California Southern Law School

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

Re: California Southern Law School

Postby Rich Douglas » Sun May 16, 2010 3:36 pm

You can't claim law school (towards a JD) on your taxes. Ever. The IRS doesn't permit a deduction for education leading towards a new career--only that which further prepares one in one's current profession. Even if one took a JD to further one's current career, the IRS would disallow it. That's because the degree CAN lead to a new career--it is designed for that purpose. So....

Here's the irony: Take a Ph.D. because you want to move from accounting to teaching? Probably fine, as long as the Ph.D. is in accounting. Take a JD to improve your business career? Nope.

Funny, that.
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Re: California Southern Law School

Postby nosborne48 » Sun May 16, 2010 5:45 pm

"You can't claim law school (towards a JD) on your taxes."

Because the J.D. qualifies the student for a new profession, you mean? In my case, though, a LL.M. is viewed as education that preserves and improves my existing professional qualifications and DETC accreditation helps me to claim the deduction.
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Re: California Southern Law School

Postby Rich Douglas » Sun May 16, 2010 9:57 pm

nosborne48 wrote:"You can't claim law school (towards a JD) on your taxes."

Because the J.D. qualifies the student for a new profession, you mean? In my case, though, a LL.M. is viewed as education that preserves and improves my existing professional qualifications and DETC accreditation helps me to claim the deduction.


Exactly on both counts. JD, no. LL.M., yes. (Deductible, that is.)
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Re: California Southern Law School

Postby nosborne48 » Mon May 17, 2010 12:58 am

That tax business was one of the more compelling arguments Dean Boyd of Taft University made to me in justifying his reluctant decision to offer "non-Bar" J.D.s. The argument is that such a degree does not qualify the student for a new profession.

I still don't like the idea, though.
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Re: California Southern Law School

Postby Rich Douglas » Mon May 17, 2010 2:13 am

nosborne48 wrote:That tax business was one of the more compelling arguments Dean Boyd of Taft University made to me in justifying his reluctant decision to offer "non-Bar" J.D.s. The argument is that such a degree does not qualify the student for a new profession.

I still don't like the idea, though.


"Non-Bar" JDs have been offered since the 1970's by many of California's unaccredited schools. Even schools without Bar-qualifying JD programs did it. I don't know how Taft's is set up, but back in the day, schools would offer a 3-year non-qualifying program and a 4-year qualifying program. The first three years were identical, but the qualifying programs had a 4th year focused on California law (and on passing the Bar), IIRC.

I don't like the idea of awarding the same degree (JD) for a lesser curriculum.

Also, I wouldn't want to argue with the IRS on this one. I would think if they could show how a student could go from the non-qualifying program to the qualifying program with his/her credits intact, that would make the costs ineligible for deductions. Again, it's not the student's intent that matters, but whether or not the education itself is designed for a new career. And if students in the non-qualifying program could switch to the qualifying program, I would think that would be a problem at tax time.
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Re: California Southern Law School

Postby nosborne48 » Mon May 17, 2010 1:47 pm

It wouldn't be easy to transfer three years of non-Bar study into a four year Bar program (without careful preplanning) for three reasons:

-The Bar program requires the student to log a specific number of hours during each of four years whereas the non-Bar student proceeds at his own pace;

-The Bar program requires the student to pass the FYLEX after completing the first year to receive any credit for law study. Non Bar programs don't have this requirement; and

-The California Bar requires the Bar qualifying law student to register within 90 days of commencing law study.

Any student that planned and executed his non-Bar study in such a way as to make transferring a possibility would be demonstrating pretty clearly his intent to earn a Bar qualifying degree.

For myself, I would do at least the first year as a Bar student anyway, regardless of my eventual goals. If that first year went well, and I passed the FYLEX, the possibility of getting a fairly cheap law license would be worth the loss of the tax deduction. If it DIDN'T go well, losing one year's deduction wouldn't break the bank.
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Re: California Southern Law School

Postby Tark » Mon May 17, 2010 11:56 pm

I was going to post about the FYLEX stats, but realized I was confusing California Southern Law School with SCUPS/California Southern University. Never mind.
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Re: California Southern Law School

Postby Jonathan Whatley » Tue May 18, 2010 12:10 am

[nm, he caught himself. :) ]
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Re: California Southern Law School

Postby Dr.Anderson69 » Thu May 20, 2010 2:18 pm

Greetings, if a graduate can take the exam then there should be no problem with the school. SCUPS, had no accredidation but was state approved to grant degrees and produced well known people like Dr. John Grey, the author of men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. He earned his PhD. in psychology there and their degrees qualified graduates to be licensed. State approval is just as, if not more important than accredidation which as you know is not legally required but a choice.P.S. I've had a very long night, forgive any incorrect spelling!
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Re: California Southern Law School

Postby levicoff » Thu May 20, 2010 8:25 pm

Dr.Anderson69 wrote:Greetings, if a graduate can take the exam then there should be no problem with the school. SCUPS, had no accredidation but was state approved to grant degrees and produced well known people like Dr. John Grey, the author of men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. He earned his PhD. in psychology there and their degrees qualified graduates to be licensed. State approval is just as, if not more important than accredidation which as you know is not legally required but a choice.P.S. I've had a very long night, forgive any incorrect spelling!

I normally like to welcome new members to DD, especially if they have legitimate credentials. But my intuition tells me that you are a buollshit artist, especially in light of your other post.

And, for what it's worth, John Gray did not receive his Ph.D. from SCUPS - he got it from Columbia Pacific University. If you are going to presume to be an expert, sir, get your facts straight.
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Re: California Southern Law School

Postby nosborne48 » Wed May 26, 2010 3:55 pm

"Greetings, if a graduate can take the exam then there should be no problem with the school."

Well, no, this isn't really true. Unaccredited law schools in California are on an equal footing with studying law under the private supervision of a Judge or lawyer. The burden is on the student to show that he put in a certain number of hours for each of four years, studying law. There is no Bar imposed curriculum or oversight. So there is no standard governing the school upon which the student may rely to be assured of receiving an adequate legal education. This is the reason for requiring the First Year Law Student Examination which the vast majority of students in unaccredited schools fail.

Contrast this situation with the student at a CBE accredited California law school. In order to receive and maintain CBE accreditation, the school must demonstrate periodically that it meets certain standards regarding facilities, faculty, and financial stability to the satisfaction of an accrediting team. In return, regular students are exempt from the FYLEX and from maintaining study logs.

I don't have actual data but I suspect that the ratio of matriculants to bar passage is MUCH more favorable to the CBE school than to any unaccredtied school, distance or resident. The Bar pass rate for CBE schools is significantly better than that for unaccrediteed schools and that doen't take into account the truly dismal performance students at unaccredited schools on the FYLEX.

www.calbar.ca.gov/calbar/pdfs/admission ... -Stats.pdf

I note, though, that CalSouthern's students seem to do pretty well on the FYLEX but even for them 40% of their first year students fail.
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Re: California Southern Law School

Postby MVP » Sun Sep 05, 2010 8:50 pm

Yes, this school is legit, if it walks like a duck looks like a duck and quacks like a duck well it is a duck. The person telling you to be wary should check his fact about this school. Your the HR person for this company so pick the phone up and fax the school his release form that he or she signed and get the transcript.
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Re: California Southern Law School

Postby nosborne48 » Mon Sep 06, 2010 9:40 pm

Gosh, MVP, I am not nearly as comfortable with your statement as you seem to be. Let me say it again; the California Bar is required by statute to allow persons who study law outside of an accredited law school to take the California Bar exam. There is absolutely NO guarantee of the quality of the legal education such a person might receive in a totally unaccredited institution. That's why the FYLEX exists and that's why the student must prove up his total study hours. Would you say that anyone who studied in my offices for four years and managed to pass the FYLEX within three attempts had therefore received a quality legal education? I wouldn't. The only external measure of competence comes after the first year; absent passing the general Bar Exam, there is NO external validation of the quality of three quarters of the training received from study in a law office, Judge's chambers, or unaccredited law school.
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Re: California Southern Law School

Postby MVP » Tue Sep 07, 2010 3:40 am

I did not make the law but California did so that seems to be good enough for them and the people of the state. Now I would hope that you would have enough confidence in your self that if you did train a person in your office they would be ready to take the exam.
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Re: California Southern Law School

Postby Jimmy » Tue Sep 07, 2010 2:21 pm

MVP wrote:I did not make the law but California did so that seems to be good enough for them and the people of the state. Now I would hope that you would have enough confidence in your self that if you did train a person in your office they would be ready to take the exam.


The ultimate burden of responsibility for learning is on the student, not the instructor.
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