Oak Brook College of Law

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by mjohnson7, Nov 16, 2006.

  1. mjohnson7

    mjohnson7
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    Are any of you familiar with Oak Brook? It is a school of law and government with ties to Bill Gothard. Many of its graduates have gone to work for the homeschool defense fund and other similar groups.

    http://www.obcl.edu

    They are unaccredited and not ABA approved. That isn't hidden. I would like this NOT to be the same old discussion about accreditation that we've all read a thousand times. (I'm a proponent of accreditiation...and hate diploma mills)

    This thread has been a little bare lately and I had some mild interest in this school.

    I await your thoughts!

    -Matt
     
  2. TomVols

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    I'm mildly familiar. It's difficult to graduate from Oak Brook and do much with a J.D. from there due to the lack of utility and lack of accpetance of DL law school degrees by the overwhelming majority of state bars.
     
  3. Jack Matthews

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    The bottom line for consideration of any law school is 1] Will their accreditation provide for your admission to the bar exam and 2] does their classroom and practical pedagogy prepare you to pass the bar exam.

    How well do their graduates do on the bar exam? That will tell you about the quality of the school.

    I'm not familiar with Oak Brook.
     
  4. Rhetorician

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    FYI! (for me)?

    I would like to know?

    1. Which state will allow you one to take the bar with a degree from this school?

    2. What could one do with a degree from there otherwise?

    Questions for clarity sake only.

    sdg!:thumbs:

    rd
     
  5. Brice

    Brice
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    Rhet.,

    Typically schools such as Oak Brook go for accreditation from the bar in California. This is because the bar in California is typically respected and in some cases reciprocal, despite the lack of ABA accreditation. Say you go to an unaccredited law school that is recognized by the state of California, but not the ABA and you pass the state bar, in some cases you can then sit for the bar in a select few other states (you can also practice in the state of California). That being said, an unaccredited degree isn’t worth much in terms of practicality unless you can do this. I would also assume there would be a few consulting positions and things of this nature, but your options are limited. If I remember reading right Jack Matthews is an attorney with a degree from Vandy, I’m sure he could answer questions regarding other opportunities. God bless.
     
  6. TomVols

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    Oak Brook has a very good Baby Bar and Cal Bar pass rate.

    If your state does not have reciprocity, you can still (after passing the Cal bar) practice in federal courts or as an in-house counsel. Some states may allow that, after a period of time has passed, you can sit for your own state bar. See the following:http://www.obcl.edu/faq-grad.php#2

    Truthfully, I would've loved to have done a J.D. online. If Tennessee had reciprocity, I would have jumped at the chance.
     
  7. Jack Matthews

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    You would need to check the requirements of the state where you wanted to sit for the bar. California apparently recognizes the degrees from Oak Brook. If you wanted to sit for the bar in another state, they would have to recognize a non-ABA accredited school and reciprocate with California. The non-ABA accreditation would, in my opinion, be the more limiting factor. The state bar association would be able to tell you right away if they would do that. I'm not sure how many states would meet both of those criteria, but there might be several.

    If you are interested in studying law at a Christian university, or even specifically a Baptist university, there are plenty of them out there with ABA accreditation. I would strongly recommend Baylor University in Waco, Texas. I've heard the environment there is exceptionally Christian and they produce some top quality graduates who are known for their very visible Christian faith and ethics.

    On line J.D. is a new thing, and in spite of the perception that the legal community is progressive, there are a lot of people who control the requirements who don't think it is as good as sitting in a classroom. Tennessee obviously doesn't.
     
    #7 Jack Matthews, Nov 16, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 16, 2006
  8. Sly Fox

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    I['ve known a number of Baylor law grads practicing here in Texas. They all are top notch. But I believe it costs a great deal more than the state-sponsored law schools. As far as Christian law schools with accreditation go, why not Liberty?
     
  9. Jack Matthews

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    Up front costs at a school like Baylor aren't always a reflection of what it would actually take out of pocket to go there. The law school is small and the endowment is large. I know several Baylor grads who paid less than 20% of the cost of their law school education out of pocket, and got scholarships for the rest. If you can hang out in the top 10% of your class, and keep your GPA up, cost isn't going to be a factor at most schools.

    I haven't come into contact with any Liberty graduates, which is not surprising since the legal field in Tennessee is pretty crowded with grads of in-state schools and Nashville in particular is pretty saturated with lawyers, which means earning power is not as good here and opportunities are limited.

    If your faith is pretty strong, I'd advise you to go to law school at one of the prominent state-supported universities in your state. Be salt and light somewhere. Attach yourself to non-believers and build relationships in which you can share the gospel. You're probably strong enough not to be swayed by the philosophy of this world, law schools need to be salted and lighted by strong, mature Christians who aren't afraid to be in the world but not of it. Go make friends with some lost people and use the time you have together at law school to share the gospel with them.
     
  10. Rhetorician

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    Jack Matthews Response!

    Hey Jack,

    I am from Nashville originally. I have always heard of the old "YMCA Law School." I think it is now the Nashville School of Law. I would be interested in your take and opinion of it.

    Let me hear from you when you can.

    sdg!:thumbs:

    rd
     
  11. mjohnson7

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    the cost at Oak Brook is minimal....$3000 an academic year. If you've ever checked law school tuition, you know that is cost is unheard of, even at state schools. They do not want their graduates leaving school with debt, and so they will finance each academic year's tuition over that ten months. If you're familiar with the Gothard movement, you'll understand this. Their philosophy is if you don't have any debt from law school, like most do (check the stats, most graduate with a ton of debt), you are free to do more ministry minded work with your JD. As others have said, you can sit for the bar in CA and practice there. I believe many are in-house counsels at projects in DC.

    Baylor is a fabulous school. I seriously considered attending there. One thing that was appealing to me about their program, aside from its rigor and strong graduates they produce, was the ability to go year-round because they are on the quarter system. With no summber breaks, I believe you could graduate in 26 months. However the Lord has kept me in the pastorate and Baylor is 12 hours away.

    I'm still hoping the Lord will allow me to go to law school at some point, but it has not been my path as of yet. Liberty is my alma mater, so they would be my first choice right now.
     
  12. Jack Matthews

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    That's it.

    It got its name because that's where it originally held classes back in the early part of the century (20th, that is). In fact, I think it met in various YMCA facilities until a few years ago. It offers night classes, so the typical program of study there lasts longer than if you went full time, but it is an excellent school. Our firm has contracted with attorneys who went there.

    I'm not originally from Nashville, I came here to go to college, fell in love with the place, and have been here ever since.
     
  13. TomVols

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    The Nashville law school is the only PT law school in the state. Darn it :)
     
  14. Rhetorician

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    "Christian Based" Law Schools

    This is just a generic question. However, this is the "Baptist Board."

    What say ye about two other law schools:

    Pat Robertson's Regent U. Law School and Liberty U. Law School? (I think they have a law school?!).

    I would like to hear from some who have interacted with them.

    sdg!:thumbs:

    rd
     
  15. Jack Matthews

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    Those are both in Virginia. The east coast tends to be a magnet for attorneys, like California. Tennessee doesn't seem to have the same attraction, at least in the legal field, unless you are in the music business. Looking at their websites, they both appear to be relatively small law schools.

    The fact that Regent is associated with the ministry of Pat Robertson is enough to convince me to keep my distance. The only contact I've had with anyone who has gone to Liberty is through a couple of guys in my Bible study group at church who started out there, but one transferred back to a community college here after a semester and one went to Union in Jackson after a year. It apparently didn't meet either of their expectations, though they were making straight A's there.
     
  16. mjohnson7

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    the Christian Law Association and ACLJ employ several Regent Law grads since they were the only law school prior to Liberty to teach law from a distinctly Christian perspective. Liberty Law's inaugural class will graduate in May of '07, I believe.

    Regent also has a very close working relationship with ACLJ, and I know that many law students get externships there.
     
  17. Jack Matthews

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    You mean, the only law school to teach law from their own distinctive, religious right wing position. There are several law schools that teach from a distinctively Christian perspective, and always have done so. These are the first to apply the principles of the movement that Jerry Falwell originally defined as the "moral majority" which is one, but not the only, "distinctively Christian" position.

    And actually, looking at them a little closer, at least from the information they put forward on their websites, they differ in doctrinal perspective. Their philosophy in teaching law differs a bit as well. Regent has a charismatic flavor to it that is not present in Liberty's fundamentalist approach.
     
  18. mjohnson7

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    Originally posted by Jack Matthews:
    You're right...Regent and Liberty are distinctively different in some respects. Regarding the perspective...I welcome the "relgious right wing" perspective (what I prefer to call, "Biblical Perspective"), to higher education since it has been effectively hijacked by theological liberals, even though they "claim" to be Christian.
     
  19. Jack Matthews

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    That might be a good topic for another thread, though I am sure it has been discussed here thoroughly before, but I do not consider the "religious right" or what was once known as the "Moral Majority" position to be equal to "Biblical." The differences between Regent and Liberty, in practice and theology, preclude both of them being "Biblical," since there are some significant differences between them.

    I do not believe a person must attend a "distinctively Christian" law school in order to be able to effectively turn their career position into a ministry. From some obvious, simple things like praying with every client that comes through the door, or praying for God's guidance in the way a case should proceed, to letting the fruit of the spirit show in everything you do, all the way up to complicated matters such as influencing lawmakers and laws on behalf of a Christian perspective, the requirement for that is for an individual to have a walk with the Lord that includes involvement in the ministry of a local church, a strong prayer life, and a clear understanding of the scriptures. There are several men and women whom I consider to be my mentors and friends who practice law that way, and none of them were educated in a Christian law school. I hope I live up to the example they set for me. Some of them were salt and light in the law school I attended, and I benefitted from their example. We need more Christians in secular places.
     
  20. mjohnson7

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    Originally posted by Jack Matthews:
    I completely agree with you and praise the Lord for men and women like that. However, many more law students tend to become like their mentors or taken on the views of their profs than those who do not. For "weaker" believers, I think the extra help of being at a school where profs intentionally integrate faith with their teaching would be beneficial.

    I am glad that there are committed believers like yourself practicing law. Two of my best friends are such men as well....committed believers practicing law. However, as a whole our society has a very low view of the profession....who doesn't know a tacky lawyer joke? I think schools like Regent and Liberty are teaching these students that their is honor in practicing law and by attending places like them, they are decidedly stonger believers, and lawyers, as a result.

    Happy Thanksgiving.
     

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