Ray Hayden

Ray Hayden

Ray Hayden's Book

Ray Hayden's Book

Cat(s) of the Month:

Bella and Linus

Bella and Linus

Ray's J.D. (Juris Doctor)

Northwestern California University School of Law (NWCULaw).

Northwestern California University School of Law provides the potential student with the ability to study law, on a part time basis, for a period of four years.

If one is successful in passing all of the coursework and meeting other requirements for the California Bar, including passing the First Year Law Students Exam, sometimes called the FYLSX, FYLSE, or the "Baby Bar", a graduate of NWCULaw may sit for the California General Bar Exam.

If that student is successful with passing the California General Bar, they may find that they can take other states bar exams from almost immediately to three, four, five and ten years out from initially being admitted in California.

Some jurisdictions only require that you be admitted somewhere else before you take their bar exam if your school is not ABA accredited, which, by the ABA's own rules NWCULaw cannot be, due to the residence requirement of the ABA for the JD degree.

NWCULaw allows the successful student to enter into the field of law for a very affordable price. Current rates of around $3,000 ($2,850) per year are about the cost of a single class in many law schools.

For the incredible savings, the successful graduate is limited to where they can practice law initially. As stated, after a period of ten years, most jurisdictions open up and become available to all NWCULaw graduates to sit for a bar exam after having practiced in California (or other jurisdictions).

Some require that the prospect be admitted to the Federal (or highest) court in a jurisdiction where they are already admitted, but the doors open over time.

I specifically chose Northwestern California University School of Law because they provide the opportunity to sit for the California General Bar Exam upon completion of the program and meeting other California Bar Requirements. This process opens the door to a solid number of jurisdictions at an excellent price point.

I want to make an update note here (July of 2012).

There is another school, AISoL (American International School of Law), which is advertising that if you pass the FYLSX, that the additional years tuition will only be $2000 per year. I did not do any deep research into it - they have this right on their website. This would be less expensive than NWCULaw, but the program is slightly different. You would have to look it over in fine detail to determine if it is right for you.

For me, the goal is to complete my entire program at NWCULaw, but should I fail out of the 2L year, even after passing the FYLSX, I would be forced into taking a serious look at AISoL. My preference is to remain at NWCULaw for a variety of reasons.

Update, (August 2016):

I had to sit for the First Year Law Students' Examination six times, passing in October 2014. The results came out in mid December 2014, and I immediately restarted my 2L year. In January 2016, I started my 3L year.

Update, (December 2016):

I did well enough on my Mid Term exams, and I will be acquiring 2/3 credit for participation.

From the Mid Terms, and the extra credit, I "could" fail all four Final Exams and still progress into 4L - but I would be on Academic Probation. I am much further along in where I want to be than in any previous year, so I am rather hopeful that I won't fail any Final Exams, and I actually score somewhat decent grades.

Update, (January 2017):

I actually scored a slight increase to my participation extra credit, one full grade level on the Final Exams. I also needed that. I do not write the essays well, and it is a situation that I must improve upon greatly in order to be successful in the 4L year, and on the Bar Exam later on.

When I have the 3L Final Grade Report from the school, I will publish the Final Course Grades, but I believe that the overall GPA is going to be around 2.025, which is fine with me.

Here is the thing on law study and the exams, including the Bar Exam, they are not real, they are exams. I need to develop the skills necessary to allow a grader to decide my fate on each Essay and Performance Test and give me the nod of approval in less than ten minutes of their time. I am not quite there yet.

However, that said, I am able to identify the major issues in each essay that I have written up (badly). And here is the thing, the BIG points on the Bar Exam are in the major issues. I must be able to spot those major issues, and spit up a decent enough answer that gives the impression that I have a basic understanding of what I need to know.

In the three years of law study I have completed, I am a borderline failure on that aspect of it.

I will try to develop that skill enough this year to give myself a better chance on the first attempt at the Bar Exam in February 2018, but should I fail the exam - even a number of times - I will use it as the learning experience that it is, and I will analyze what I did wrong, take corrective action, and try again. Moreover, I will share what I learn, so that others coming through the process behind me can learn from whatever mistakes I might make - and pass the General Bar Exam sooner, rather than later.

I expect to be successful in my 4L year, graduate in January 2018, and sit for the California Bar in February 2018.

Update, (January 2018):

I did complete my Juris Doctor degree with NWCULaw in January 2018, and began preparing for the California Bar Exam administration in February 2018. The primary point of this page is that Northwestern California University School of Law, NWCULaw, allowed me the opportunity to partake in the study of law, earn a Juris Doctor degree, at a very reasonable price point, and score the opportunity to sit for the California Bar Exam.

This is arguably the most difficult bar exam to pass in the nation, and although it migrated from three days to two, the pass rate has not improved.

That said, there really was no other program, anywhere, that I could have used to complete my study of law, at any price, and for that, I am very thankful for the opportunity that NWCULaw has given to me - simply by being available!

Going forward, I have a feeling that I have a duty to those who come up through the program behind me to sit for, and pass, the California Bar Exam, this is my goal, and what I am working on since graduation.