Frequently Asked Questions And Answers To Them
- Is Northwestern California University accredited?
- What is the history of the school and where is it located?
- Does the school year depend on my enrollment date or does it begin on a specific set date?
- How are the courses structured and how are assignments given out?
- How are the professors available to the students?
- How will I know the start date and end date for my first term of study?
- Which casebooks are used by the students?
- Do I have to take and pass the California First-Year Law Students' Examination (the "Baby Bar")?
- May I enroll in the law study program and register as a law student with the State Bar of California without any prior college credit?
- Must I take the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) to gain entry to the school's law study program?
- Are TOEFL or IELTS test scores required for international applicants?
- Does Northwestern California University have any law degree programs other than the standard Juris Doctor degree program?
- May I transfer units completed at other law schools to Northwestern California University?
- How can I get further information about the school's accredited law study program and obtain an enrollment application?
Is Northwestern California University accredited? Also?
Northwestern California University is fully accredited by the Committee of Bar Examiners (CBE) of the State Bar of California and its graduates are eligible to practice law in California after passing the California Bar Examination, and are eligible to practice in certain other states and the District of Columbia (Washington D.C.) pursuant to special eligibility rules.
The school was approved in 1982 to confer degrees by the State of California Department of Education, and was granted accreditation in 2020, after the State Bar of California changed its rules to allow accreditation for law schools offering distance education. The school is not American Bar Association (ABA) approved.
Northwestern California University graduates have so far been admitted as lawyers in Washington D.C., the states of Alaska, California, Florida, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Mexico, Washington and Wisconsin; and in the U.S. Territory of Puerto Rico (Federal).
It is also true that, regardless of location, as members of the California Bar they can represent individuals in litigation related to federal tax, customs & trade, immigration, military courts-martial (as non-military lawyers), veterans claims and many other matters, with bar membership that can be acquired in certain federal courts, including the U.S. Court of Federal Claims; the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit; the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims; the Army Court of Criminal Appeals; the Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals; the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals; the Coast Guard Court of Criminal Appeals; the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces; the U.S. Tax Court; the U.S. Court of International Trade; and the U.S. Supreme Court, and can represent individuals in general immigration matters with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services; in general tax matters with the Internal Revenue Service; and in other administrative matters with many other federal agencies.
One or more states have had rules that allowed bar eligibility to the school's graduates, if they possess a JD law degree from the school and an LLM degree from an ABA approved school, with no special requirement related to prior bar membership in California or anywhere, and no requirement involving prior active practice as a lawyer. However, these rules have been changing significantly, and since eligibility requirements are relatively comprehensive and can change extensively anytime, you are urged to make inquiries to determine all pertinent details related to gaining bar eligibility in the state or states where you wish to practice law.
In addition to checking with the bar organizations of the states where you may wish to practice law; you should also review the Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admission Requirements. The publication is available on the National Conference of Bar Examiners website at the following URL: http://www.ncbex.org/assets/media_files/Comp-Guide/CompGuide.pdf
Officials at St. Thomas University School of Law in Miami, Florida (an ABA approved law school) have confirmed that they will accept graduates of the school's JD program in their schools' LLM program. Certain other ABA law schools with LLM programs may also accept the school's JD degree graduates as LLM students. Their catalogs usually indicate that they require, as a prerequisite to enrollment, the prior conferment of a Juris Doctor degree from an ABA approved law school. In reality though, these schools will occasionally accept graduates of schools that are not ABA approved, and in doing so, apply a relaxed standard that looks at the "complete picture" of an applicant's background and experience.
Lastly, it should be noted that there are opportunities for the school's graduates to practice law in other countries. Each graduate of the school, for example, can become a Solicitor of England and Wales. A solicitor is one of the two types of lawyers in England and Wales. Information regarding the process of becoming a solicitor can be obtained from the website of The Solicitors Regulatory Authority of England and Wales at the following URL: https://www.sra.org.uk/become-solicitor
You can obtain information related to study materials and other important details pertaining to the Solicitors Qualifiying Examination (SQE) at the following URL: https://www.qlts.com/sqe
What is the history of the school and where is it located?
Northwestern California University School of Law was founded in 1982. It is located in an office building with a beautiful campus-like setting alongside the Sacramento River in Sacramento, California. The school's facility contains an administrative lobby, faculty offices, a moot courtroom and a law library. The courtroom has been used over the years for the filming of lectures.
Does the school year depend on my enrollment date or does it begin on a specific set date?
The school year depends on your enrollment date. You may enroll at any time and begin your studies almost at once.
How are the courses structured and how are assignments given out? For instance, how will I know when to read which chapters and listen to lectures? Do I complete assignments at my own pace or are they assigned by a professor throughout the course?
Each term of studies is one year in duration and most students take four courses totaling 20 semester credits, per term. Each course has a detailed course syllabus which sets forth all the requirements students must meet to pass the course. The syllabus also includes a suggested study plan to help students coordinate and pace their work, but students have a great deal of flexibility to tailor their studies to fit their learning styles and schedules. Students must complete written assignments during the term, and must also complete participatory learning activities as part of “verified academic engagement” (VAE) requirements online. However, there is flexibility with regard to assignment submission dates and also with regard to selection of qualifying VAE activities. Most courses include an open-book midterm essay exam. Finally, students must take closed-book, proctored final exams on a date of their choice during the last month of the term and must qualify for final exams by completing most course requirements prior to requesting final exams. Thus, overall the program is self-paced, but there are some deadlines as well.
How are the professors available to the students?
The school's professors are available to students in online classes and discussion boards, via the school’s eJuris™ online teaching and learning platform, as well as by email.
How will I know the start date and end date for my first term of study?
Once a student enrolls, it typically takes 1-3 weeks before the student file is opened and a start date is assigned. The student is sent an email message on their start date, or a few days prior to their start date. The message provides various details including the student's enrollment date, and the start and end dates for the student’s year of studies.
Which casebooks are used by the students?
The assigned casebooks are the same as those typically used at traditional law schools. The casebook for the first year course on Torts would be a good one to look at to get a feel for the level of difficulty involved in the written material required for the program. This is the Prosser, Wade and Schwartz’s Torts: Cases and Materials by Victor E. Schwartz, Kathryn Kelly, and David F. Partlett.
Do I have to take and pass the California First-Year Law Students' Examination (FYLSX or "Baby Bar")?
All special students at Northwestern California University are required to take the FYLSX after successfully completing their first year of study. It is administered by the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar of California in June and October of each year.
Special students are those who, qualified for enrollment by taking and passing CLEP (College Level Examination Program) exams. Special students must pass the FYLSX to qualify for continued study at the law school.
Regular students are those who qualified for admission by having an associate or bachelor’s degree, or by having at least 60 semester credits (90 quarter credits) that qualify toward a bachelor’s degree. Regular students who successfully complete the first year of law studies in our program are then exempt from the FYLSX requirement.
With regard to special students who must take and pass the FYLSX, Section 6060 of the California Business and Professions Code, requires that students who must take and pass the FYLSX must do so within three administrations of first becoming eligible to take it, which is upon successful completion of their first year of law study. If passed during the first three administrations after becoming eligible to take the examination, credit may then be allowed for all courses taken prior to passing. Those who do not pass the examination within its first three administrations upon becoming eligible to take the examination, but who subsequently pass the examination, shall receive credit for one year of legal study only.
May I enroll in the law study program and register as a law student with the State Bar of California Bar without any prior college credit?
Students may qualify for admission as special students based upon CLEP exam scores. The required CLEP exams are as follows:
Passing score (typically 50% or higher) on the College Composition CLEP exam, plus passing scores on:
(a) two additional CLEP exams each of which is recommended for at least 6 credits; or
(b) four additional CLEP exams each of which is recommended for at least 3 units; or
(c) three additional CLEP exams, one of which is of which is recommended for at least 6 units and two of which are recommended for at least 3 units.
The exams described in (a) through (c) above may be from the following subject areas:
Composition and Literature (Humanities Examination Only)
History and Social Sciences
Science and Mathematics
Call (866) 630-9305 or go to the website at https://clep.collegeboard.org to schedule the examinations or to find more information, including a list of all CLEP exams, registration and cost information, and study guides.
California State Bar Policy Regarding CLEP
Scores And Semester Hours For CLEP Exams
Must I take the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) to gain entry to the school's law study program?
No. The school does not require LSAT scores for enrollment.
Are TOEFL or IELTS test scores required for international applicants?
All coursework at Northwestern California University is provided and completed in the English language. The school does not provide ESL (English as a Second Language) instruction. It is, therefore, essential that all enrolling students have a high level of comprehension and ability in oral and written expression in the English language.
International applicants for enrollment who are non-native speakers of English and who have not successfully completed at least two years of study at an institution where the language of instruction was in English must demonstrate English proficiency by submitting a score report from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
A TOEFL score of at least 550 points (paper-base test), 213 points (computer-based test) or 79 (internet based test) must be achieved. Alternatively, an IELTS band score of 6 or higher is required. There is no preference for one test over the other.
TOEFL information and test scheduling may be obtained through TOEFL Services, P.O. Box 6151, Princeton, NJ 08541-6151, U.S.A. Phone: (609) 771-7100, Fax: (609) 771-7500, E-mail: [email protected], Website: http://www.ets.org
IELTS information and test scheduling may be obtained through IELTS International, 100 E. Corson St., Suite 200, Pasadena, CA 91103, U.S.A. Phone: (626) 564-2954, Fax: (626) 564-2981, Email: [email protected], Website: http://www.ielts.org
The score reports must be submitted directly to Northwestern California University by the company conducting the testing. The school will not accept a copy of a score report from an applicant.
Does Northwestern California University have any law degree programs other than the standard Jurs Doctor degree program?
No. Northwestern California University does not offer any law degree programs other than the standard Juris Doctor degree program.
May I transfer units completed at other law schools to Northwestern California University?
Yes. The school accepts units for courses successfully completed at American Bar Association (ABA) approved law schools and California Accredited Law Schools (CALS). Also, the school may accept credits earned in unaccredited programs registered with the State Bar of California for applicants who have passed the California First-Year Law Students' Examination (FYLSX). Transfer of credits is determined on an individual basis during the admission process.
If a student has passed the FYLSX during the first-three administrations after becoming eligible to take the examination, credit can be allowed for all courses taken prior to passing. Those who do not pass the examination within its first three administrations upon becoming eligible to take the examinations, but who subsequently pass the examination, can receive credit for one year of legal study only.
How can I get further information about the school's accredited law study program and obtain an enrollment application?
Information about the accredited law study program at Northwestern California University and an application for enrollment are located on the web at http://www.nwculaw.edu.