Become a Lawyer Online
Is the ABA acting in the best interest of their members? Yes! How many lawyers can one country accommodate? Talk to the many disappointed, mainstream JD graduates.
They work for peanuts, if they can even get a job.
The high cost of a law degree coupled with the paltry number of available paying positions is the new, flinty reality.
To be fair, one of the reasons the ABA disapproves online law schools is because of their abysmal graduation rates. The statistics do not lie and the statistics are not pretty.
But, if the ABA would get out of the way - anyone could become a lawyer online. So why won't the ABA recognize online law degrees?
Money? Power? Protection?
I will leave that for you to decide.
If you are trying to become a lawyer through an online law school - you should know up front that many of their students drop out or simply can't pass muster.
If you aren't allowed to take the bar, and you can't pass anyway... let's just say very, very few online law school graduates ever manage to get a license.
That doesn't mean you won't be able to pass the bar or get a license. It just means a lot of candidates get scammed into thinking they can. And the ABA, God bless 'em, is out there protecting all of us dumb folks who think we have a shot.
The ABA may have cut online schools out of the legal education pie; but wait!... a determined person can still fight the system and end up with a real, bonafide attorney's license. You just have to know the loopholes and where those loopholes can be found. heh
Did I just use the word loopholes?
The Loopholes to Becoming a Lawyer Online
Your end goal is to take a Bar Exam. Remember that. It's not to get accepted at a law school, it's not to pass the LSAT. The one thing you must do, the one goal you must reach, without fail, is the successful passing of a Bar Exam.
That is how you get a license. (Unless you graduate from an ABA approved school.)
No bar exam. No license. This is the poor man's reality.
So, keeping that in mind, and only that in mind, let us explore ways in which you might get to that holy grail of legal knighthood, The Bar Exam.
The most common (and most expensive) route to the bar exam is, of course, a nice, traditional, expensive, ABA approved law school. But we already know that's never going to work for you.
You've got family responsibilities, you've got little or no money, you live in the outer boonies of Boonietownville or your grades are middling to horrible. Whatever is keeping you out of the hallowed halls of the upper crusted edu-system, let's not get our knickers twisted... it's not the end of the line.
There are still plenty of options. The first thing to understand is that every state has its own system for suckering in bar exam applicants.
Some states (ok, the truth is, most states) only allow ABA approved law school graduates to take the bar.
Some states even give these Silver School graduates an automatic pass on the exam and grant licensing forthwith upon graduation.
Let's call these states, positively medieval states and go along with our business.
It's the other states we're interested in so let's just concentrate on those.
California is just crazy with alternate methods of achieving Bar Exam Nirvana. It's also harder than hell to pass the California Bar Exam. The difficulty is legendary. Some guys go back year after year trying to win... like it's a lottery.
If you want to get in on all the California fun... you should know about the Baby Bar. An exam so cute they call it "Baby". But don't let that fool you. If you can't get past this exam... you are out. You get three tries at it. If you don't pass after three rounds -- Bye Bye.
This exam is given to applicants who are coming from any school that isn't approved by the ABA or accredited by the California Bar Exam committee. It's also called the First Year Law Student Exam or the FYLSE.
Between ten and fifteen thousand applicants take the general bar exam every year and about twelve hundred take the baby bar. Pass rates can be as low as 30%.
Other States of Interest for non ABA Approved Entrance to the Bar
Besides California, there are other states of interest and as a side note... I have detected a general softening towards non-ABA approved educational modes in Bar Exam committees across the nation.
That only makes sense as more and more committee members acquiesce to the roaring giant that is the internet.
The future looks promising.
Alabama, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming all have alternate entry routes to the Bar.
This doesn't mean they approve non-ABA accredited programs carte blanche. It just means they are taking their own peek at what's out there or they continue to allow what they've always allowed, such as Judges Chamber programs.
These states still rely heavily on ABA guidance. But the seekers are pounding on their doors and they are listening.
What we are witnessing is the swift decentralization and reordering of power that the internet seems to spawn in every organization it touches.
Sow Truth and Reap Freedom
Sow truth and reap freedom.
The ABA will sooner or later have to admit the better distance learning JD programs into its fold or lose its own authoritative trust.
Nobody believes them when they say online learning is crap - when they themselves offer continuing education programs online. Everyone also knows that information can be found ten times faster and ten times deeper online than it can be accessed from a traditional law library. Their arguments for disapproving online law schools are double-faced at best, complete baloney at worst.
That kind of cognitive dissonance destroys credence. And credibility is everything.
It's going to be a long fight. But the lines are drawn, the battle has begun and we need an Abraham Lincoln to shove it along.
Could that be you?