Concord Law School Reviews
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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.
I am a 4th year student at Concord Law School. I am also a physician who attended and trained at UC Berkeley, UCLA, Stanford, and Univ of Washington. I feel that I have received an education on par with any of these schools. I am interested in Health Law. Concord not only provided an extremely strong core curriculum, but also allowed me to take electives that will help in my pursuit. These electives included Health law, Administrative Law, Medical Product Liability, and Medical Risk Management, among others. I am developing a medical device and was able to take Patent Law, Patent Claim Drafting, patent litigation, and Patent Application drafting. Finally, I took a Trial Advocacy Class in the event that I would do some expert work. And I have no doubt that I will pass the bar. I am a member of one of our two moot court teams. We will compete against other school at the Traynor competition in April. We don’t miss out on these opportunities simply because we be in the same room as each other. I communicate with my teachers by phone and over the internet. The only real difference between Concord and the traditional law schools is that I am not physically next to my classmates. I think that by excluding these schools, Texas will lose out on a unique type of lawyer. One who has career and life experience. And lawyers like this could make unique and significant contributions to the people of the state and law in general.
Current student: excellent learning program! Very interactive! They care!! Love this school! Takes self disciplin, as any online requires. There program is geared to help you! Not about the grade as it is about passing the bar. They want you to succeed! Requires dedication and time. With a 4 yr degree from another online college, online was my only option due to my schedule. In hindsight, part time employment during school is necessary over full time. It requires self disciplin. If you are self motivated, you should succeed here! Their learning program is set up so organized, and geared towards assuring you are learning the material and legal concepts. I can't imagine how anyone can fail here, if you put in the time. I have been told by campus law students that they were not given weekly quizes as they went along in law school. If you didn't learn the material, you fail the exams. Here, your given quizes per topic. (About every 10 days) this lets YOU know if you are understanding the material or not. this is for the student benefit, and let's you know if your learning the concepts or not. It is useful to get you ready for the midterms and finals. Those are the grades that really count. The whole program is set up to help you! I love it! Whoever set this up really covered all the angles and tools to help you learn! The live classes are extremely interactive! The video classes are excellent! IOverall, it is the place to go if your seeking online schooling, and most importantly, are self disciplined!
If you are considering law school but are doing so because of the desire to learn, altruistic reasons (representing the underserved), or want an additional degree which will help you in your chosen field (medical, human resources, administration, etc), Concord is the hands-down best choice. The cost of the online school and ease of access (flexible hours and classes), make it a win-win for those who may be currently working, or are focused on raising their families, but I am speaking for myself and I know that it is the right place for me at this point in my life. There are also successful graduates who have started their own practices, obtained high level positions in the legal field, and basically achieved their dream job after obtaining their JD and passing the Cal Bar. As for me, I earned an MBA with emphasis in Human Resources about 15 years ago, and although I loved my career, I chose to be a stay home mom and raised 3 children, and was blessed to be able to do so. As my eldest went off to college, however, I realized that I still have a lot to offer, and wishing to re-enter the work world in some capacity, but definitely not at the bottom, I started looking into options. Concord's program seemed to be perfect for me. Not only is it 1/4 the cost of the traditional schools located near me in Northern California, but it offers flexible class times (all online and achived if I cannot attend any given class), as well as extremely bright, talented, and diverse instructors with many different backgrounds, geographically and academically. Concord is a win-win for me - I can still finish the "job" of raising my youngest child who just entered high school while focusing on completing my JD degree and passing the California bar, at which time I will be able to follow my passion; trying to make a difference for those that do not always have good representation or do not know their options in the legal system. I am certain that with my prior experience and background, together with this degree, many doors will open for me. I just completed my first year, and passed the "MiniBar" (required to continue mainly as a consumer protection device). I have learned a lot, and faced many challenges, including a divorce, selling my house, getting another child off to college, and moving to a new city in order to get my youngest settled and on the right track in his new private school. I am not sure I could have done this all had I been attending a brick and morter program - - and certainly without getting a few grey hairs. Concord admistrative staff are very responsive and professional, while some improvements could be made in the admissions office, which I believe are being undertaken due to the hiring of a new Dean of Students who is making process improvements as well as conducting more personnel training in this area. I did not apply for Financial Aid, but I did get an email from them saying I had not paid for my 2nd year and that I was locked out on my computer (but since I had paid 3 months prior in full , this was taken care of promptly). I believe the financial aid department handles all of Kaplan's programs which are vast, and therefore, it really is not a direct reflection on Concord Law school per se. Is Concord right for you? If you are self-motivated, disciplined, and have the time to really study, then go for it. There are nothing but possibilities open to you, and your costs as compared to a normal school are much lower. You can be just as proud of passing the bar with your Concord JD as a Stanford Grad; in fact you may sit next to her during the bar exam! That is not to say you won't have to develop a bit more of a "front story" in describing why you're doing a law school online at a non-ABA accredited school; but seriously - online is the way of the future! Any brick and mortar school with vision is participating in "on line" learning, so the stigma is definitely dissipating, although the lack of accreditation is a consideration; but if you're a California resident, that does not matter if you've got the smarts to pass that bar, and use the tools which I believe Concord offers. I myself do wish at times honestly wish I could have gone to Stanford or Santa Clara Univ. but at this point of my life I would still be facing a "am I the oldest student in class" doubt self - analysis , and I much prefer explaining why I chose Concord to that personally, in addition to the flexible hours. In summary, if there you find yourself in the same or similar position to me, I strongly encourage you to enroll! In short, all you have to lose is one or possibly two years of tuition if you can't get past the FYLSE mini-bar test, and you even then if you have at least made some minimum effort, you will now have some great new tools. Your brain will be sharper, faster, and stronger (or at least mine seems to have improved, hopefully yours will be as well: there are conclusive studies on altzheimers prevention that recommend learning a new language or skill after age 40 is highly beneficial to deter the disease, and learning the law certainly qualifies as both. ) And JUST FOR FUN, your "cocktail hour" and "water cooler" discussions will be colored with those interesting cases that you will become very familiar with, and your friends will be amazed, impressed, and in awe of your ability to identify the issue for which they are complaining, recite a likely appropriate rule of law, analyze it to a reasonable standard, and provide a likely outcome in your new-found "lawyer-like lingo". It may even also help you negotiate with your teenager, but I'm not promising that here.
I have many friends who have completed their Law studies at a traditional Law School and have passed the bar. I saw their struggles and their urge to give up at times. I choose the online route because I have to work full time and have no other choice and I want my J.D, I want to pass the bar. It was either go online or not go at all. So now I am in my first year about to take my finals. Lets face it Law School is no calm walk in the park. It is extremely intense especially for someone who works and life events occur regardless if you are in school or not. Online Law School is for those who are self motivated, you have plenty of support but in reality you are teaching yourself the law. Your success depends on you. To say that it is like running a marathon is to say the least. Concord does not baby you, the grades you receive at first will make you feel like a moron. Yet those grades show that you will need to work hard to improve. I have spoke to some of the students in my section and we to some extent agree that we have been balls of stress since beginning the term. If you are thinking of going to Concord, remember you will need to work smart, efficiently and make your studies a priority. It is so easy to fall behind online. In the beginning of our term we had about 35 people in our section now we only have about 10 because the rest have dropped out. Good luck to all who have the guts to go through it and stick to it. It is not easy and sometimes it sucks, but if you really want it you wont give up on yourself. I did graduate from a great school as undergraduate but my current situation is that I am a single mother, sole provider for my household and I am the boss at work. If I can do it then it is more than likely you can too. Concord does in fact provide you with all the resources you will need, it's really up to you to use those tools provided to build that "big picture."
I have completed my first year of Concord Law School and wanted to share my opinions to any that might be considering it as an option. I had a lot of questions before I started so I hope this will answer some of yours. I've wanted to write a review for a while but decided not to do so until year one was in the books. My greatest concern going in was whether the quality of my education would be that of a brick and mortar school. Well it's impossible to say for sure as I have never attended one of those so I have no frame of reference. However, I have undergrad bachelor degrees in both Economics and History from a prestigious university and I can honestly say that I never worked as hard at those as I did at this. The education is real, and you will get what you put into it. If you're not willing to put in the time (bare minimum 20 hours a week I'd say) you probably won't be successful. The Staff is very supportive. They will answer your questions and are constantly there for you, but they will not do the work for you. The level of interaction from the faculty is very high. Any email I ever sent to a Professor with questions on the material was answered within 24 hours. The essays you submit will be returned with feedback, and the feedback is often more voluminous than the essay itself. Speaking with friends of mine that went to some of the top brick and mortar law schools in the country, you do not find this sort of assistance and feedback in most places. In addition, I'm reading the same textbooks and learning the same material as those friends of mine did. The curriculum itself seems to be largely the same as any traditional school. The only difference is I attend my lectures online. Speaking of the lectures, there are two kinds: Pre-recorded and live classes. What's great about these is if you missed something, you can always rewind or pause. In my undergrad days if I stepped out, missed a class, the Professor mumbled, etc...you're screwed, you better have a friend with good notes. Not here, and I loved that. Also, the live classes are recorded and archived to ensure the same convenience. I would recommend that anyone considering this determine exactly what they want the education for. If you want to practice law, make sure you are living in a state that will allow you to take the bar with an online JD. I do not want to practice law, but work in a profession that values a legal education. For someone like me the tuition of a brick and mortar school made no sense since I don't plan on being a practicing attorney, but this program and its more reasonable tuition was a perfect solution. If you live in a state where it is currently not possible to take the bar exam with an online JD and you want to practice there, that should obviously factor in to your decision making. If you have a job, family, children, etc. and still want to pursue a legal education, this is a great choice as it allows maximum flexibility in your schedule. Concord also does a fantastic job of preparing you for the school's final and the California First Year Law Student Exam. They have a review program to go over all the material learned throughout the year and then a live review weekend in California the weekend before the exam. I just concluded that and was very impressed. These people care and they want you to do well. Negatives...not many to be completely honest. If high tuition/debt are no issue and you want to go to school full time and have no conflicting responsibilities (basically, you're fresh out of college), then I'd probably go with a brick and mortar school that everyone has heard of because employers will recognize it on my resume. The stigma might be the drawback, but once again it's on you. If you can pass the California bar afterwards (one of the hardest in the country) that's all that counts, and plenty of people from Concord have taken and passed the bar. So if the circumstances make Concord attractive, I wholeheartedly recommend the school. I have found the experience to be extremely rewarding and I do not doubt the validity of the education. I'm very confident that I wouldn't have learned anything in a traditional school setting that I didn't learn here. After all, it's the same material...California makes sure of it by making you take the first year exam. Finally, I saw there were a few negative comments about financial aid. I don't use financial aid, but I have had to work with the billing office for a few things and although the process was not as smooth as possible, it worked out in the end. But it's only fair to mention that the Financial Aid office has nothing to do with Concord staff. The school is owned by Kaplan, and Kaplan staff administers the financial aid. One really has little to do with the other when writing a review.