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  • Law School

    Hi,
    Anyone out there presently in or recently finish law school while working as a fulltime cop? I want to attend the Southern New Engalnd School of Law in Dartmouth, MA next fall and was wondering what shift, and also what work/study habits, worked out best without ruining your home life.
    Thanks,
    Piperc75

  • #2
    Keep in mind that SNESL is not ABA-accredited, which means you won't be able to take the bar exam in most states.

    I work with a few guys who have law degrees. They all worked either days or midnights, and went to school in the evening.
    Talk sense to a fool, and he will call you foolish - Euripides

    Comment


    • #3
      WNEC in Springfield is ABA acredited.

      If you go to that school, beware. Its VERY liberal, as in "People in prison are really victims of society and the police. They are the true criminals." (Gag)

      Just a warning, take if for what its worth. The school wasn't bad otherwise, and S&W was right nearby, so I got to shoot quite a bit.
      Last edited by Mitchell_in_CT; 09-30-2005, 12:32 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        I know about the school's ABA accreditation, but it is only 30 minutes from my house and it is all I can afford. I still have about 18 years to go before I can think about retiring to test out of state. Hopefully by then they will have squared away their accreditation by then.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Piperc75
          I know about the school's ABA accreditation, but it is only 30 minutes from my house and it is all I can afford. I still have about 18 years to go before I can think about retiring to test out of state. Hopefully by then they will have squared away their accreditation by then.
          You're going to attend a school that does not have ABA accreditation and hope that within 18 years they gain accreditation and that it will retroactively apply to the degree you earned so that after you retire you can sit for the bar exam?

          Comment


          • #6
            College

            Originally posted by Piperc75
            I know about the school's ABA accreditation, but it is only 30 minutes from my house and it is all I can afford. I still have about 18 years to go before I can think about retiring to test out of state. Hopefully by then they will have squared away their accreditation by then.
            Talk about gambling with your future. Try and find another school even if you have to drive a bit farther to do it. You absolutley don't want to waste all that time and money if no one will recogonize that school's accredidation.

            Another way of paying for school is to join the miltary part time. They have pretty decent College assistance programs.

            I'm finishing my BA now in a private school and it's not cheap, $1,600 a class. Law School is even more, 30k a year, but I can retire in 2010 so I'm getting it done now.

            Comment


            • #7
              Law School

              Prior to my retirement from the Alabama Dept of Public Safety, both my Division Chief, and a Sergeant were admitted to the Alabama Bar. Both attended a law school that as yet is not accredited. As long as the school you attend prepares you to sit for the bar exam in your state, you should be okay. Of course, you would be limited to the practice of law in that state only, and probably could not take the bar exam in another state.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by PhilipCal
                Prior to my retirement from the Alabama Dept of Public Safety, both my Division Chief, and a Sergeant were admitted to the Alabama Bar. Both attended a law school that as yet is not accredited. As long as the school you attend prepares you to sit for the bar exam in your state, you should be okay. Of course, you would be limited to the practice of law in that state only, and probably could not take the bar exam in another state.
                If you attend SNEL you can take the bar in cetain other states immediately or after a period of time. Mass School of Law has the list on their web site. The ABA accreditation allows you to take the bar in all 50 states right away. SNEL and Mass School of Law are both non ABA schools in MA.

                I am told the best part time law schools in MA are New England School of Law and Suffolk University. I was told by my lawyer sometime ago that NESL is the best if you actually want to practice law and I am also told that NESL has the highest Bar pass rate for people who take the Mass bar (including Harvard!!!). I cannot back that up though with stats though.
                Semper Fi

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                • #9
                  I apologize for the late posing on this topic but I rarely come to this site anymore.

                  I attended law school while working full time as a police officer. I worked the graveyard shift and attended law school part-time in the evening for four years. I passed the bar exam on my first try and was admitted to the bar association. I continue to work as a full-time police officer. I am not practicing law.

                  I suggest that you carefully consider why you want to obtain a law degree before you choose a law school. After that, research different law schools and think carefully abouth whether a particular law school is likely to help you achieve your goals.

                  In very general terms, there are three different types of law schools: those approved by the American Bar Association, those approved by state bar associations, and those that are not approved by anybody.

                  Some states will only allow graduates of ABA approved law schools to sit for their bar exam. Other states will allow graduates of ABA approved schools and locally approved schools to sit for the bar exam. California is perhaps the only state in the union that allows graduates of non-approved schools to take the bar exam. (Of course, California also allows people who have served certain types of internships to take the bar exam without ever attending a law school.)

                  Where you plan to practice law should help determine which type of law school that you plan to attend. If you are likely to move around the country, then you should only attend an ABA approved law school. If you are going to use a law degree to pad your resume and will never practice law, then this isn't much of an issue. If you will practice in only one specific state, then make certain that state allows graduates of a specific school to take the state bar exam.

                  You should also look at bar passage rates. Graduates of certain schools (such as Harvard) tend to have very high bar passage rates. Non-ABA approved schools tend to have much lower bar passage rates. If you are going to practice law, plan to attend only those schools that have high bar passsage rates.

                  You should consider what type of law that you would like to pursue. Some law schools have strong programs in certain types of law (eg. sports law). If you plan to specialize in a particular field, then pick a school that has a strong reputation for that type of law.

                  You should consider the ranking that a particular law school has received from various different groups. For example, Harvard is often rated number one in the U.S. Law firms and individual attorneys tend to be very status conscious. In converstations between attorneys, "What law school did you attend?", is typically the first or second question asked. Certain firms will only hire graduates of top ranked law schools. Some law firms will hire graduates of a lower ranked schools. Almost all employers of lawyers would rather hire a graduate of a high ranking school.

                  Finally, you should consider cost. ABA approved law schools tend to be more expensive than non-ABA schools. High ranking law schools like Harvard tend to be among the most expensive. If you plan to use your law degree for the sole purpose of enhancing your promotability on a police department, then go for a cheap law school. If you intend to practice law, then go with the best law school that you can possibly afford.

                  Good luck.
                  Last edited by Underdog; 10-16-2005, 04:47 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Piperc75,

                    I was relatively young when I had my first surgery. The outlook for my remaining a cop was bleak, and it got a whole more so after my second surgery. There are a few lawyers in my family, and one relative offered to pay half my tuition if I went to law school. There are lots of law schools in So Cal, and more than a few are ABA accredited. I had a really good undergrad GPA, so I think I could of enrolled in one of them. But then I started thinking.

                    The CJS is nothing but a breeding ground for stress. Of the lawyers to whom I am related and others that I know socially, they share one commonality: a near hatred for other lawyers. Almost all are burned out on the CJS. After much introspection and closely examining facts, I decided to take a credential and teach high school. So far, I have not regretted it. Of all the cops I know who have gotten law degrees, none are practicing. Two have not been admitted to the bar. The deal is they make as much money as cops as attorneys make working for the county.

                    In CA, entry into teaching is tightly regulated. Even with a law degree, one would probably have difficulty demonstrating subject matter competency. The point is that cops who have gotten a law degree but do not practice severely limit their employment options outside of law enforcement. And I am not sure of the marketability of a non-practicing attorney to law enforcement, especially one not admitted to the bar. Therefore, if you are thinking in terms of employment outside of law enforcement, examine all options before going to law school. And I just couldn't imagine leaving one intensely stressful career for another. In closing, just an account of personal observation: Of those that rise through the ranks of law enforcement, almost all have grad degrees, mostly MBA's and MPA's.


                    Good luck,

                    JW

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Josey Wales
                      Piperc75,

                      I was relatively young when I had my first surgery. The outlook for my remaining a cop was bleak, and it got a whole more so after my second surgery. There are a few lawyers in my family, and one relative offered to pay half my tuition if I went to law school. There are lots of law schools in So Cal, and more than a few are ABA accredited. I had a really good undergrad GPA, so I think I could of enrolled in one of them. But then I started thinking.

                      The CJS is nothing but a breeding ground for stress. Of the lawyers to whom I am related and others that I know socially, they share one commonality: a near hatred for other lawyers. Almost all are burned out on the CJS. After much introspection and closely examining facts, I decided to take a credential and teach high school. So far, I have not regretted it. Of all the cops I know who have gotten law degrees, none are practicing. Two have not been admitted to the bar. The deal is they make as much money as cops as attorneys make working for the county.

                      In CA, entry into teaching is tightly regulated. Even with a law degree, one would probably have difficulty demonstrating subject matter competency. The point is that cops who have gotten a law degree but do not practice severely limit their employment options outside of law enforcement. And I am not sure of the marketability of a non-practicing attorney to law enforcement, especially one not admitted to the bar. Therefore, if you are thinking in terms of employment outside of law enforcement, examine all options before going to law school. And I just couldn't imagine leaving one intensely stressful career for another. In closing, just an account of personal observation: Of those that rise through the ranks of law enforcement, almost all have grad degrees, mostly MBA's and MPA's.


                      Good luck,

                      JW
                      You could try and specialized in a certain field of law not associated with CJ such as Real Estate law ect.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Avoid Stress with real estate??

                        No, its a different kind of stress.

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                        • #13
                          Good posting Underdog and Josey Wales. I have been weighing my options of either a JD or MPA for some time now.

                          K9

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by mikemac64
                            I am also told that NESL has the highest Bar pass rate for people who take the Mass bar (including Harvard!!!). I cannot back that up though with stats though.
                            NESL does have a very impressive bar pass rate (in the 90%+ range), but I don't think they beat Harvard. IIRC, MSL and SNESL have pretty dismal rates, somewhere in the 60% range.

                            Many people who go to law school don't even take the bar exam, with MA Governor Mitt Romney (Harvard Law 1975) being an example.
                            Talk sense to a fool, and he will call you foolish - Euripides

                            Comment

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