California Southern Law School

Discussions on the value or merit of unaccredited programs and institutions.

Re: California Southern Law School

Postby nosborne48 » Tue Sep 07, 2010 2:43 pm

No, MVP, the problem is that California is now failing to regulate schools in any meaningful way. There is a registration requirement for unaccredited law schools, to be sure, but the State Bar really doesn't have much to say about the quality of the education, unlike the situation with its accredited law schools. It isn't that the government has evaluated this school and given it some sort of blessing; it's that the government has abdicated its responsibility to assure that this school meets minimum standards. That's why the burden is on the student to demonstrate that he received an adequate legal education. A degree from an unaccredited law school can't be taken at face value. That's what we're trying to say here.

And remaining unaccredited is itself a red flag for a resident or distance law school because some form of accreditation is reasonably available to both groups. My current school, Taft Law, is not eligible for CalBar or ABA accreditation but it is eligible for, and obtained, DETC accreditation. Why does Cal Southern remain stubbornly in the "unaccredited" column?

And, no, I am not in any way competent enough to teach all areas of the law. No single lawyer is or could be.
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Re: California Southern Law School

Postby ESQ2B » Wed Sep 08, 2010 8:53 pm

My understanding about the non-accreditation for California Southern (The Riverside Campus) is that the Dean wanted to keep it affordable and also refused to have a law library on the campus. The ABA requires a law library on the premises and they have one of the largest law libraries in Riverside a few miles down the street next to the court house. I am sure there are other reasons but I think that you can best look at this school in this way;
1. Look at the teachers and their credentials. They regularly have DA's, and successful private practice attorneys teaching the classes.
2. Look at the students that have graduated. The list is very impressive. The school is very well known in Riverside, but the DA for San Bernardino is also a graduate.
3. How long the school has been around. This school is not a fly-by-night school. It has been in this community since 1971 and the Dean is top notch as a judge, mediator, and getting students the best education they can,

The FYLEX really does weed out quite a few people that really should not be going to law school and I think that their bar pass rate is in line with many schools out there.
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Re: California Southern Law School

Postby nosborne48 » Wed Sep 08, 2010 10:44 pm

Yes, the FYLEX does weed out a lot of people but not until after they've invested a few thousand dollars and substantial time. The function of the LSAT is to weed them out before they incur these costs. Unaccredited law schools, including California Southern, choose not to require this test even though it's a pretty solid predictor of law school success. CalBar accredited schools must require it in order to avoid financially exploiting students.

As to the library, well, yes, the ABA has gold-plated library requirements that I think are nothing short of absurd. But CalBar's requirements are not at all excessive. A law school's library needs to be convenient, not only for students but also for professors. I don't necessarily agree that access to the local County law library might not, under certain circumstances, be good enough but I also don't think that the CalBar requirement is so extreme or expensive as to amount to an excuse for not seeking accreditation. See them here: http://admissions.calbar.ca.gov/LinkCli ... tabid=2192

Mostly, though, I think that a school of any sort owes it to its students to seek whatever accreditation is reasonably available to it. Taking California Southern's claims at face value, there's really not much more that the school would need to do for CalBar accreditation and being accredited would confer substantial benefits upon its students. That the school does not do so makes me suspicious.
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Re: California Southern Law School

Postby WendellT » Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:51 am

I would have no worries about someone who graduated from this law school. From time to time, I have thought about attending this school. For this reason, I thoroughly checked out all the names given on the school's website as past graduates. Many of the past graduates have been accepted as lawyer in either prosecutor's offices and public defender's offices. Some have actually become California Judges. That alone should tell you all you need to know.
I live in Riverside and have followed Virginia Blumenthal's career. Go to Google news and enter her name. She is a graduate of the school. Another graduate is Mary Ellen Daniels and she served as President of the Riverside County Bar Association. There is also Michael Scafiddi who served as head of the San Bernardino County Bar Association.
Finally just go to Wikipedia; look up California Southern Law School and go to noted people. I hope this helped.

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Re: California Southern Law School

Postby nosborne48 » Thu Mar 03, 2011 2:47 pm

As a potential California state, local or private firm law employer, you might have "no worries" about hiring a CS Law graduate because the lawyer you might hire has a law license.

My point is that the potental law student should see things very differently. The chances of getting to the point of taking the Bar exam, let alone passing it, are significantly lower for students in unaccredited schools than for students in CBE schools. When you do this comparison don't forget that CBE students generally are exempt from the Baby Bar; in essence, they all "pass" it. CS Law students don't.
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Re: California Southern Law School

Postby davidbilly » Fri Oct 10, 2014 6:25 am

I found that law school unaccredited in the list here
Code: Select all
http://www.bizjournals.com/sacramento/news/2012/10/03/calif-law-school-bar-pass-rates.html
stating here
Graduates of California’s best-known — and most selective — law schools generally have the highest bar exam pass rates. But there are exceptions.

Oak Brook College of Law & Government Policy, for example, ranked No. 18 out of more than 50 law schools in the state, according to statistics compiled by the State Bar of California. The unaccredited Fresno-based law school offers correspondence courses with a Christian focus.
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Re: California Southern Law School

Postby nosborne48 » Sat Oct 11, 2014 12:20 am

Okay, so, why resurrect an ancient thread? My opinions about California law schools have changed but not that much.
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Re: California Southern Law School

Postby Roald » Tue Oct 14, 2014 5:41 am

Most unaccredited law schools have such small numbers of graduates sitting for the bar that I'm not sure you can base any conclusions (good or bad) on the data. For example, if a school has two first time takers and one passes they can claim a 50% pass rate. If they also have one repeat taker pass, they can claim a 67% pass rate.
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Re: California Southern Law School

Postby nosborne48 » Tue Oct 14, 2014 12:56 pm

I admit, though, that Oak Brook seems to be a special case. The school has a sort-of residency requirement. Students must attend short sessions in person from time to time and must also subscribe to a very fundamentalist form of Christian dogma. I suppose there is some self selection going on? But the school is remarkably successful, is very cheap even for a correspondence institution, and seems to be fulfilling its founders' intentions.
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Re: California Southern Law School

Postby Tark » Thu Oct 16, 2014 6:03 am

it's not simply a matter of "self selection". The school itself is selective, with actual admissions requirements. For example, Oak Brook "strongly advises" applicants to take the LSAT, because "is valuable to the applicant and the school in determining aptitude for the study of law." I doubt that any other unaccredited CA law school urges applicants to take the LSAT -- on the contrary, other unaccredited law schools commonly use "no LSAT required" as a selling point. Oak Brook also requires more in the way of recommendations (including one from a pastor) and writing samples (including one about faith) than other law schools.

The difference is that Oak Brook -- unlike most or all of the other unaccredited CA law schools -- is not-for-profit. They aren't in it for the money -- they are in it to create attorneys who will share their worldview (and influence the legal system accordingly).

So they have no incentive to accept everybody who applies. They aren't going to accept you, unless they are convinced that (1) you share their worldview, and (2) you have the ability to earn a JD and pass the bar exam. If you fall short in either respect, they would be wasting their resources on you. So they genuinely are selective, while other unaccredited law schools typically are not.
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Re: California Southern Law School

Postby nosborne48 » Wed Oct 22, 2014 12:53 am

I don't doubt you, tark, and it seems that Oak Brook is yet another argument against the ABA monopoly.
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