Wednesday, June 16, 2010

California TTT grads have it the worst in the nation

This post is California centric but will nonetheless outrage fellow subprimeJD's across the nation.

Its well known that TTTT grads across the nation are suffering with + 100k debt figures and practically non existent legal job offers. Here in California things are even worse for a reason: the California Bar exam is the toughest in the nation.

The pass rates of TTT grads in California are horrible. Thomas Jefferson School of Law recently mustered a pathetic 46% FIRST TIME PASS RATE IN July of 09. Western State never fails to dissapoint. On July 2006 bar, Western State had a 28% first time pass rate as only 32 passed out of 113 takers. Out of 115 repeaters, only 8 passed granting the school a fabulous 7% pass rate for repeaters. And this is an ABA approved school? WHAT THE FUCK!

On the July 09 bar, 850 repeaters from CA ABA approved law schools took the exam, with 265 passing, a whopping 31% pass rate. Admittedly the stats have gone up in the past 3 years but they are still horrible compared to other states. Feb 09 bar had 1034 ABA repeaters with only 385 passing, a 37% pass rate. By and large the CA ABA approved schools leave many JD's with horrible prospects of passing the cal bar and let alone finding legal employment even after/if they pass.

If you havent heard of the California ACCREDITED schools (non ABA approved) well get ready to be shocked. So you know how bad these schools are, here is the data from Feb 09 bar. 493 repeaters with only 55 passing, a PATHETIC FUCKING 11% pass rate. These arent even TTTT's, there T^5!!! Toilet to the 5th power! Of the CAL accredited schools, the University of West Los Angeles wins the prize. On the Feb 09 bar they had 74 repeaters with only 10 passing, a astounding 14% pass rate. First timers from West U of LA managed to pass with a 25% pass rate. The tuition for UWLA is $22,500 per year, exclusing housing. And yes, housing in LA is tremendously expensive. Of course students that attend the CA accredited law schools are more aware of the risks then ABA TTT's as they know full well that the schools are not ABA approved and have consistently dismal pass rates. Yet the schools continue to pump out not just subprime JD's, but fucking snythetic CDO^2 toxic asset JD's.

Imagine all those poor subprimeJD's, taking the bar over and over again. Spending mad money on bar fees, laptop fees, study courses, books, and worst of all, lost time for studying. At least in other states, TTT grads have higher pass rates so they dont lose all this time and money retaking bar exam after bar exam. While TTT's outside of california remain banished from the legal profession upon gaining their licenses, at least they have the time to attempt to obtain some form of part time work while "searching" for their legal jobs.

Thousands of California subprimeJD's take and retake the cal bar year after year, losing precious time and money on a losing endeavor. I know many people that try for 2 years trying to pass the cal bar before giving up, while many even opt for 6, 8 even 10 attempts!! The other day I spoke to a 2007 grad from my TTTT that still hasnt passed the cal bar. Never have I heard him so broken and depressed as he learned that he failed again. He had to take counseling for his depression as his JD from a Cal ABA TTTT wont assist him and actually hurts him in obtaining any employment. Perhaps in the 3 years since he graduated, in the event that he passed the bar on his 1st or 2nd attempt he would be able to search for legal AND non legal employment. But 5 bar exams later, the poor guy is emotionally and psychologically decimated. The good news is that he has finally thrown in the towel. At least now he can apply for those insurance agent positions without the nagging fear/stress/anxiety that comes along with bar prep and results waiting.

And lets not forget about the devastating financial cost. Imagine losing 3 yrs post grad of trying to pass the Cal bar with no success. Its $3000 to $4000 per bar exam (fees, books, hotels). Then you have lost earning capacity as many opt to study like mad, only to find that they were failed by a few points. Some do elect to take on part time work and good for them. And then you have the massive california private school tuitions with the skyhigh cost of living. Im not going to crunch the numbers but its a disaster. I know many fellow grads that still havent passed the bar (july 09 grads) and there debt is flying through the roof.

In California, the Tier 4's turned into the non ABA tier 5's, the tier 3's into tier 4's. Some tier 3 grads at the very top of their classes are getting jobs, but the bottom 95% are SOL. I find it amazing that the most desperate students are electing to attend the non ABA schools. Even the USA JOBS website specifically states that applicants with "JD's acquired from non ABA approved schools will not be considered". I know some tier 4 subprimes that got jobs off the USAJOBS website doing defense dept work and other dept of homeland security jobs. But most of these students had military backgrounds. I guess the non ABA subprimes have fallen under the same delusion and scam that we fell into ourselves. Not that im trying to defend ABA TTT's, but at least the students in these schools are relying on false employment data and 70-50% pass rates. The T^5's know full well that the pass rates are sub 20%. In addition, T^5's dont even post employment data! So even if they believe in the law school scam, they consiously disregard the impossible pass rates. TTT's are still relying on fraudlent law school provided stats. The only voice of truth is coming from us bad ass scam busters and the occasional MSM article.

Bottom line, Cali subprimeJD's are suffering big time. Attend law school at your own risk.


  1. SJD,

    I was just thinking about doing a post about the peculiar situation in California. I often field questions about the is brutal.

    The CA bar exam is a 3-day endurance test that is comprised of 6 hour-long essays, 2 3-hour MPTs, and the MBE.

    The pass rates for the CA-accredited schools is dismal, but much higher for ABA-accredited law school grads who are first-time takers (around 83%).

    Just as we have our scamblogs, there is an entire genre of CA bar taker/repeater blogs, chief among them being "Passing the California Bar" by Grand Poobah ( This guy is on his fourth or fifth attempt and is an example of how the CA system royally screws the nontraditional students who buy into the idea that a law degree with help them gain entrance to a new and more profitable profession.

    Take a look at Grand Poobah's alma mater, The Abraham Lincoln School of Law (and heating and cooling repair):

    I really don't understand how anyone with half a brain would enroll in this primarily online school when it lists its bar exam pass rate right on its site as a ridiculously low 8.9%. Oh, yes, you read that right. Of the 572 CA bar takers in the history of the school, a mere 51 have passed.

    Though I really think these folks should have their heads examined for falling prey to this particular subset of the law school scam, I think the CA-accredited schools deserve, I guess, a "Fifth Tier Reality" treatment, as none of these people have a chance in hell of ever getting a real legal job, let alone a decent one.

    California has no reciprocity with other states unless the attorney practices in CA for a good number of years. So just getting one of these "JDs" and even passing the CA bar is not going to improve these folks' job prospects. No other jurisdiction will allow them to sit for their state exam, outside of very rare exceptions. That means no possibility of mobility for a good number of years.

    And considering how prestige crazy law firms are, I doubt even shitlaw would hire these folks...I mean, who wants to have that on the firm website. For frak's sake, right now, you have law review types doing PI and ID work in shitlaw firms.

    This is definitely a topic that could use the scambuster treatment....

  2. Locke,

    I know several people that got kicked out of my TTTT at the end of 1L. Some of them just gave up on LS while others downgraded and went to the CA accredited schools. Also, some others went to these schools due to very low LSAT scores.

    I find it very appauling that the dept of ed even allows these schools to exist, let alone our beloved TTTT's.

    I remember when I was thinking about whether to attend my TTTT I looked at law firms in the area to see if any alumni were employed there. I saw grads here and there, with some firms having several of them. Little did i realize that most of these grads were the top 10'ers of their classes. Nevertheless, I somewhat had an idea that getting out wouldnt be easy. I was hoping that I would be able to find some work making 50k starting and move up from there. The plan was to stay at home for the first 2 yrs, work hard, and pay off 2 of my loans (i calculated it), and then move out with a smaller monthly payment. Unfortunately that wasnt the case.

    In this environment, sadly, a TTTT is just as bad as tier 5..

  3. I find it hard to feel bad for these students, when they knew what they were getting into. Sadly, as a July 08 bar passer (first time!) in CA from an out of state TTT, the job prospects are just as bad. I graduated top 15%, law review, publication, etc... and still have had about 4 interviews in the last two years. I have also been turned down for various highschool diploma only required jobs.

    The situation here in CA is completely out of control. I'm really glad you are drawing attention to it. Hopefully, others will follow suit.

  4. West:

    It seems that California and New York have their own special problems to deal with. In NYC, you have all the massive firms leaving TTT's working doc review. Since the crash of 08 doc review has dried and been outsourced to India. In Cali, doc review projects are uncommon with the exception of the Wilshire district. When Cali's economy fell out (especially housing and autos) many law firms went bust or downsized big time. Similar problems in both states but different in nature.

  5. First time commenter on your blog. Subprime, I'm in general agreement with what you, third tier reality, etc. have to say. However, you have GOT to work on your spelling and grammar. When I read your posts, (there instead of they're, "I find it appauling,") all I see is someone who doesn't even have the writing skills to have been in law school in the first place. Instead of coming across as critical of the law school scam, you come across as someone who had no business being in law school in the first place.

    Now, I'm not saying this because I think you're dumb. You probably write these blogs quickly in a fit of rage and let loose a free form diatribe, which is a great way to get your emotions across. I suggest that you hit "save," go have a cup of coffee, print it out and read it before posting it. That's what I do with my work product at my $130K/ year legal job I got with my TTT, bottom 1/3 class ranking degree.

  6. Evrenseven:

    Ive actually thought to myself on many occasions to slow down and correct the errors. You are right and will write better from now on as I will be giving fuel to the trolls to bash my blog. I feel annoyed myself when I read articles on AOL, CNN and see errors.

    Thank you very much for the constructive critisism. And good job on the nice salary.

    PS: major hangover as the Lakers won game 7 last night ;)

  7. I have another point about TTTs. I believe they serve a purpose: filling the niche legal jobs. I spent my career as an engineer before hand, and I have a Master's degree. So for me, it really didn't matter where I went to law school because I wanted to work at an IP boutique, and all they care about is your work experience. They've never even looked at my grades. I went to evening law school with a doctor, a couple social workers, several other engineers, a few PhDs, some finance people, etc. These people all had a very targeted idea of what they were going to do after law school and it related very closely to what they were doing before.

    Now, that being said, there were also a TON of people that were there just to be there, and they had no idea what they were going to do afterwards. Also, there are WAY to many seats available in these TTTs to fill the "niche" law jobs out there.

  8. anyone go to UWLA?

  9. That’s really tough man! It really sucks to study and not be able to crack the exams. I am studying for the bar myself with TestMax Bar Exam Prep course. I feel fairly confident, but you never know right? Hope for the best though!


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