First Net-schooled Lawyers Pass The Bar

from the good-for-them dept

Back in November we had an article about the first graduating class from Concord law school – the first entirely online law school. The question at that time was how well would the students do on the bar exam. The results are now in. 10 students from the graduating class took the California Bar (the only state bar that would let the students from such a non-ABA-accredited university take the exam) and six of them passed. All in all, that compares favorably with the overall performance – where just over 50% passed the exam. While some have snickered at the idea of going to law school online, those who made it through seem quite thrilled with the overall experience. They say that, contrary to popular opinion, their class was quite social – using instant messaging, email, and phone conversations to stay in touch and help each other out. Also, while some people are saying that having a degree from such a school will not reflect well on them in a job search, most of these students don’t care. They didn’t go to Concord to follow the traditional lawyer path. Most of them did so in order to further advance their career path at their current non-lawyer job. It will be interesting to see if this “success” story will make some soften their stance towards online education for legal training.

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Concord Case Study says:

Concord School of Law Investigation

Did you know? Concord University School of Law refused to share final exam results with one of its 2001 third-year students. That is, although there are copies of emails sent to Cassandra Colchagoff, Associate Dean of Administration, proving the student had requested (in writing) that he wanted a review of the results with his professors (what was marked correct of incorrect) the online law school wrote to Michael P. Lambert, Executive Secretary of the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC) on May 2, 2002, and specifically denied such a request was every made to hinder and obstruct DETC’s investigation of the school.

Did you know? Concord University School of Law advised the 2001 third year student that he could only see the multiple choice results (what was marked correct or incorrect) of his final exams, if he traveled to their California offices within 90 days of the exams.

Did you know? Concord failed to advised the same 2001 third-year student his grades until after the start of the 2002 academic year. In addition, the online law school didn’t forward any information to the student concerning 2002 course registration.

In short, Concord has obstructed any serious investigation of the 2001 third-year student’s complaint(s) by knowingly suggesting that the student failed to meet the institution’s academic standards.

That is, the Associated Dean of Administration Cassandra Colochagoff, originally said in writing that she subtracted points from the 2001 third-year student’s overall scores, for work previously advised as “extra credit.” Interestingly, she would later submit in writing the same scores, but later claim she didn’t subtract points.

It appears Concord lowered the final exam scores to compensate for her original reduction and refused to share the test results (what was marked correct of incorrect).

Did you know? Concord denied a 2001 third-year student its signature “live professor-led group chats” for the 2001 Evidence course. The 2001 third-year student submitted a print out copy of the 2001 Evidence Syllabus to subtantiate that as far as the 8th month of a 12 month program the online law school hadn’t schduled professor-led group chats.

In response, Concord wrote: chats were held and that there is no record of the 2001 third-year student attending Evidence course chats. The third-year student claims no chats were held because he was the only third-year student until October 2001.

Interestingly, in October 2001, the online law school held two fourth-year planning session in California, but they somehow didn’t invite the only third-year student actually participating with their online program.

Somehow the online law school would later introduced previously unknown students it now presented as its 2002 fourth-year group and first group of graduates. The only real third-year student charges the previous unknow students as “absentee students.”

Pease take this information serious. This could happen to any distance learning students. For more information please contact the following individuals and request opportunity to see the actual case file.

You should keep in mind that Kaplan, Inc. and its parent company The Washington Post are involved. The Washington Post disclosed recently that it had increased eightfold its federal lobbying expenditures targeted for the Department of Education, form $40,000 to $324,000.

In addition, it is important to also know that Sally Stroup, Assistant Secretary for Post-Secondary Education, served as the chief Washington lobbyist for the University of Phoenix. Mrs. Stroup’s former employer reported income up 82 percent, to $32 million, in the fiscal year that just ended last August. University of Phoenix has seen its online education increase 80 percent in the past year. Its parent company, Apollo group, has seen its online revenues grow from 28.6 million in 1997 to $185.5 million in 2001.

Monique Malson
United States Department of Education
Western Division, Seattle Office
915 Second Avenue, Room 3310
Seattle, Washington 98174-1099
RE: OCR 0902216

Michael P. Lambert
Executive Secretary
Distance Education and Training Council
1601 18th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20009
RE: Concord Complaint(s)

Amy Cox-O’Farrell
400 “R” Street Suite 5000
Sacramento, CA 95789-0818
RE: Complaint #991918

Concord Case Study (Updated Information) says:

Professor Weston Said only 5 students in 2002, som

On February 21, 2002, Professor William I. Weston, openly
admitted in writing that only five (5) Fourth year students
were participating in the online clinical/externship
program Kaplan, Inc. (Concord School of Law) operated
during the 2002 Academic year. Immediately, I confirmed
with Mr. Weston that the information was true and correct.

Professor Weston wrote:

“We do have fourth year students. I met them at a
recent career development seminar which we ran exclusively
for them. In addition, I run an online clinical/externship
program called LEEP (Legal Education Experience Program)
and I have five 4th year students actively enrolled in the

Interestingly, Kaplan, Inc. (Concord School of Law)
submitted information to the California Bar identifying
more than five (5) students as having actively participated
in the LEEP program during the 2002 academic year. In fact,
10 students were granted Juris Doctorate degrees in 2002,
because of the false information and allowed to sit for the
February 2003, California General Bar Exam.

Rule VII, section 4 of the Rules Regulating Admission to
Practice law in California requires that students in
correspondence schools “must have received passing grades
in courses requiring not less than 864 hours of preparation
and study during a period of not less than 48 nor more than
52 weeks” to obtain credit for a year of legal education.

Therefore, even if the other five (5) fourth year students
who graduated from Concord and were allowed to sit for the
California Bar had started the LEEP program on any day
following February 21, 2002, it appears impossible that
these alleged students complied with Rule VII, section 4
(not less than 48 nor more than 52 consectutive weeks).


Concord Student says:

Re: Professor Weston Said only 5 students in 2002,

Umm-LEEP is an elective. Not all Concord students take it. You should know what you are talking about before you spout off like this. I just finished my fourth year and never took LEEP. I took Social Security Law (through Cornell Law School) and Cyberlaw as my electives.
And by the way, the Concord courses were as challenging and much more interactive with professors than the Cornell course. They do an awesome job at Concord.

Raiko Smith says:

Student lawyers to appeal case

I am trying to find out about student lawyers to appeal a case for my co-worker’s daughter who has been incarcerated for the last 20 years. She is an inmate here in California and just went before the parole board who told her to come back in 3 yrs. I do not know all the information regarding her case but if anyone can help or even refer me to another site it would be great. Please email at the above address and I can put you in contact with my co-worker.
Thank you,
Raiko Smith

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