Students Select Local College of Law for Diverse Reasons
The article entitled “Second Chance School” (Feb. 27) was at best a partial description of the main purpose and appeal to people attending Western State University College of Law. A studied trip around the parking lot overflowing with students’ Mercedes, BMWs, Jaguars and Corvettes is a clear indication that the people attending this accredited school must be high achievers and successful career persons.
The mean age of our future attorneys is 33 years and they indeed are successful, coming from diverse backgrounds in the professions, business and public service. Since a majority of students are already well established in their careers, they have no aspirations to become an associate in a “100" law firm sweating out the 2,300 billable hours required in these prestigious firms. Rather, the surgeon plans to establish his practice in medical malpractice law; the airline pilot plans on specializing in aviation law; the CPA will specialize in tax and estate planning; the Ph.D. engineer will become an intellectual property attorney and the writer is headed for maritime law, having been vice president of a corporation involved in international transportation.
The majority of Western students were not “shut out” of American Bar Assn. schools but were academically acceptable to these schools, chose Western State for at least one of the following reasons: the geographic location (the only accredited law school in Orange County); the part-time program, enabling the students to continue working; the immediate enrollment available for late deciders (instead of having to be put on a waiting list common in ABA schools).
So while we will be required to practice law in California for from 3 to 5 years before being able to practice law in the other 49 states, we each chose this school and these circumstances because the benefits did outweigh the disadvantages. As president of the Student Bar Assn., I speak for all my constituents when I say none of us intend to become cogs in the wheel--we are the wheel!
MARA W. FEIGER
President, Student Bar Assn.
Western State University, College of Law