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Found: $1,500 (TOTAL) At-own-pace Law School
#1
I know this is tangential to the normal "Big 3" discussions here, but this is in keeping with the "insanely low prices if you can put in the work" approach. This is a long post, I apologize, but I wanted to try and capture what I do know (not a whole lot, but enough) about these schools.

This is not an advertisement, just passing this fascinating find along.

Bottom line: I think I've found the "CLEP Law School." Smile 15 classes, $100/class, at your own pace, using top-notch texts. You will NOT practice law though unless you find a loophole, which people here love to find. Smile

So I've been looking around at all these "online law schools" and a few things stand out. First, none of them are accredited by the American Bar Association, which essentially guarantees you won't actually practice law. The one exception is California, which most of these online JD degrees are geared towards and which are state-accredited by the California state bar. However, California requires all state-accredited school students to take the First Year Law Students Exam at the end of year one. Failure to pass the exam means you are thrown out of the JD program. Here's a good overview of the California approach & different types of law school.

That seems like a lot to go through for someone who just wants to learn the law but doesn't plan to practice. Of course, if you just want to learn the law you can get a master's in legal studies in two years. American Military University has them for under $12,000.

However, there is a third option, that grants a full Juris Doctor degree, but by design does not prepare you for any bar exam, and is not accredited, at all. That said, there are some cases where a degree like this can make sense. Think law enforcement, government work, advanced contract knowledge, etc.

It's at Mid-Atlantic School of Law. Horrible website, but some decent reviews, including this one by a current student who works at an attorney's office. The school is apparently valid enough for him to already have his "third-year practice certificate" in the state of Virginia, meaning he can represent in court as long as there is a licensed attorney there for supervision. Plus, at least in Virginia you can get this cheap degree, then do 26 hours in a "real" law school (roughly one year of classes), and sit for the bar. What a loophole.

Tuition is paid in arrears. (seriously) You take 15 "modules" (classes) -- 12 core and 3 electives -- and then you get a JD degree. And classes are at your own pace. So apparently you enroll in the course, study, take the test, then pay and get credit and move on. This sounds very similar to places like WGU, NCU, etc.

The class textbooks are Gilbert's Outlines, available for about $35 each brand new at Amazon. "Outlines" are used by "real" law students to study for the bar exam. So basically you would be reading what law students read to pass the bar. Kind of like reading much bigger REA books. The book on property has stellar reviews on Amazon as it is essentially the study guide written by the author of the property law book used in 90% of law schools. The others are presumably also high quality, since they are designed to help pass the bar exam.

If you want to practice law quickly the student manual itself advises at the beginning that you should look at a traditional B&M route, or alternately go through an online school designed to get you through the California bar. However, if you want to learn the law for personal or professional enhancement (without actually practicing law directly) then this may well be a useful route. Here is an excellent discussion (on "the other board") about the pros and cons of a non-bar JD. Many people are against it, but there can be some cases where it makes sense.

Besides, $1,500 for a law degree at your own pace is rather a ridiculous deal for the people around here.
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Complete: TESU BA Computer Science
2011-2013 completed all BSBA CIS requirements except 4 gen eds.
2013 switched major to CS, then took a couple years off suddenly.
2015-2017 finished the CS.

CCAF: AAS Comp Sci
CLEP (10): A&I Lit, College Composition Modular, College Math, Financial Accounting, Marketing, Management, Microecon, Sociology, Psychology, Info Systems
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ALEKS (3): College Algebra, Trig, Stats
UMUC (3): Comparative programming languages, Signal & Image Processing, Analysis of Algorithms
TESU (11): English Comp, Business Law, Macroecon, Managerial Accounting, Strategic Mgmt (BSBA Capstone), C++, Data Structures, Calc I/II, Discrete Math, BA Capstone

Warning: BA Capstone is a thesis, mine was 72 pages about a cryptography topic

Wife pursuing Public Admin cert via CSU.
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#2
Mid-Atlantic School of Law
BSBA CIS from TESC, BA Natural Science/Math from TESC
MBA Applied Computer Science from NCU
Enrolled at NCU in the PhD Applied Computer Science
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#3
I love posts like this... thank you! I think it would be a really cool thing to do. I'm too busy with my MBA work to even consider it right now, but it sounds like an inexpensive hobby. LOL.. I guess that's the way I view it because it wouldn't really benefit my career, but I could see it being interesting and fun. And, after all, it couldn't hurt to have it on the resume.

There are so many lawyers out there that many do not ever end up practicing law, they just use the J.D. on their resume to help land a good job in another field. A $1500 degree makes a lot more sense than one that costs ten times that if you don't end up being a practicing attorney!
Regis University, ITESO, Global MBA with a focus in Emerging Markets 4.0 GPA, Dual-university degree (Spanish/English) 
COSC BS, Business Admin

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#4
ryoder Wrote:Mid-Atlantic School of Law

I think Ryoder's link summed it up.
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#5
burbuja0512 Wrote:There are so many lawyers out there that many do not ever end up practicing law, they just use the J.D. on their resume to help land a good job in another field. A $1500 degree makes a lot more sense than one that costs ten times that if you don't end up being a practicing attorney!

This is exactly how I intended the post to be seen. As a relatively cheap "hobby" degree that could look good on a resume. Not as a way to practice law, unless of course you went through a loophole as stated in the links.

Speaking of, I'm not saying they are a great school, but if they are so bad then why did one of the links show an individual granted a certificate to practice law before courts in Virginia? It's not because he was apprenticed to a lawyer, because any law student would also need to be under a lawyer's supervision for that practice. He's also going to do 26 hours (roughly one year's worth) at a local ABA law school to qualify to sit the bar, and he's in. This is exactly the kind of "loophole seeking" I see a lot of around here.

Also, again, not saying schools like this are great, but here's a guy who went through a similar junky "British-American School of Law" JD program (school doesn't even exist anymore apparently) and was granted approval to plead in administrative law before the Social Security and Department of Labor special courts.

So there are certain circumstances in which it can be beneficial. Potentially. At certain phases of the moon. Caveat emptor etc.

Besides, if you want to actually practice there's also NWCU at $237/month for four years, with a bar exam at the end. It's DL and still a circuitous route to practicing anywhere other than California, but at least it's a route traveled by "trailblazers" similar to those in this forum.

Think of it as a $1,500 JD in the same style as the FEMA AAS people like. What is it good for? Extra resume fluff. Whoop-dee to some, good to others.
Community-Supported Wiki(link approved by forum admin)

Complete: TESU BA Computer Science
2011-2013 completed all BSBA CIS requirements except 4 gen eds.
2013 switched major to CS, then took a couple years off suddenly.
2015-2017 finished the CS.

CCAF: AAS Comp Sci
CLEP (10): A&I Lit, College Composition Modular, College Math, Financial Accounting, Marketing, Management, Microecon, Sociology, Psychology, Info Systems
DSST (4): Public Speaking, Business Ethics, Finance, MIS

ALEKS (3): College Algebra, Trig, Stats
UMUC (3): Comparative programming languages, Signal & Image Processing, Analysis of Algorithms
TESU (11): English Comp, Business Law, Macroecon, Managerial Accounting, Strategic Mgmt (BSBA Capstone), C++, Data Structures, Calc I/II, Discrete Math, BA Capstone

Warning: BA Capstone is a thesis, mine was 72 pages about a cryptography topic

Wife pursuing Public Admin cert via CSU.
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#6
beargins Wrote:I think Ryoder's link summed it up.

Quoting from that link:

Quote:So, what's the BOTTOM LINE on Mid Atlantic School of Law, given what I said in my original post.....I have no intention of taking the bar? I'm 63 years old and already have a BA and MPA from University of Michigan (not on line, I actually attended). So, this is purely to keep my mind occuppied and to "learn" the law which is something I'm very interested in. Also, the books they use (besides the entire program being very low priced) are the Gilbert Law Summaries which are outlines of the "important" material extracted from those huge hard bound EXPENSIVE law books, you know, like all college books....half of the book could be thrown away. They always take the long way around saying what needs to be said. The Gilbert series gets right to the point. In fact, I enjoy reading them. I'm going to guess that when I complete this program, I will know as much as any one who recently graduated from a major university before he/she has any experience. That's really what being a lawyer is all about. You really aren't a good one until you've been around the block a few times. Yes, there is some benefit to sitting in class and having discussions and listening to a bright professor but then there are those classes where the teacher /professor is so boring you don't learn a thing anyway. I think the abbreviated books are a great thing. I've just completed the first course on Legal Research, Writing and Analysis and I can sit down now and write a brief.

This guy sounds a lot like someone who would want to CLEP out of a degree at his own pace to save time and money and avoid all the BS. Just sayin'.
Community-Supported Wiki(link approved by forum admin)

Complete: TESU BA Computer Science
2011-2013 completed all BSBA CIS requirements except 4 gen eds.
2013 switched major to CS, then took a couple years off suddenly.
2015-2017 finished the CS.

CCAF: AAS Comp Sci
CLEP (10): A&I Lit, College Composition Modular, College Math, Financial Accounting, Marketing, Management, Microecon, Sociology, Psychology, Info Systems
DSST (4): Public Speaking, Business Ethics, Finance, MIS

ALEKS (3): College Algebra, Trig, Stats
UMUC (3): Comparative programming languages, Signal & Image Processing, Analysis of Algorithms
TESU (11): English Comp, Business Law, Macroecon, Managerial Accounting, Strategic Mgmt (BSBA Capstone), C++, Data Structures, Calc I/II, Discrete Math, BA Capstone

Warning: BA Capstone is a thesis, mine was 72 pages about a cryptography topic

Wife pursuing Public Admin cert via CSU.
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#7
Now that's fascinating. Very nice find, Dcan!
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#8
Its too bad a real school doesn't offer a MS in legal studies that is based on these Gilbert law books and that allows a student to transfer into a JD program and sit for the bar after one year.
BSBA CIS from TESC, BA Natural Science/Math from TESC
MBA Applied Computer Science from NCU
Enrolled at NCU in the PhD Applied Computer Science
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#9
Attorneys come out of most law schools reading about cases. Nice, neat, appealed cases. None of the down and dirty stuff that happens in the courtroom is seen. Some of them go into the silk socks (is that the phrase?) law firms, and then onto benches. They never really know what happens in a courtroom. Heck, they make it to the Supreme Court. How are these folks any better than folks who have read books to learn the law? Simply, they aren't.
TESU BSBA - GM, September 2015

"Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway." -- Earl Nightingale, radio personality and motivational speaker
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#10
LaterBloomer Wrote:Attorneys come out of most law schools reading about cases. Nice, neat, appealed cases. None of the down and dirty stuff that happens in the courtroom is seen. Some of them go into the silk socks (is that the phrase?) law firms, and then onto benches. They never really know what happens in a courtroom. Heck, they make it to the Supreme Court. How are these folks any better than folks who have read books to learn the law? Simply, they aren't.

In fairness I've read two sides to this. One is your statement, the other is that law school involves a lot of reading of actual cases and learning to extract legal rules from the cases rather than just reading things like Gilbert's. This side says that you can't learn "the law" by reading outlines and overviews, that you have to actually read cases and understand "how a lawyer thinks" in order to "get it."

I tend to agree with that view, but I don't think it's absolute. Then again, I'm from the outside looking in. I'm taking a simple business law course right now but I find it absolutely fascinating. I've read court cases on my own and used some of Emanuel's outlines as support for some of my arguments, and given my streak of 100s on assignments I guess I'm getting something right. I think there is a lot of similarity between how a programmer thinks and how a lawyer thinks. Forgive the odd analogy, but for example, people have rights like objects have metadata -- they are attached and inherent, but can be transmitted to other people (objects) who then attain that right. Plus there is a lot of analysis and research that really starts to look like design or open-ended debugging. I think there's a lot of similarity in cognitive requirements between the two. I also think law appeals to the programming mind because it is very geeky and while it is open to a lot of interpretation there are also a lot of rules, so a typical problem requires analysis to determine what the issue is and then further analysis to figure out which rules to apply and how to apply them. Sounds like figuring out which library API to use and how to use it, complete with all the permutations and cascading effects and state changes caused by both.

I also find it interesting that somehow the ABA having a monopoly on lawyer education is considered OK, but other schools having a monopoly on the education process for other fields is (rightly) seen as a Bad Thing. Again, I'm not saying that a place like Mid-Atlantic is great -- they may be very bad, actually. If you want to "practice law" then you are better off going through something like NWCU -- at under $15K it is a steal, provided you pass the mandatory First Year Law Student Exam. With that you may at least be able to practice limited admin law with some of the special federal courts like tax, labor, etc. even if not generally admitted to a state bar -- though there are paths to state bar acceptance for those as well. But for "the rest of us" something like Mid-Atlantic may be worthwhile if for no other reason than to gain a more thorough understanding of "the rules." And let's face it, for 99.999% of us we don't need to read case law for our daily lives but rather just need to know "what the rules really are." Something like this could provide that.

Finally, regarding the assertions that the founder was a tax evader and served in prison: Last night on another board I saw a lot of back-tracking from that, given that there are/were apparently three people from the same area with the same name, one of whom is apparently a fully-licensed lawyer in good standing.
Community-Supported Wiki(link approved by forum admin)

Complete: TESU BA Computer Science
2011-2013 completed all BSBA CIS requirements except 4 gen eds.
2013 switched major to CS, then took a couple years off suddenly.
2015-2017 finished the CS.

CCAF: AAS Comp Sci
CLEP (10): A&I Lit, College Composition Modular, College Math, Financial Accounting, Marketing, Management, Microecon, Sociology, Psychology, Info Systems
DSST (4): Public Speaking, Business Ethics, Finance, MIS

ALEKS (3): College Algebra, Trig, Stats
UMUC (3): Comparative programming languages, Signal & Image Processing, Analysis of Algorithms
TESU (11): English Comp, Business Law, Macroecon, Managerial Accounting, Strategic Mgmt (BSBA Capstone), C++, Data Structures, Calc I/II, Discrete Math, BA Capstone

Warning: BA Capstone is a thesis, mine was 72 pages about a cryptography topic

Wife pursuing Public Admin cert via CSU.
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