Concord Law School Reviews
Student & Graduate Reviews (34)
I am sharing my experience and OPINION. I WAS a first year law student that started April 1st, 2016. Oh the irony of that date. I am posting this to inform others of my disappointment with Concord as I learn about more and more of my fellow classmates being dismissed due to a C- grade, it seems this is the majority of my class (so far maybe 3-4 that actually moved on to take the FYLSE). I am not afraid to go public with my disappointment with Concord, this is outrageous that they would do this to a class and their students that they are supposed to be getting to the exam. Upon speaking with other schools, my grades would have been well above passing along with my classmates. What a way to protect your FYLSE pass rate, by eliminating those of us that you think wont pass that exam, that is what it looks like from here. That is unfair to it's core. Telling us that a C- is failing with the State Bar, when other schools say differently, a mere 2.0 gets them to the exam, even with lower grades, and they have notice to improve, not just dismissal and thank you for your 10k. Shame on Concord. I am just glad I learned this before proceeding any further. The instruction is not appropriate either, they have one instructor for all subjects that dosent even practice in CA and does not answer any of your questions. You are ON YOUR OWN.
I wrote a review of Concord dated 6/24/13 right after I took the FYLSE. Three years later I wanted to circle back and write one more after graduating and taking the California Bar Exam. In short, my opinion hasn't changed. Concord is a GREAT option for you if you go in with reasonable expectations and have a clear reason for attending a non-ABA law school. Is your dream to practice law on the east coast? You probably shouldn't attend Concord or any other distance learning law school. Personally I wanted a JD to advance my career in a field where a legal degree is valued but law is not practiced. I think Concord is fantastic for that sort of thing. The vast majority of people should not go to a traditional law school and pay six figures for that privilege to end up not practicing law. It makes little financial sense. But if you want the education for other reasons, as many people do, Concord is affordable and offers a great education for those that are willing to put in the work. I see some of the negative reviews on this site discuss the cost of taking the FYLSE or Concord's lack of accreditation. Those are two issues that any prospective student should have known and understood before signing up. Others have mentioned that their professors don't seem to have enough real experience practicing law. I suggest those people ask their traditional law school friends about their experiences, because that particular complaint is not unique to Concord, at all. Others still have mentioned low pass rates on the FYLSE and the Bar. Personally I think that has more to do with the student. Concord could probably do a bit better job in it's admissions criteria. In addition, keep in mind that most people learning law at a school like Concord are a bit older, have a family, have a job. The bar exam is a monster, you need to make it your religion for 2-3 months. That's much easier for someone just starting out in life with no work responsibilities than for someone with a job and children at home. Notwithstanding that....the total Feb 2016 passage rate was 35.7%. Concord's average first time taker pass rate is around 34.5%. It's not that far off. Besides, ask any friend you have that went to a traditional law school and they will tell you, your school will not prepare you to pass the bar. That's what your bar prep program is for...that and a lot of studying. Concord is not perfect, but few schools are. I liked some professors more than others. I bet my friends that went to brick and mortar schools feel the same. You know what else my traditional law school friends have that I do not? Six figures of debt. Understand that law schools today pump out more graduates than legal jobs available, and those legal jobs are shrinking due to technology (a computer can do today what it took several first year associates to do 10 years ago). Point being, it's not the best idea to go to a traditional law school unless you have some real confidence that you're going to make that money back and not be saddled with debt. If you're thinking of using that degree to NOT practice law....that's an even riskier proposition. So here's what I know. I wanted the education. I did not want to practice. Concord supplied that education at a fraction of the cost. I graduated a few months ago and I have zero debt today. Last week I, like many others in traditional law schools, took the bar exam (if you're curious I took it as a matter of pride more than anything else). I don't know if I passed or not, but I sure didn't feel handicapped by the school I attended. Know why you want the education. If it's to advance a career in a non-practicing field, or to practice law specifically in California....if you're self motivated and are willing to put in years of work.....Concord is a strong choice. Little disclaimer. I do not work for or have any affiliation with Concord. They did not ask or recruit me to go to school there. I did my homework and went to them....and I'm glad I did.
I previously wrote a great review for this school; however, I am starting my final year and sadly things have deteriorated somewhat. I hope the school can effectively manage their budget shortfall while maintaining high quality teaching. Several of my teachers were terminated mid-year this year, and front office support seems sparse. I still maintain that if you live in CA and are an older student with a strong undergraduate degree from a real school you will learn what you need to learn at Concord (with some help from supplemental programs which are easy to find)
Concord Law is a great school, if you are great with time management and don't cut corners. Please do not get discouraged by the Trolls on this page, because they don't have the slightest clue. They have never taken a class and don't have any idea what Concord is about! This is an outstanding thriving school with a solid curriculum! Hope this helps someone.
There are some excellent reasons for knowing the law outside of the most usual reason – namely getting a good job with a law firm. For example, someone hacks into your computer and stores questionable material on your hard drive. Now you are facing charges and a lengthy prison sentence. Worse yet, none of the local attorneys know enough about cybercrime to help you with your case (common occurrence). You better know the law! Don’t expect the police or federal officers to explain it to you because they are only out to convict you. Or, as a second example, you want to start a consulting firm to better leverage your expertise. Again, you better know the law. That is, unless you want to pay expensive attorney fees over a simple matter or, even worse, adopt an organizational model that is not optimal to your line of business. Or, you are the victim or workplace bullying. What are your rights? You better know the law. Or you are accused of workplace harassment. Again, if you value your job, you better know the law. Or, you are a doctor and you’re the victim of a frivolous lawsuit that threatens your practice and your professional reputation. Again, you better know the law. Depending on the lawyers that you hire to protect you is risky business. For one thing, you may not be able to find a lawyer who possesses the expertise to handle your case. This is a particular problem with legal cases involving the Internet. Another common issue is that your attorney is simply too busy to properly handle your case or, worse yet, they relegate your case to the youngest and least experienced attorney in their firm. In these cases, you need to know the law so that you can assist your neophyte attorney. In my personal experience, these young attorneys appreciate any help that you can provide, as long as you treat them courteously. Remember that no one has as high a stake in the outcome of your case as you. Look, we no longer live in our “Dad’s” America. Crime is sky high and good jobs are scarce. Yet we still have to live in this society. The best way of surviving is through education because knowledge is power. Therefore, people need to look at the best educational opportunities available and invest wisely. Some of the skills that you acquire may lead directly to a job, while other skills may simply help you to survive. Concord represents one of the best educational investments I ever made. (It does, however, fall into the category of helping me survive because I do not work as a professional attorney.) Originally, I thought that I would take the EJD degree and learn about the law. I started, however, in the JD program on a lark and graduated in 2007. I never intended to become a lawyer, but I did pass the FYLSE on my first attempt in 2004 in the most difficult way imaginable – I received an extremely high score on the difficult contracts multiple choice portion of the exam -- the area of the FYLSE that is most dreaded by the test-takers. (I believe that many professional lawyers would be unable to duplicate my performance!) Granted, I’m a scientist and my writing skills are not always the best. But Concord’s preparation for the examination was excellent in all ways. The professors were helpful and would answer questions within one day. I was one of the better students in my class, as it turned out, and I seldom needed help with material. Still Concord was no walk in the park. I had to work hard to finish the course of study. The work aside, my entire experience at Concord was top-notch in that I got what I wanted from the program. Look, I know that detractors on this site take issue with Concord’s 33% pass rate on the FYLSE, but you have to understand that the test is a competition. The California Bar regulates the number of test-takers who can pass the test on any given setting. For example, if too many people do well on the multiple choice part of the test, the California Bar will actually scale the test to fail out people who have numerical scores good enough to pass. In contrast, if too many people score badly and not enough people pass, the California Bar will sometimes curve the scores higher. The bottom line is that the California Bar knows how many people they will allow to pass the examination on any one sitting and they will take measures to make sure that only that number of people pass. So Concord has no way to enhance the pass rates except through discouraging students from taking the test. Concord simply will not do that because it goes against their philosophy of giving everyone a chance. Hopefully, that better explains the FYLSE. I never took the California Bar – that was never my goal – but I cannot tell people how many times I have used my legal background to solve problems at work and in my life. People need to know the law. I cannot express that enough. Also, I am eligible to take the California Bar if I choose to do so sometime in my life. While I am an IT programmer by profession, I use my legal background at work on a daily basis because the area in which I specialize is so highly dependent on an understanding of the law. Regarding the Concord first time pass rate, it is based solely on the California Bar, one of the nation’s toughest. If you look at the scores of ABA test-takers from other states, you’ll see that Concord fares reasonably well. Also, the overall Concord pass rate is around 50% when you include people who take the bar multiple times. Obviously, Concord does not compete well against Stanford Law and it shouldn’t because they are not the same thing (or anywhere near the same price). The youngsters at Stanford (as well as UCLA, USC, Harvard, Michigan, and the rest of the elites) represent some of the nation’s best young legal minds. Almost none of them will be available to “regular folks” because on graduation they will go to top corporate firms. One way that corporate America controls the law if by keeping the best legal minds in a position where they are dedicated to the menial tasks of a company. That is why we need Concord!
I Graduated from concord and passed the Bar the first attempt. I put in the hours and I've been a success. Online law school isn't for everyone. If you are poor at time management, you probably won't do well. I have my own law firm, and it's all thanks to Concord law school!
Recent graduate of Concord studying for the bar now. Concord is no joke. There is a lot of work to be done. They say 18-24 hours per week, but I must have spent at least 40 per week, especially in the 1st year. However, that time commitment paid off midway through the 2nd year when I passed the First Year Law Students Exam the first time. I also plan on passing the bar 1st time as well. There are some drawbacks to this non-accredited school, but many of those can be overcome with diligence and time. Furthermore, the program was excellent. Concord taught all of the California Bar subjects during law school, some law schools do not do this. For instance, community property is a subject highly tested on the California Bar. It is not a required subject at most ABA law schools. Concord also offers Concord First, a 6 month program to prepare you for the First Year Law Student's exam. It is an in-person training program that is the 3 days before the FYLSE. I credit it, along with many hours of studying, as the reason for my great success on the FYLSE. Additionally, In the 3rd and 4th years, Concord has electives that you can take and many of them are taught by real attorneys working in the field. Additionally, there are programs to develop practical experience and work with local attorneys for credit. I work full time, teach college part time and have a wife and 4 kids. I was able to get through the rigorous legal coursework so it can be done. Mind you, I did not have much time for anything else, but now I am done and getting ready to join the practicing attorneys in my area, for about 1/10th of the cost that they went to law school. If you pick Concord, be ready to work hard and diligently; it will pay off.
If you want to be a competent attorney look elsewhere. It takes more than reading some books to learn the field of law. The online classes are worse than useless. The lectures are OK but non interactive. Is impossible to become a good attorney without instruction from good attorney's. FLYSE passage rate at Concord 1:5 Bar Passage rate 2:5 overall passage rate of students who don't figure out early on that this school is a waste of time and money 1:10 The opinions expressed in this review are my own. All statistics used can be verified at the state bar website. The rest represents solely my opinion. Thanks for reading.
Please read this if you are thinking about attending Concord Law. I have toyed with the idea of going to law school for a few years. I have taken the LSAT, albeit without much preparation and scored 153. My undergraduate gpa was 3.4 with a gpa of 4.0 in my major classes. Long story short I had options besides Concord but the extremely low cost of tuition coupled with their marketing made me think it might be a viable option to earn my JD. First off what is good about Concord: Books- they use the same curriculum as many ABA accredited law schools. Lectures- in each module there are one or two recorded lectures by practicing attorneys. (this will likely be your only experience with a successful practicing attorney at Concord) Unfortunately that is all I have to say positive about the school. Negatives Not ABA accredited- this is something that I went in knowing but underestimated the implications of. Without ABA accreditation a graduate's options are extremely limited. Get licensed and practice in CA as no states offer reciprocity, work in an extremely limited capacity in a federal setting or work in the backroom at a law office doing research. Don't take my word for this, search for graduates of non ABA accredited law schools (especially Concord) and see how many have been admitted to the bar's of other states. 4 Year JD- Though billed as a part time program, the amount of reading and note taking required is about 30 hours a week. That extra year or two not only represent additional tuition but lost opportunity as you will have no time to work or spend doing anything outside of reading or briefing. FYLSE- Because the school is not ABA accredited all students must take and pass the First Year Law Student Exam after their first year of school. The cost of the test is $740.00 (as of 2015) and Concord students pass this exam at about a rate of 1 in 3 for first time test takers. Of course you can take it again (at $740.00 a go) but you will not get credit for any of the law school you attend past the first year until you pass it. No practicing attorneys- This is something that was completely misrepresented on their website at the time I applied, they have since updated their website however it can still be a bit misleading. When you go to their faculty page you will see the names and faces of some attorneys, many of whom have successful practices. These attorneys prepare lectures for Concord which you watch as part of the modules they are not Concord faculty. Live classes- After attending the first four live classes (who are all taught by one professor) I began noticing a trend. The class time was dominated by the same students each week, asking the same irrelevant questions and who needed the most basic parts of the reading explained to them. The instructor seemed content to spend the majority of the time telling these students how to take notes, and letting them guess at the substantive parts of a case. In other words their was no real instruction in terms of Law. Bar passage rates- Compared with similar schools concord's bar passage rate is better but still far below most ABA accredited schools at 39% passage for first time takers in January 2015 . (worth noting: 1 in 5 Concord students pass the FYLSE and approximately 2 in 5 of those students who go on to complete the four years and take the bar pass it. I urge you not to take my word for it but do your own research.... Save your money and take a trip, start a business, buy the law books and study on your own, get a job flipping burgers all of which are a better use of your time.
This place is a hot mess. The live classes sometimes didnt hapien. Huge turnover in staffing and if you get a C- they throw you out of the program. You cannot retake the class as you normally would in a real law school. They just kick you out and keep your money. If your a hardworking parent that hopes to become a lawyer, try a state school not this lawschool wannabe distance learning mess that acts like harvard but is like a bad community college GED program.