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Patrick H. Stiehm

"The truth of the matter is that tuition for law schools is just getting expensive." Oh so true. In fact the expense is just not justified. I am happy that I went to law school. But I would not in fact make the same choice today. Expense, lack of empolyment opportunity for many students finishing up, as well as a number of other factors, make it an unattractive option these days.


Hi Chuck, I found your this blog article through Google.

I've just been accepted at three law schools so far: Florida Coastal, Whittier, and Thomas Jefferson School of Law. Which would you recommend? I'm leaning towards Whittier at the moment (mostly because I'm more familiar with the location and it seems to have better standing than TJSL). But TJSL, with it's new building and strong letters boasting of a very high bar passage rate and commitment to students, seems a viable alternative as well. I'm interested in patent/intellectual property law. Any advice?


glotrob: I have recently been admitted to TJSL. I went to SD to tour the law school and absolutely loved it. The teachers/Dean/Faculty were extremely helpful and considerate when discussing the possibilities that I have. I am coming in from Missouri so am not familiar with the area, but loved Old Town and the new location in Down Town SD. Also, from what I gathered about their IP program, it seems amazing. They have around 15 courses focusing on IP alone. That is more than the other schools I have looked at. Also, the faculty they have recently recruited is very well thought of from what I have read.

TJSL Student

I'm currently a 2nd year law student at TJSL

And in my OPINION...

The Good: The quality of the education is on point. If you're interested in passing the CA Bar Exam this is a great school to attend. Most classes are taught based on what you will need to know for the bar exam. They usually don't waste your time with stuff that you won't need to know for the bar exam.

The Bad: Although with the rumor that we are going to jump up 2 tiers with the opening of the new campus; The odds of getting into a big national firm right after graduation are about 0 to none (on a good day)

The Ugly: We have one of the hardest grade curves in the country. On average our GPA is -.7 lower than your average law school. A 2.5 at our school would be a 3.2 at most schools. They do this to keep students from transferring out. There will be a class action over this one day I'm sure.


Seriously, notwithstanding its US News ranking, the school has a first rate nationally recognized faculty from top ranked law schools (just see their website), with faculty cited by the Supreme Court and most cited by lawyers nationally, aggressive career placement assistance including strategic placement with a broad base of school alumni to get their students jobs (see their placement rate and alumni strategy) and their grade curve has since been revised (see revised academic policy under their Academics webpage). Yes, they are becoming increasingly more competitive in admissions and many of its matriculated 1L students are consequently becoming dramatically more attractive to Berkeley, Hastings, Georgetown, GW, and USD law schools based upon recent transfer data of accepted TJSl students in the last year alone. Odd that the better it gets, the more attractive other long established schools find its students. It has an unparalleled IP program, national IP faculty and assisted IP placements and mentorship in California and most schools. The school's increasing bar rate will likely see additional increases as its more competitive admissions and retention/dismissal policies have time to take effect. The new school building is just one of the ways that the school is investing back into its students so you can at least see your tuition dollars going to hard work. There is a new and major economic and legal paradigm shift going on now in the marketplace. Under this shift, it should be noted that the business models of big law firms are fading away that in an economy where even ivy league law students are having a difficult time to get jobs and t find work at big firms. Those who are practice ready from schools like TJSL that put more focus on its students and are less weighed down by debt (given TJSL's scholarship awards) will be best positioned to deal with these emerging new economic realities of law practice. Just some food for thought.

Richard S. Van Dyke, Esq.

I graduated from the first TJSOL class (1996). The school has suited me very well. Although not employed by a large firm, I have everything I need to go "toe to toe" with any big firm lawyer. Furthermore, based upon my limited observations, I am earning more than my counterparts at 15 years in. No complaints.

Damon M. Senaha Esq.

I graduated from TJSL in 2003 and am a solo-practioner specializing in FORECLOSURE DEFENSE. Like Attorney Richard S. Van Dyke above, I go "toe to Toe" against the big law firms with graduates from Harvard, Georgetown, Columbia nad Yale. I and my associate, a graduate from American University know that it is certainly not the accolades of the attorney, but what are the facts of the case. Additionally, FORECLOSURE DEFENSE is an area of law that is very recent and there are only two law firms in town that have the knowledge of this area of law, ours being one of them. (The other aw firm requires a $25K retainer. Therefore, I get the "left overs") Earnings-wide, I am set for life. I would suggest that instead of concentrating on where you earned your sheepskin, focus your law practice on an area of law where the demand is and of where there is minimal competition, like FORECLOSURE DEFENSE. The other firms who do not know this area of law refer potential clients to us. We even get referrals from opposing counsel a well. Like Attorney Van Dyke, I have no complaints about the legal education I received from TJSL.

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    The opinions expressed in this weblog represent only the opinions of the author(s) and are in no way intended as legal advice upon which you should rely. Every person's situation is different and requires an attorney to review the situation personally with you.
    Charles (Chuck) Newton is licensed to practice law in all courts in the State of Texas, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and all United States District Court and Bankruptcy Courts in the State of Texas.
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