send him off to a client/site and he'll sort things out for you in his area of expertise (and many grads can just as easily screw things up). He won't put together a sparkling powerpoint or talk MBA-speak, but he gets things done. And in case you measure success in gems and jewels, then amusingly an MBA degree from all but the top dozen business schools would result in a pay *cut* for him (both straight after school and 5 years out based on published median salary figures). I'm not talking about a genius here; just a very sharp guy who is respected, and everyone knows someone like this I'm sure. You might be great, but don’t belittle others.
I certainly don't sit here BS'ing - I'm here because I think there might be some half-serious answers on real-life DL grad prospects (not the usual meaningless comments in most other forums out there). I'm trying to relate what I know about business employment prospects to the opaque area of law.
__________

'Leaning towards NWCU': if you are thinking of attending a DL school and considering NWCU, I'd have to say it's fairly unique with their video conference classes which are as close as you'll get to a in-person classroom. Admittedly I can only relate to classes I have attended, and understanding of the Socratic method through an old movie *about* a 1L (Paper Chase - good movie BTW). Personally I find it difficult to really flex my brain muscles through just reading and listening to recorded law lectures. Most importantly it's an inexpensive way to dip your toe in to see if law is for you or not.
May 29, 2009, 9:22 a.m.
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It is admirable that many people are trying to find a way to advance.  I'd like to think that many people have a passion for law and want to make a difference along with an increase in earnings.  It's all relative to where someone is right now and where they'd like to be.  Going to a DL school is an excellent decision for many people.  You look down on those of us who live in California and are contemplating a non-accredited ABA school; what you don't realize is that we have an opportunity not afforded to citizens of the 49 other states.  It would be stupid on our part not to consider this stroke of good luck that California, being the a progressive state, is allowing distance learning students to sit for the bar.  Studying the trends of history, we all know it's just a matter of when this will become commonplace around the nation.

Most people on here are doing exactly what they should: taking the best available option and seeing what they can do with a higher education.  You are obviously so rich and fulfilled with your education that it makes me wonder what you are doing here trying to defend your superiority against a bunch of people who are doing the best they can with the cards they're holding.
May 29, 2009, 9:22 a.m.
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I just read this entire thread and want to comment.  This thread stinks of elitest snobbery from Carolina Law.  You think most people considering a correspondence school would prefer Concord over Stanford or Harvard?  My guess is that you are someone who has always had many opportunities not afforded to 90% of the population.  Your intent in this conversation is not to objectively weigh value; rather, you wish to diminish perfectly reasonable points with hyperbole arguments.  

Listen genius, we all know that getting a law degree from a top tier school is preferable in the job market, and an ABA degree is preferred.  Do you think you are enlightening anyone here?  Whether we will attend Concord, NWCU, Taft, or any other school, we do not have realistic options for Duke or NYU.  So what?  Should we just sit around and tell accept our fate of being inferior professionals compared to you?  For you to wave your hand and declare that anyone not going to an ABA school is throwing their money away demonstrates arrogance at its finest.  For most people- and let me specify that "most people" does not include you and your yacht club friends- coming up with 100K and dedicating three years of strict scheduling is not an option.  Many of us have families, obligations, and other restrictions that prevent this dedication.  So what is your answer?  You don't appear to have an answer to this; you would rather just sit on your high throne and tell everyone how great you are because of your education.  Do you assume that everyone's goal is to make half a million dollars per year?  Do you really believe that everyone who goes to a DL school ends up with misery and regret?  That spending a fraction of the price of a traditional law school, where you will still be a certified attorney, makes no sense at all?
May 29, 2009, 8:43 a.m.
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Employers ALWAYS look at your school and grades even for higher echelon positions where you bring experience.  Don't think that ever goes away.  Obama is nominating Sotomayor not just for her ethnic background, but she was second in her class at Princeton and that is his main defense for the pick. She has been out of lawschool for decades and that still follows her around.  It shows you the elitism  of the profession, but I guarantee you it is about universal.

Highschool drop-outs getting over on experienced MBA grads at a F-500?  yeah yeah, OK. rofls

I'm done with this conversation.
May 29, 2009, 2:48 a.m.
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It doesn't matter what employers *should* look at, only what they *do* look at. That's my only consideration and that's why I asked my question in the first place. (And thanks for answering Carolina Law).

On expeience vs. schooling: In my current business context (Fortune 500), I have seen not-too-old high-school drop-outs get awesome projects and responsibilties ahead of MBA grads with experience. From where I sit, it comes down to the performance of the individual in question.  Your trial experience came from you, not from your school - and that's what the firm looked at.
You mention too that the PD office gave you big cases because of your school/grades, but how often do you discuss your school/grades with people? Didn't you get big cases because you did well (and didn't screw up)?

This still leads to the main problem = first post-grad job.
Q:
Does anyone out there have any examples of lawyers where school/grades didn't matter?
What are the defining characteristics of an above average lawyer anyway?
What is a "good" grad?
If a PD job gave Carolina Law her break with her target firms, then can that same path be achieved by reasonably bright grads from Concord, NWCU or any other non-ABA school? (I'm not talking about "just passed through luck" grads....)

These are the questions that help make the decision easy for prospective students (at least making their decision with open eyes!)
Whether a DL degree should or shouldn't effect the outcome doesn't help the grad that faces employment problems later! Only what the options are. Anyway, I look forward to peoples thoughts and comments.
May 28, 2009, 8:14 a.m.
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Why do you think firms hire you based on your school and grades?  It is all they have to go on.  Obviously, the further the time between you and lawschool that factor diminishes but you have to have a track record first.  If you can pass the CalBar you can obviously make a case, having an in-house case review for candidates would be ridiculous considering that is only part of the job of junior associates.  If you are applying for higher positions your work history will be more important.  If you were a Jr. Associate at a major firm will be the first thing they look for or if a PD like me would look at the trial history.  The better your school the better your initial opportunities which will follow your career for quite some time.  I would never have been given so many big cases in the PD office if I didn't have school/grades to give them the confidence in me to handle it.   The same principle applies in the commercial sector but even more so in law as you can't practice until you become licensed.
May 14, 2009, 12:54 a.m.
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"The cards are just so stacked against DL it begs the question if you feel it is worth it to spend the next ten years of your career proving yourself".

Over 20 years I have learned one thing...the ultimate ability of a legal professional is in their ability to persuade others that their point of view, valid or not, is the most valuable to their decision.

I care not whether they come from DL or a first tier. In fact prior to the ABA lawyers gained their skills from working in firms and testing out from there. I often wonder if we should not return to this archaic system to truly raise a generation of legal professionals that would represent justice in the manner in which it was intended.
May 14, 2009, 12:50 a.m.
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"No one is more elitist the lawyers... not even academia".

And in thus lies the greatest flaw in our legal profession.
May 14, 2009, 12:48 a.m.
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So...if a Concord student passes the baby bar first try and passes the CA bar, one of the hardest bars out there, are you still stating that they will not be a good legal professional?

I come from a technical profession (yes, I also have graduate degrees from brick and mortar) where we have learned that it is not only the schooling but the inherent skills of the individual. I met many a person who graduated from an excellent school that I would never hire, because they excelled as a student and tester, but nothing more.

Personally I would do this...if you pass the CA bar and show me that you have the skills to competently present your case and materials, I would much rather have you than a snobbish first tier individual that thinks that the school that they graduated from is what makes them valuable.
May 8, 2009, 9:56 a.m.
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NWCU Student,
  
The problem with the DL degree is that it will lock you out of most jobs keeping you from gaining good experience.  You can forget about being hired by any reputatable firm.  If you try to join the PDEF office to gain experience your degree still matters as many areas are highly competitive.  It is particulary true in California.  If you start work in the boonies like I did you will still see traditional grads applying for every job.

When you come straight of law school, nothing is more important than where your degree is from and your grades.  It is all relative to the level of school and your GPA as to how it is weighed in selection.  Interships matter too which is something DL will probably not have.  The cards are just so stacked against DL it begs the question if you feel it is worth it to spend the next ten years of your career proving yourself... if you even get a career at all.       


No one is more elitist the lawyers... not even academia.
May 8, 2009, 2:33 a.m.
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Carolina Law,
In your April 12th posts you highlighted the benefits of being a trial lawyer versus a (regular?) lawyer. That got me thinking - how good is a trial lawyer at arguing anyway? All I had to go off was "if the glove don't fit you must acquit" and Perry Mason, so I download several real court case recordings (not Judge Brown...real cases), and concluded that lawyers are intelligent and can argue well (no surprise there). But I couldn't help feeling that their trial skills came from experience and intelligence/skill, not their schooling. Are their skills achievable without any "special" training? Public speaking and augmenting skills are honed through actual use; no school can make someone a good trial lawyer, right? Didn’t you realize it came from experience; being the reason you started as a public defender to hone your trial skills?

Does education ‘make’ a lawyer, or does being a lawyer make a lawyer? I don't know law, but I do know business and as you know in business it's common for career success to be dependant on an individual’s actions rather than their education or school. Where I work (Fortune Global 500 company) after someone is 5+ years out of college, it only matters how well you do with the opportunities you're given; not how many degrees you have or what school you went to. OF COURSE degrees plus school reputation gives a graduate a foot in the door to opportunities others don’t have, but a few years on and the line blurs. Do lawyers operate by these principles too?

Education-wise I wonder how my teachings differ from the traditional schools. I “sit” in class twice a week with my professors while they try to make us "think like lawyers". I've never attended a traditional law school class, but if it involves living in a sea of hypos, pitching one student's analysis against another's and twisting oneself into a knot trying to understand a point of law while sometimes spending an HOUR breaking apart a single paragraph....then my classes are “traditional”! Remember this is all done on optional video conference classes. I certainly understand your point (from experience) about the difficulty in analyzing cases and hypos without the guiding hand of a professor.

So this brings me to my REAL questions you could shed light on (the questions above are only my musings): Q. Forgetting all the pros and cons of a traditional vs. online degree that are already well documented on the Internet; how can DL grads open up opportunities (esp. the trial route)? Does a DL degree really lock most grads out of all job opportunities like so many people seem to post on the Internet, or can DL grads successfully pursue roles as public defenders and lawyers in firms?? Are firms really more elitist than big business in general (I suspect this to be the case, but to what extent?)  These are the questions on DL students’ minds…..well mine at least!! Appreciate thoughts/comments.
May 7, 2009, 10:10 a.m.
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A simple class in logic or a couple classes in philosophy will NOT give you the skills necessary to become a good lawyer.  The Case-Dialogue method gives the student the ability to break down a case and look at it from every aspect while faculty constantly challenge your way of thinking until you start to "think like a lawyer."  Doing this for several years drills students to the point where it becomes second nature.  The Socratic method is proven to work and the bar pass rates are evidence of it, especially the pass rates of Philosophy majors.  It not only helps your oral skills but the very nature of how you approach a case.  The method is vital for the progress of higher order thinking and this is not what you get from Concord. 

E-discovery problems from Ivy Leaguers?  My ESI software is pretty easy to use.  It sure as hell beats flipping through thousands of pages of documents when I can just run it through a search engine.  Keeping up with E-discovery regs is somewhat of a pain but that is why God made consultants.  I am sure your AM Law 100 firm can afford that, you probably have your own department.  Tell your Ivy Leaguers to use it... lol.    

If distance learning will offer teleconferencing then it would certainly help the case of DL delievery and break down many of the barriers that are currently opposed to it.  As I have said before, that is the major hinderence.  As this would require the students to be available for class times it doesn't make for a very profitable venture.
May 4, 2009, 11:57 p.m.
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First, to be a good debater or those who like verbal skirmishes do not have to attend LAW SCHOOL. A simple class in logic and a couple classes of philosophy gives the necessary training to entertain an argument or a constructive debate. I have worked in a Amlaw 100 firms and experienced the lack of understanding of technology from many Ivy Leaguer's especially when it comes to the electronic discovery process. Besides having the knowledge to use an ipod it is amazing what Harvard and other prestigious schools push out of their halls. Now, I am not bashing, but when attorney's that come from these schools and have issues constructing and carrying a conversation raises the question what the hell are they teaching these lawywers? 

CNN, Fox, and other networks have debates via video conferencing, so what is the difference if an online school decides to use this medium? Would the argument and rebuttal be any less effective thru this medium? Law school teaches that the argument in a trial is just a story that is presented to the jury and the presenter must use the powers of persuasion to win the jury for the final verdict. In essence, all that is happening is who has the better story with the most theatrics. Anyway, just think Carolina Law has a lot to digest before preaching that debaters are made in law schools. This is coming from a fellow native New Yawka.
April 27, 2009, 4:54 a.m.
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Brickhouse, you must have alot of hands as many times as you use that phrase.  The ABA is the association accepted by the states to regulate their education standards.  It isn't the ABA you should be pointing the finger at.  Blame the state bar associations.  Many of them even have non-lawyers on them, so it isn't fair to say it is an only ABA club.   

Distance Learning has been in existance in this country ever since the first Pony Express carried correspondance mail. There were certain limitations a DL degree could get you ever since it was first introduced.  Now that the E-revolution has hit us, we are seeing just how far people are willing to accept DL earned degrees.  The difference is, the traditional brickhouses as you like to put them, are now jumping on to the bandwagon giving a credence to the format.  People are fully ready to support someone who holds a DL degree, but they especially care where it comes from.  

The ABA are allowing law schools to offer classes online, but only the courses that are straight book learning.  Most still believe that the classroom debates that rage in law schools across the country are still a vital part of the education.  There are many states that I have previously stated that will substitute the degree for being apprenticed by a judge or big time attorney where these issues can still be discussed.  Until the DL format allows the development of oral communication skills, you are still going to find a stiff resistance to their acceptance by the ABA.  If state bar associations start dropping ABA as the standard, you will see a dramatic increase in schools like Concord.  

Why do people go to Concord if they know they will not be able to practice?  You say people want to do it their own way but then the question is, do what?  The biggest thing I hear people who go the DL route say is they just want a JD to 'know the law' so they can protect themselves.  That is an admirable goal but there are far cheaper ways to go about it.  A JD without holding a license means little and can actually hurt you in a job hunt.  People will think you are either overqualified, or are going to take off once you pass a bar.  Tack on tens of thousands in debt and you are in the same position every JD holder who fails the bar is in.  I have mentored a couple summer associates who have failed their bar exams, it is a painfull experience when people consider themselves failures with so much effort and so little to show.  Going to Concord really lessens that pain as they haven't sacrificed as much and I would hope had lower expectations with what they were going to do with the degree.
April 22, 2009, 4:41 a.m.
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On the one hand the debt you will  accrue is three times higher but the potential for earning is likely just as disproportionate. On one hand you will be participating in a familiar narrative; one path is well traveled. On the other hand you are a pioneer of post-brickhouse learning. It's not that some just want to say they have a JD, some really want to do it their way. I attend John Marshall and share in the suspicions of a members only ABA
April 18, 2009, 5:13 a.m.
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I told you most fail the baby bar and never go on to take the bar.  80.2% fail to be exact.  The second comers are even worse.  That means out of all the Concord students that plan on becoming CA attorneys, only 8% go on to pass the bar.  If in ABA lawschool had that high of a program failure rate, it would be shut down immediately.  There isn't even a reason for it to be in operation except to swindle you out of 10Gs a year.
April 15, 2009, 10:17 p.m.
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I did some more research... FLYSX (AKA FLYSE) pass rate of Concord for their last test was 14.3%!  (First timers was 19.8%)
calbar.ca.gov/calbar/pdfs/admissions/FYX/FYX0810-Stats.pdf

Previous it was close to 40% so the numbers certainly jump around a lot.
calbar.ca.gov/calbar/pdfs/admissions/FYX/FYX0806-Stats.pdf

which probably explains why their website averages the statistics:
info.concordlawschool.edu/Pages/First_Year_Law_Students_Exam.aspx

Either way, those numbers are NOT promising especially when combined with the 44% pass rate of the real CA Bar. (As Carolina Law has been saying all along)

The sad thing is that /none/ of the schools required to put their students through this test have good passing rates which makes me think the whole thing is rigged by the ABA.

Also, there are non ABA approved schools that ARE California accredited.  These schools do NOT have to take the FLYSE. Of course Concord is not one of these.

It's brick and mortar for me!
April 15, 2009, 2:42 a.m.
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Carolina Girl,

You mentioned $20,000 for a year of school.  According to this link:

www.concordlawschool.edu/law-school-admissions.asp the annual rate is less than 10k.  What makes up the difference?

Also, you mentioned classes at Concord are not mandatory. If I were to attend this school, they would be mandatory to me, so I'm not certain I see what your point is, other than to understand that if you slack, you loose (Something I'd think is true anywhere).

My point about the GPA wasn't what Concord would accept a future student at, it was to demonstrate that if a student works hard enough at Concord to earn good grades in their classes, they have a better chance at passing the Baby Bar.  This shows a direct relationship between applying oneself to success, using Concord along the way.

Carolina Law's arguments are all valid.  Statistics show that it's harder to pass the bar, and that one is limited afterward even if they do. I've been trying to sell myself on Concord because of how much more flexible the hours are compared to attending night school at University of San Francisco (Tier-2 school?) which would be 6-10pm Monday - Thursday with occasional classes on Friday and Saturday.  I've got a 4 year old son and would like to stay a part of his life for next 4 or less years of classes. I would also like to keep my 9+ year marriage as happy and healthy as it currently is.  :)

It's a tough choice, especially considering I already enjoy my work in the IT and software development field.  I am approaching this from two directions:  One where the lawyer side of things would be secondary in my profession, perhaps helping make more informed business decisions so I avoid more landmines, or two, I'd make being a lawyer first and use the technical knowledge I've already gained to specialize, perhaps in something like software patent law.

Damn ABA, and damn reputations!  :)
April 15, 2009, 1:55 a.m.
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Carolina Law,

Thanks for your feedback.  I'm not certain why you lurk here, but I'm glad you do.
April 14, 2009, 5:39 p.m.
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WOW! After reading everyone's comments, I don't really know what to think. I am a military spouse, who almost has to go to school online (Just because we move so much and get orders...). We've been out in CA for a while and I was looking at Concord, but I really don't know what to think. I am wanting to work as a Banruptsy attorney down the road, but I don't know now. I went to the bricks and mortars school for a while-- (getting my AS/ Paralegal studies), but after reading all these reviews, I am still baffled on what I should do. There are many on this blog that think Concord is terrible but there seem to be others whom fully accept it and the results.
April 12, 2009, 9:32 a.m.
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Carolina Girl, I know so much about it because I keep up with the developments of my profession.

Perspective Student, the 'weeding out' process isn't even applied by Concord which is why most students never pass the bar.  Many never even bother to take the baby bar.  You will find plenty of students who live out of California yet still go to Concord and have no chance to practice law.  Why do they do it?  They just want to say they have a JD I guess.  

Your argument that Concord weeds them out on ability while ABA weeds them out on their wallet is hardly the case.  There are plenty of ABA state schools that have affordable tuition.  For these affordable programs they still have to pass an LSAT, still have to make passing grades in a challenging environment and they have to meet demanding time constraints.  At Concord, you don't have to do any of that.  The bar exam statistics prove that it is 2:1 more effective than Concord for their best year.  Considering the overall Concord rates it is still 3:1 more effective and these are only Concord elites.  Many never even bother to take it because they know they aren't ready.

Writting vs Oral skills all depends on how hard you want to work and how much money you want to make.  If you want to be the guy/gal who spends all their billable hours pouring over documents and sitting by your phone for a call just to scrape together enough hours to pay your rent; then by all means be that attorney.  If you want to bag easy hours and earn the right to be called a trial lawyer, then go to an ABA school and develop the oral skills you will need.

For your last statement, I started in the public defenders office because I wanted to gain trial experience to set me up for the move to the big leagues.  I now gain more trial hours and I command a better percentage because I bring recognition to my firm.  If you spend all your time doing low key work, when it comes time for your compensation committee review, you aren't going to command much.  Gaining that trial experience was far better for me than joining a firm as a junior who would only be working my tail off to make money for senior associates.

I give credit to my school for properly preparing me for the life I lead as I have avoided many mistakes others have made who did not learn such lessons. It has made my career that much more enjoyable and prosporous.  I am not saying Concord can't get you to being an attorney, I am saying you are going to toil much harder and will make more mistakes.
April 12, 2009, 8:17 a.m.
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Well NWCU, if you knew what you were getting into then you won't have many complaints. NWCU's interactive video conferencing is above what Concord has to offer.  I don't know what barristers in Australia or the UK go through, but California, Virginia, Vermont, and Washington will let you sit for the bar by going through reading the law... ie apprentice under a judge or attorney.  Is that sufficient in my opinion?  No, I like NYs reading the law better where you have to have a year of law school before you can sit for it.   

If you don't want to have alot of billable hours then stay out of the courtroom.  You can lead a career without ever stepping into court, but you won't be the one cashing in.   At my firm, I get to rack up four hours just for showing up to court, whether it takes four hours or forty minutes.  I spend alot of that time stuck in travel or waiting around.  The thing I hate most is billing on phone calls.  We are on the six minute system so if you want to bill for four hours on the phone, you are going to be on it for most of the four hours.  If you are going to do a document review or proofread a report, you are going to do it for the full four hours.  Traveling and waiting for court appearance is easy.  Since it is against the ABA to work on other cases while on the clock, I kill time on the laptop.  Since I can argue in front of a judge, I get the best job.  I have junior associates to do most of the tedious work which I avoid like the plague. Appearing in court and meetings are the easiest way to rack up hours and I wouldn't be able to do it if I didn't have good oral skills.
April 11, 2009, 2 a.m.
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Perspective Student, Concord accepts students with all kinds of GPA's not just 3.1.Also the classes that are required are just comprised of lectures with old videos.The live classes are much better, but those are not mandatory.You should think about it very hard,considering that Concord is part of Kaplan and that also brings another set of problems.Carolina law is also right that the Baby bar is weeding people out, but why spend 20,000 on a school for one year to fail the final test with this reputation.
April 10, 2009, 8:05 p.m.
0 votes/
Here's a more up-to-date page on Concord FYLSE stats:

info.concordlawschool.edu/Pages/First_Year_Law_Students_Exam.aspx
April 10, 2009, 7 p.m.
0 votes/
Carolina Law,

You mentioned:
"What is weeding people out is the Baby Bar"

For Concord, yes it looks like this is the primary filter.  

Back to my point about student abilities, according to this Concord document (Page 4):
www.concordlawschool.com/info/custom/concord/pdfs/cls_jddis.pdf  

If a student has a 3.1+ GPA, they have an 86% chance of passing the FYLSE (read: baby bar) the first time. Since Concord has students at that level, this strengthens my argument that student ability, not campus teaching ability is the primary factor for success.

One has to remember that for ABA accredited campuses, there are a number of "weeding" factors too.  Cost is higher, there are class time availability vs work hours conflicts, LSAT requirements, and good old fashion classroom availability constraints.  Are there any statistics that show how many perspective students are simply denied entry and are never given a chance to begin with?

You previously stated:
"Student interaction with class discussion is vital to gain the skills needed to be a successful trial attorney."

When going through the "Video tour" of Concord, I saw an example of student interaction with class discussion.  The only difference is that instead of the communication being oral, students discussed matters through writing.

I have to wonder if the asynchronous nature of online learning is actually more beneficial than with what can occur elsewhere when one considers that the duration for each class is fixed. While everyone can "speak" at once in an online environment, students have to take turns elsewhere. It seems that there's a much higher likelihood that students won't be able to participate using the synchronous turn-based method.

If one assumes that most cases never go to court, I'd think having written skills would be better off most of the time. One should also remember that there is more to law than trial too and that not all students have this as a goal.

Finally, one last statement. You went to a tier-1 school that, for the sake of argument, taught better argumentative skills. Yet you still had to do public defender work before being able to move up the chain to where you are today. Could it be that no law school teaches enough to be a real-world lawyer, and that regardless of the school (online or otherwise), there is additional critical knowledge that can only be gained through experience? In other words, do you give your school full credit for your abilities today, or were you really just a diamond in the rough who polished himself through hard work (in school or otherwise)?
April 9, 2009, 2:40 a.m.
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Carolina Law is right about Concord, but how do you know so much about the school. I wish I had found this site before. I went to Concord last year,I'm not sure I'll continue. Concord should be only used for people who are not going to practice law. I was going to use the degree for business,but then you have to wonder if the accrediation is enough. It's been my experience that people are only impressed with a law degree if it comes from a top tier school. Most online schools don't stack up to traditiaonl schools, and that is because the interaction is not there. Also the professors are parttime and adjunct and shows in the level of their tenacity.I was fortunate to go to an undergrad school that is accreditated. I've run into a couple of people on these boards who have a couple of degrees from these schools. They are just wasting their money with these online degrees. The government should look into many of them since they do get government loans.
April 17, 2009, 3:27 a.m.
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Perspective student, I don't think you actually get what I'm saying. You probably won't get it until you get there.
I had questions like you but ignored them.
For example I'm a teacher, yet I was told I could only teach at the level of a community college with this degree. That sounded strange to me yet I continued.
As far as I know Concord has just the DETC accreditation.  If you notice the accreditation listed above is not correct, just a listing.  When I say the live classes are good but not mandatory. I mean you have to complete the modules every week, they don't include live classes, and they are composed of old videos.  I doubt you would have extra time to attend the live class with all the reading. You did so much research on their students passing the bar, why don't you do some on their accreditation.  Ofcourse you know that if the school doesn't have a regional accreditation it is basically a joke. As far as Concord's grades go we were all told that 60 is equivalent to a B, and common for law school.  We all got 60's, does that sound rigged.  Frankly I think I trust the ABA more.
ABA schools are top tier law schools, There is a reason they don't recognize Concord.  Concord is basically a piece of paper.
April 6, 2009, midnight
0 votes/
Carolina Law - For context I'm a student at an Online school (Northwestern California Uni). I have no misconceptions about what I'm entering into and NWCU doesn't oversell itself and is upfront on the limits of an online degree. I work full-time and enjoy studying law and at <$3k a year it's a good way to test the waters. Not everyone has ambitions to graduate from a Tier 1 school and being a lawyer in a large NY firm, but those that do will no doubt go the path you've taken, and of course have to have strong academic ability.

Classes are not the only way to learn (after all how many people do you know that have gotten degrees while missing many/most classes!). However I also agree that most people do need interactive learning - recordings and text chats are limited in their effectiveness.

'Interaction' is important - Since last year I have been using video conferencing regularly to meet with my boss, staff and colleagues who are all 5000 miles away, and while it's not as good as face-to-face meetings it's a suitable replacement because of two main reasons: (a) talking to a "person" is possible, and (b) it's real-time nature. Take away either one of those components and you're back to lecture recordings and slow text chats.

Last year NWCU introduced video conferencing for those with an internet connection, a webcam and time. I just finished my Sunday two hour video conference with my NWCU "class" and get as much out of it as any "regular" class I've attended. They are definitely in the here-and-now!

But the question remains if classrooms are the only effective way to learn to be a lawyer. Other equally advanced countries accept correspondance law degrees but ensure acceptable lawyers are produced by putting them through a mandatory traineeship with a practicing lawyer (Australia has this program and I have heard England is similar). I'm not sure if one is 'better' than the other.

Most people don’t use video conferencing at work or home so its effectiveness is still widely unknown (and so were computers in my early school years too). These things take time and it's clear from my personal learning experience that the hurdle of real-time classrooms has been met. Of course quality of education and learning the lawyering skills necessary to prepare students is another issue that can succeed or fail online or in the classroom. Many (most?) lawyers probably never have to argue in front of a judge, and if that was a critical compontant of being a lawyer, then bar exams would have an oral testing component, which is how a language course is graded (oral skills tests).

....So perhaps it's now a question of meeting all the other non-interaction ABA standards which would apply to ALL schools i.e. everyone with an online school won't be accredited just as there are many traditional schools that also aren't ABA-accredited (at least in CA).
April 3, 2009, 1:23 p.m.
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There is nothing wrong with taking classes online.  What the problem arises from is the modalilty of the courses.  It is shown that higher order learning classes are not easily conveyed in an online format.  For rote learning, it is fine.  The 12 credit ABA limit is for those classes that are just book learning.  Concord has no ineractive video conferencing, while they do have podcasts, this is not enough.  Student interaction with class discussion is vital to gain the skills needed to be a successful trial attorney. DL attorneys have among the worst oral arguments I have ever seen.  It might be more convientient, but it is less effective by far.  Just passing the bar doesn't mean you have the skills you need either unless you are going to spend your career settling out of court, I suggest you get the degree that will help you argue in front of a judge.
April 2, 2009, 10:02 p.m.
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Online degree haters like Carolina Law will never have their minds changed.  They got their degrees the old-fashioned way and can't grasp that the world is changing around them.  

Perspective Student is right, Concord is improving.  This same pattern happens with every new school.  As the students graduate and go out into the work force, they show how well the school is teaching and others follow them.  Soon employers decide that the school is one to hire graduates from and eventually better and betters professors decide to teach there.  As better professors teach there and the school's reputation improves, better students attend.  Eventually, the spiral upward to parity with other schools.  

I think that if the ABA were to allow online education, we would see many brick & mortar schools turning to online teaching.  Once they develop and online course, they can teach it many more times without having to have more classroom space.  Cornell Law was one of the first to try out online legal education in a couple of test classes along with other law schools.  It was a success and what helped the ABA to see their way clear to allowing for 12 credits of online education.

I can't wait for the day when the local brick & mortar law schools will be able to offer online degrees.  Not all of us were able to go to law school right after our bachelor's degree.  Some of us working stiffs had to go to work.  Some people are able to attend part time night school at their local law school (if they offer it), but they are limited in the number of students they can teach at one time.  Also, as someone said earlier, many people are working full time and it is inconvenient to attend a brick & mortar school.  Until the local brick & mortar school can offer online degrees, Concord is the best shot choice for an online JD.  They are affiliated with a regionally accredited university and they are nationally and regionally accredited.  It is the ABA that is behind the times on accrediting them.

Speaking of the ABA being the accrediting body for Law Schools.  Isn't that a conflict of interest?  To be a CPA, one needs to pass exams and can go to any accredited university for a degree (including online degrees).  Let the ABA be the keeper of the bar exams and let the regional accrediting bodies be the accrediting agency for the schools.  Maybe then, there would be more schools, more competition, lower tuition rates, better flexibility in scheduling, and better service from the law schools.
April 1, 2009, 6:36 p.m.
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Well, we are only talking about dozens of students and only data from one year.  It isn't really a good enough sample to say a new trend is starting to emerge.  What is weeding people out is the Baby Bar.
March 31, 2009, 6:13 p.m.
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Assuming that Concord has not changed their delivery method, what else but the student population itself could be responsible for this?

Perhaps now that there is more demand to become a student at Concord, there is more of a chance to weed out the chaff. Demand for ABA schools must be much higher still, which could also explain the better end results one sees there.
March 31, 2009, 1:26 p.m.
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Lets not forget that most Concord graduates will never sit for the bar not having passed the Baby Bar.  A 44% passing rate for the Cal Bar is a major improvement over past years.  Maybe Concord is getting their act together, I really don't know what they are doing differently.  Last time I checked, they still had no new delievery method.  I imagine the reason you do not get too many scathing reviews about Concord is most people know what they are getting into as opposed to naive Phoenix folks that have no idea what going online entails for them in the job market.
March 27, 2009, 7:14 a.m.
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I just stumbled on this site looking for critiques about Concord, and thanks to Carolina Law, I've finally found pay dirt!

A couple of things I wanted to mention about previous points made.  The link Carolina Law posted in regards to the success rate of Concord graduates passing the California bar exam was broken (It looks like it was mistyped). In an attempt to fix it, I also attempted to try a newer date in the URL and found this dated July 2008:
www.calbar.ca.gov/calbar/pdfs/admissions/Statistics/JULY2008STATS.pdf

It shows a 44% success rate, so at least there is some improvement although it's still about half the average of all ABA schools.

With that said, I still question Carolina Law's conclusion that the school itself is at fault. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe Concord's student population is made up of a majority of full-time working students. The school also has lower standards as far as which students are accepted (No LSAT requirements, etc).  I wonder if the 44% rate we see above is a direct reflection of the students lack of time and/or abilities, and not so much the fault of the campus.  There's only so much one can do with source material within the fixed time frame.

In researching other online schools, I've found some scathing student reviews for places like University of Phoenix, yet I cannot find anything similar for Concord Law School. If education was really sub-par, I'd expect to read all kinds of complaints.
Feb. 19, 2009, 4:21 a.m.
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If you are only working 45 hours batting a 1000 caseload, you must be handling a majority misds.  Mine was 75% felony with many going to trial.  It must be nice to work in a county with huge resources like that.  I had to get the heck out of that rural hell with the worst forensics in the state.  Corrupt cops didn't help either.
Feb. 19, 2009, 1:21 a.m.
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I viewed that pay scale and it is an "average."  Example, last year counties in the south were paying slightly over mid $30K.  yes, that's low.  But do yourself a favor and get up to date.  I live in California and practice in a county near OC and LA.  Won't say specifically which one.  Counties in this area pay $55K to near $70K starting salary.  Although large firms are cranking out $160K starting now, let's face it most won't getting those jobs.

Most counties here increase pay per year at about $11K per year for first 5 to 6 years.  That's not including regular cost of living pay raises and union negotiated raises.  The pay is quite good and generally PD's and DA's here make more than most private, crim def practioners as a whole when taking into consideration paid holidays, benefits and a "pension."  of course, there are some private guys commanding six figure from one murder trial.  And oh, the last work performance evaluation I received indicated I alone handled over 1000 cases myself.  Mutiply that by the nearly 150 attorneys we have here thoughout the county, our volume is substantially higher than what you noted in your earlier response.  Work evaluations are conducted every 6 months.

You say you are not cutting down PD's.  That's good.  But your responses sound pretty condescending.  Like I said in the first e-mail, you might want to tone it down a bit.  Not trying to cut you down.  But the truth is your responses are obviously coming off badly with everyone on this chat.  Everyone here is an attorney (most everyone).  A little common courtesy please?  Food for thought.
Feb. 18, 2009, 2:32 a.m.
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You are full of it partner... never did I "cut down" PDs.  All I ever said was they are underpayed and overworked and that is the truth.  I made little more than a public teacher when I started out and looking at the current payscales, it is no better...

www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Public_Defender/Salary

If you make over six figures you must have alot of experience or live in a high cost area.  Considering you live in CA you are hardly making a decent middle-class income.  My office had over 500 cases per year which kept me working late 60hrs a week.  With the budget cuts being experienced across the nation it is even worse now.  Offices are suing to reduce workloads they are so swamped.  I work less now than I did twelve years ago at that job and make way more "$$".  It is partly about making "$$" but I am happy with the work I do. Otherwise, I wouldn't do it.  I don't regret my time as a public defender one second, they deserve 2X the pay at least just as teachers do.  It is one of the most important jobs anyone can do.
Feb. 17, 2009, 9:23 p.m.
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Ok I thought I'd come back to this post to make another comment.

Carolina Law, I just have to say that I am a current deputy public defender in California and DAMN PROUD OF IT!!!.  I never really liked your tone previously, but now I am angry.

You keep cutting down PD's . . . remember you were one.  If we are such lowely attorneys, why is it we get calls from private atorneys asking us what to do and how to do it?  We regularly turn away applicants from top flight schools.  Why?  No, it's not because they will leave. Instead, the office knows being a good trial attorney entails much more than simply your educational background.  Again, street smarts, aggression, when to fight and when to submit, all play an important role.  Any idiot can figure out what the appropriate defense is.  But how to present it effectively is another story.

Additionally, I don't know what you were getting paid, but I'm well into the six figure range and don't work more than 45 hours a week tops unless there is a jury trial coming.  Sure, the potential to make more $$ is greater in private practice, but I didn't become an attorney just to make money.  So if you are making "ten times" the amount I guess you can retire pretty soon.

Perhaps you would get further with your comments if you just stopped belittling people and sounding so condescending.  It will carry into your work.
Feb. 13, 2009, 6:04 a.m.
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Whose the one sounding unprofessional?  You do jest. lol

Just because the CA Bar is longer doesn't make it harder.  It is simply a marathon.  NY is broader, covers national law and has a higher benchmark, it is simply the hardest test law students will take.  I find it rather ironic you cannot tell me anything other than to research it when you have not provided a single piece of information to challenge the contention.  I have the feeling you don't practice law at all.   

I doubt you could face off with me in court.  You have to have a license first.  If you are really a Concord graduate who passed the Cal Bar, you will never be able to meet me in court anyway.  Your degree is deamed substandard by both my state's bar associations and will never let you practice.  

Most "Ambulance Chasers" are lucking if they can clear a hundred grand annually.  When they take so many cases on contingency they are lucky if they get a major payout all year. They have overhead like support staff, their access to LexisNexis or WestLaw, their reference books, rent and utilities for their office.  With all the costs associated, and the high risk of not landing a major payout, most personal liability start-up firms go bust in under a year.  I have known many who end up clearing less than I did as a public defender, and that was pathetic.  I make ten times that now so I have no insecurity in my financials.  Personal Liability lawyers are needed just fine, what they have a hard time doing is starting up their own firms as the competition is fierce.  Most unemployed attorneys end up doing it.  Only the strong survive.
Feb. 13, 2009, 12:43 a.m.
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Carolina,

Who cares if you went to Duke...I am guessing thats the only good school in your state. Guess what, the only schools that matter in Tier one are the top 3...the rest are all the same as tier 2. Seriously, get a life Carolina. Secondly, the New York Bar is NOT harder than California. Did you do any research before you participated in this discussion?? I would LOVE to face off against you in court...you suck. Third, these so called "Ambulance Chasers" that you mentioned are most likely making more in one year than you will during your entire career working for a large firm who could care less about you. Personal Injury lawyers are needed in society whether you like it or not. Who do you think defends clients against the very large companies YOU favor? Carolina...you are a joke. You are just mad that someone can graduate from a correspondence program and pass the bar while saving 100k in tuition as well as have the same title as you. You are such a bitter little bitch. Ciao
Feb. 8, 2009, 5:21 a.m.
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Defender1, Justice1, whatever your real name is, of course experience determines a large part of your skills.  However, the training does five things that progress you faster and more thoroughly: 

1) It teaches you lessons you won't have to find out by trial and error.
2) It gives you the necessary debate skills you will need in oral arguments.
3) It teaches you to be able to run your case on the fly if necessary.
4) With name recognition comes more confidence in you to try your own case by the sanction of the Gods.  
5) The career services at the school also networks you to potential jobs.

I started my career as a public defender, then made the jump to a big firm.  It gave me the trial experience I desired but hurt paying down the student loans.  Working in the public defenders office my first year was a nightmare; I had case overloads and could barely make the rent.  It is nothing out of the ordinary as everyone's first year is hell on earth.  It was better than doing something none- attorney related as many graduates are left to do for years.

From my experience, the DL degreed counsels I have faced were ill prepared for trial.  Most, if not all had little trial experience and were left to plea bargains 99% of the time.  They were generally representing family members who were too cheap to hire competent counsel.  When we would be in negotiations they squirmed when mentioning the word 'trial' and you knew you had them.  The one who would not plead ended up getting convicted on all counts and the state's case was all circumstantial.  I felt sorry for the guy as I could have gotten him off in the evidentiary.  

Third, starting your own practice with a no named Curriculm Vitae is a joke.  You need to be coming from somewhere and bringing people with you to make that a success.  If not, you end up being unemployed or the 'ambulance chaser' stereotype.  That is how most no-named liability firms get started and ended in the same month.

The stress of working at a big firm is the truth if you want to make partner fast.  I worked my butt off over the 1,900 billable hour requirement to make it ASAP.  If you want to be an associate for a long time, you are more than welcomed to work less.  If you take a reduced schedule you are only prolonging your agony in the trenches.  In the end, the hard work is worth it as you make bigger bucks faster and easier than before.  Taking a reduced schedule at a big law firm is better than working your butt off at a no-name.  You can at least put that on your CV.
Jan. 28, 2009, 9:32 p.m.
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Look people, I am a practicing attorney here in California.  i was bored during lunch today and stumbled on this chat.

First, as an "employed" attorney who came from a traditional law school, and a lowered tier one at that, I and others regularly snuff out opposing counsels who come from much "better" schools.  It is not the "school" that makes the attorney.  Instead, I've notice it's more based on other skills developed from you life experience.

Second, I would agree with "Carolina Law" (but only on one subject) in that it will be an uphill battle for on-line law students to obtain paid employment as attorneys, especially in California.  Employers have many, many prospects to choose from.  Consequently, the "non-traditional" on-line student will be disadvantaged.  But, they can still find work.  I know of one that just obtained a NG verdict against an attorney from an ABA school.  Again, success as an attorney depends on many variables.

Third, many attorneys prefer to start their own practice.  Working at a large law firm requires 'billed hours" that can translate into long hours.  Tell you the truth, working at a large law firm is not worth it.  The current starting salary at a large firm is $150K.  But guesss what, for the most part, they are working 70 plus hours a week.  Do the math . . . unless you really enjoy stress, it's not worth it.

Overall, school matters to find paid employement as an attorney.  But it really has no bearing on one's ability to practice.  That is more from personal experience.  Street savvy helps too.

P.S. - Carolina Law: you do sound very defensive and unprofessional.  You might want to tone it down a little.
Jan. 15, 2009, 7:57 a.m.
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As you can tell from the name, I graduated from a tier one law school.  I am licensed to practice in NC and NY, of which NY has the hardest bar exam.  In fact, NY has the most difficult exam in the country.  They test through more subjects and test state vs national law.  The Cal Bar just takes an extra day; it is tough but not tougher than NY.  Most lawyers who have taken both will tell you this as it has been polled.  

Your argument of Concord being considered first by the ABA is faulty.  The contention of the ABA for accreditation of distance learning programs is the 'interaction debate' and Concord lags behind even Northwestern Cal U in this regard.  Rather than just providing archived podcasts, Northwestern has gone a step beyond and provided interactive conferencing during classes.  The current stance of the ABA's Section on Legal Education and Bar Admissions sees distance learning as a good supplement to, but not a replacement for, classroom learning.  They do not believe that the learning techniques are good enough to "assure the public" that online only education is good enough.  Before Concord could ever hope to gain ABA recognition, their first battle would be to gain accreditation by CA's Committee of Bar Examiners. There is far more hope of online only JDs being accredited by this body than the ABA, but they still have major reservations about it and nowhere in the cards is it stated that it will happen soon.  The insufficient technology these schools employ just isn't adequate to the task of being interactive enough.  NCU's conferencing is nothing more than what you get in Yahoo Chat while Concord has nothing.  The next step is to join up with local cable providers to offer high-speed conferencing capabilities, but the overhead cost is too great for these profiteers to find it worth their time to partner up with every cable provider in CA, much less the whole country.  This was all laid out in the last issue of the Calbar Journal.  I am suprised that a CA attorney has not read it.  I guess you are too busy defending online schools that you, supposedly, have no affiliation with.    

If you think your argumentum ad personam attacks on me are convincing anyone that you are a competent attorney, I think you have another thing coming.  If you tried that in any court room in the country, you would be reprimanded.  I can just see you presenting oral arguments: 

"This case should be dismissed because opposing counsel is stupid, my bar exam was harder, and I worked my ass off even though my argument is solely based on unsubstantiated fabrication."
Jan. 14, 2009, 3:55 a.m.
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To Carolina Law:

  I am an attorney in Ca and can tell you first hand that the ABA "IS" right now in the process of changing their policies on law schools such as Concord. Over the past few years Concord has caught the attention of the ABA, HAS A MEMBER OF THE ABA SITTING AS A CHAIR MEMBER OF THE COLLEGE working on getting them ABA approved by integrating a really high speed technology program that meets the criteria for the ABA. As a matter of fact, they are and have posted huge write ups and articles about making Concord Law School the FIRST law school to EVER get an ABA accredation. Now, eveyone who is in law knows that the ABA is SLOW at getting there. For example, it took an ABA accredited "regular brick and mortar law school called Thomas Jefferson School of law 40 years to get approved and they had JUDGES that graduated from there. They literally had to go after the ABA for being Biased as well as prejudiced and they won their case :) I know that you might not have seen this because of  how much energy you spend running your mouth, but if you did as much research as you do bull #$%ting about what you don't know, you would have actually not posted the out dated mis information you have splattered in here.
Not only are you outdated, you look stupid. You should hang it up before you get burried in here by people who are actually here watching this progress. I am not a Concord student or graduate, I came from a regular ABA brick and mortar law school, however, Concord has instructors from Harvard, Princeton, Berkley and other IVY LEAGUE schools who are also helping to work on this ABA issue. Believe it or not, they are coming up to speed very very fast.

For California being one of the hardest BARs in the Nation to take, people who pass this BAR can do LAPS around you. 
PAYING FOR A NAME OF A COLLEGE DOES NOT MAKE YOU A GOOD LAWYER... HOW YOU WORK YOUR ASS OFF DOES,,,your posts reflect the kind of either student you are or attorney you are and I am sure it is less than good.

You...should think before you speak because now you look really stupid.
Dec. 25, 2008, 6:24 a.m.
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If it were in place as a consumer protection then they would require ABA accredited students to take it.  The baby bar is designed to keep incompetents from wasting their time.  That is why very few Concord students ever get to take the CA bar.  If 20% of ABA students end up failing the bar and not being required to take the baby bar, then explain why 75% of Concord students who passed the baby bar STILL can't pass the Cal Bar.  The only conclusion I can draw is, Concord failed to prepare her students.
Dec. 16, 2008, 11:04 p.m.
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The First Year Law Student's Exam (Baby Bar) is simply a consumer protection put in place by the Cal Bar. The protection, however, is for the Law Student, not the eventual consumer of legal services.  The purpose of the FYLSE exam is to identify students who will likely not be able to pass the regular Bar, therey allowing them to discontinue their law studies before wasting two more years of tuition.  Any first year JD student can take the exam, only those from non ABA or non Cal Bar accredited schools are required to take it.  However, plenty of law grads from ABA accredited schools end up not passing the Cal Bar (maybe as many as 20%).  I bet they now wished their school had REQUIRED them to the take the FYLSE (like Concord does),so they wouldn't have wasted two more years in law school only to find out they are unable to pass the Bar. The barrier to entry into the legal field should be the Bar Exam, not the name of your school.  If the barrier to entry is too low, then increase the rigor of the Bar Exam; don't use artificial criteria like ABA accredidation as a barrier to entry into the profession.
Dec. 8, 2008, 5:46 a.m.
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Do you think you will be hired with a Concord Law degree in a state that is crawling with lawyers from Stanford, UC Berkely, UCLA, USC, Loyola, Pepperdine?  Most Concord graduates don't even get to take the bar.  They failed the 'baby bar' so they aren't eligable to sit for the exam.  I have heard the excuse they did it because they just wanted to learn the law but not to practice it.  Well that is one expensive way to go about it.  Truth be told, they failed the 'baby bar' and got a taste of what a real test is.  Thank goodness CA put that in there to keep incompetents from wasting the board's time.
Dec. 5, 2008, 12:15 a.m.
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I found the instruction at Concord to be quite good as far as it went. By that I mean the curriculum focused mostly on teaching the law and not so much on teaching lawyering skills (although there was some of that too). Concord uses many of the same texts and curriculums as Bar accredited schools do, so if you do the work you will learn the law. You will have some gaps in your skills, but the graduates who do pass the bar and find attorney jobs (a select crowd to be sure) do say that those gaps are filled in quickly on the job. What Concord does not tell you up front (or at least not when I started 5-6 years ago) is what your odds of complete success are (which I define as "finding employment as an attorney"). The school has only been producing graduates for about 7 years so they have held off on publishing a complete set of statistics. From what I can tell though, of those that start at Concord only about 15-20% will get a JD degree and only about 30% of those degree earners will pass the Cal Bar (the pass rate for Concord grads who take the Bar is around 35%, but not all JD grads take the Bar - don't ask me why). My numbers are based on observations and anecdotes and not hard data but my ESTIMATE is that only 5-8% of those who start will pass the Cal Bar. Of those, maybe 15-20% will find jobs as attorneys. So that means less than one percent of those who enter Concord on day one will be working as attorneys 4-6 years later. I am a graduate of Concord and passed the Cal Bar so this is not a case of sour grapes (maybe squashed grapes, but not sour ones). It is difficult to secure an attorney job coming from a traditional law school, it is even harder to get one coming from a non traditional school like Concord. People have done it, but you need to ask yourself before starting, "am I in the top 1-2% of the class of people who would try this." Also, if you do not live in CA, or plan to move there, I would not try this program. Even if you can pass the Cal Bar, there are very few states that will allow you to take their Bar after having attended Concord (Wisconsin and Vermont may be exceptions, Washington may also allow it if you have practiced first in Cal or some such arrangement). So your employment prospect will be even dimmer if you are not living in Cal (yes, there are a few Concord grads who work as attorneys outside of California). As for the notion that you can practice in Federal Court pro hac vice in any state once you pass the Cal Bar, that is a stretch. While it may be technically true, the common practice is to be a member of the State Bar of the state in which the Federal Court you wish to practice in resides. To summarize, if you are thinking about trying this you need to be ready to work extremely hard, know that the odds are against you from day one, and be willing to move to California if you should defy those odds and pass the Bar. Then and only then do you get to look for work in a state with 200,000 attorneys.
Dec. 4, 2008, 7:30 p.m.
0 votes/
Carolina Law... I'll prepared to take the CA Bar.... Concord's System is specifically designed to train students to indeed pass the CA Bar. You sound like a hater!! Times are changing!!
Nov. 21, 2008, 10:40 a.m.
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Oh yeah, almost forgot to mention it costs a fortune to take the bar.  It would be a real shame if you first waste tens of thousands on Concord then waste thousands more trying to pass a bar you are ill prepared to take. 

Think first...
Nov. 21, 2008, 10:32 a.m.
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Concord graduates who have taken the CA bar are not allowed to sit for other state exams.  If you pass the CA bar you can petition for liscensure in a handful of states that have reciprocity but you must retain residency in CA for your liscence to be valid.  The process is absurd to be of any practical use for anyone.  If you want to practice law you are going to have to sacrifice, Concord has one of the highest fail rates in the nation.

Only 23% of first time test takers from Concord passed the CA bar.  The ABA average is 68-70%!!

www.//calbar.ca.gov/calbar/pdfs/admissions/Statistics/JULY2005STATS.pdf

Concord is a joke...
Nov. 21, 2008, 10:02 a.m.
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Bill said "The credits earned here WILL transfer ANYWHERE, You should not be in college, high school maybe, start slow aye."

They won't transfer to any ABA accredited school which is the only place you would transfer them.  It is a joke of a law school.  ABA is the standard for a reason.
Sept. 26, 2008, 6:43 a.m.
0 votes/
Joe, you have no idea what you're talking about, California WILL let a Concord students sit for the Bar Exam as this place IS CA BAR State accredited. You are a dope.

Second: To the original poster of this review (GRRR) making this statement: "Distance learning degrees are not yet recognized by higher learning accreditation authorities, their credits cannot be transferred, and their degree is not ABA recognized" 

WTF are you talking about, how did you even get into school? This school is actually MORE accredited than your local college. (read below) DOPE X 2

You too don't know WHAT your talking about AND YOU ARE A STUDENT THERE!! Dope number two.

Here is their accreditation info:
REGIONAL ACCREDITATION: YES
NATIONAL ACCREDITATION: YES
CALIFORNIA BAR ASSOCIATION ACCREDITED: YES

The credits earned here WILL transfer ANYWHERE, You should not be in college, high school maybe, start slow aye. 

Concord Law School Accreditation
As part of Kaplan University, Concord Law School is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA).* Concord is also accredited by the Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC)† and registered with the California Committee of Bar Examiners. 

**I can't speak for the delivery of the classes as I am not a student at Concord.
Aug. 2, 2008, 11:09 p.m.
0 votes/
Just move to California, its sunny, and the weather is nicer than most of the USA anyway. For me its perfect its full of illegal aliens who need an immigration atty, as well as people who get in trouble with the law all the time.
June 21, 2008, 10:41 p.m.
0 votes/
OK, first of all, before you comment, you should get your facts straight.  Concord graduates with a J.D. ARE allowed to sit for the California bar exam.  That is not true of MOST other states, but some students have successfully petitioned their state bars to be allowed to sit after passing the California bar (which is widely reputed to be the most difficult).  Concord continues to work on convincing the ABA that there should be a way to accredit an online law school, but faces the challenge of being the very first one.  In the meantime, Concord graduates are already practicing law in California and obtaining significant career benefits from the J.D. or E.J.D. in their own career fields that do not include the actual practice of law.
May 29, 2008, 6:17 a.m.
0 votes/
Unless you live in CA don't waste your time.  You can't even sit for the bar in the rest of the states.
April 26, 2008, 4 p.m.
0 votes/
I am thinking about attending Kaplan for the legal studies program and then I would go to concord for law school. After reading some of the reviews I am not sure what to do any advice
April 25, 2008, 9:24 p.m.
0 votes/
Not fake at all.  the future in education is here. prepare to make changes.  ABA will change mind in the future.
April 24, 2008, 7:56 a.m.
0 votes/
It's a fake law school that doesn't have ABA accreditation.  They won't even let you sit for the bar. lol

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