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Last Post 28 Jun 2017 02:15 PM by  martin.pritikin
R-16-0042 Rule 34(b)(1)(D) and (f)(1)(B) Rules of the Supreme Court
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Linda Koschney
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Posts:43 New Member

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22 Dec 2016 10:12 AM
    R-16-0042 Rule 34(b)(1)(D) and (f)(1)(B)

    Would allow graduates with a Juris Doctor from an online law school approved by a federally recognized regional accreditor to apply to be admitted to practice law in Arizona.

    Concord Law School at Kaplan University
    Martin Pritikin (California SBN 210845)
    Dean and Vice President
    10100 Santa Monica Blvd. Suite 365
    Los Angeles, CA 90067
    Ph: (323) 533-0002
    martin.pritikin@kaplan.edu
    www.concordlawschool.edu

    Filed November 14, 2016.

    Comments due May 22, 2017.

    ORDERED: Petition for Amendment to A.R.S. Sup. Ct. Rules, Rule 34 Regarding Applicant Requirements and Qualifications for Admission to the Bar= DENIED.
    Attachments
    Yvonne Keith Perkins
    New Member
    Posts:1 New Member

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    26 Jan 2017 10:34 AM
    Honorable Supreme Court Justices,

    My name is Yvonne Keith Perkins. I am a 51 year old male and a 28 year resident of the State of Arizona. I am also a 2013 JD Graduate from Concord Law School. I would like to recommend that the Court give serious consideration to Dean Pritikin's request.

    I am a Senior Vice President for the Londen Insurance Group, Inc. here in Phoenix. I have worked for the company since I moved here in 1988 starting out as an entry level associate. I have worked diligently, studied hard and applied myself to my not only my work, but also my education. Since starting at Londen Insurance Group in 1988, I have completed my bachelors degree in business management at Arizona State University.

    In 2008, senior leadership at Londen Insurance Group requested that I consider taking over the litigation management for the company. We had an experienced officer who had a legal education degree working in the company who was approaching retirement age and was starting to slow down in activity with the company. I agreed to consider the opportunity presented and started to look into the prospect of attending law school.

    At that time, there was basically two options in the State of Arizona, Arizona State University and University of Arizona. Phoenix School of Law (now known as Arizona Summit Law School) was not an ABA accredited law school. Since I lived and worked in Phoenix, the University of Arizona was not an option. When I checked in the law program at ASU, they only had their full-time program that was given during the day. First year students were required to only work a maximum of ten hours during the first year. This was not a viable option for me and my family.

    Therefore, I looked into Concord Law School. I can honestly tell you that I worked mostly a 50+ hour per week job while attending Concord. I read, studied, and wrote diligently during my time at Concord Law School. It was the hardest, but most rewarding, education opportunity that I had ever experienced. It took an amazing amount of support from my colleagues at Londen Insurance Group, Inc. and from my family to get through the full four year program (it actually took me five years). I had to take a break after the third year because I was just worn down from the constant work and study those first three years.

    When I finished the first year curriculum, I traveled to California to take the First Year Law Students Examination, and I am happy to state that I passed on the first try. My experience at Concord Law School was educational, but I always felt support from professors, students and administration every step of the way. When I graduated in February 2013, I finally got to really spend time with my fellow students and faculty at the school. What a wonderful day and trip to California that was, my family came with me to watch me be "hooded" and were so proud of the dedication and perseverance that I showed to get through the program.

    I still hold my job at the Londen Insurance Group, Inc. I am currently the Senior Vice President of the company, and I will probably retire here. I never went to take the California Bar Exam after graduation, because I could never justify the extra time to study for the bar exam as well as the expense of the trip since I was not looking to practice law in the State of California.

    If this honorable court decides to approve Dean Pritikin's request and allow Concord Law School graduates the opportunity to take the Arizona bar exam, I will gladly sign up for a bar prep course and submit my name for the opportunity to pass the Arizona bar examination. At that point, I could finally become the company's Chief Legal Officer and fully support my company for the remaining years of my career.

    Please feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns. I would be happy to share my story about Concord Law School with any of you.

    Respectfully submitted,
    Yvonne Keith Perkins
    923 W. Morelos St.
    Chandler, AZ 85225
    Ph: 602-481-3957
    ykp98dlp@aol.com

    Gene Knippers
    New Member
    Posts:2 New Member

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    26 Jan 2017 11:00 AM
    I support allowing graduates from online law schools to sit for the Arizona bar exam.
    Gene Knippers
    New Member
    Posts:2 New Member

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    26 Jan 2017 07:58 PM
    My name is Gene Knippers and I am a J.D. graduate of Concord Law School. I would like the opportunity to sit for and pass the Arizona bar exam. I support Dean Pritikin's request. My contact information is:
    Gene Knippers
    1115 E. Shannon St.
    Gilbert, AZ 85295
    Ph: 925-286-9438
    gene.knippers@gmail.com
    Anne Phillips
    New Member
    Posts:1 New Member

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    15 Feb 2017 12:45 PM
    Dear Honorable Supreme Court Justices,

    My name is Anne Phillips and I have been a member of the Arizona Bar since 1988, in continuous practice in Phoenix. For the past 8 years, I have also taught online for Kaplan University. I wholeheartedly support and recommend that JD graduates from Concord University and other online law schools be recognized as valid for admission to the Arizona Bar. Online education is no longer the wave of the future, it is here. I have had hundreds of online students who have had educational opportunities that would not have otherwise been available to them either due to having to work full time jobs to support families, having young children at home to care for, or those serving in the military who have been able to take advantage of the convenience of being able to literally get their educations anywhere they are in the world. These are students who have earned their degrees just as if they had been sitting in a physical classroom; please do not deny them the opportunity to become a member of the Bar.

    thank you for considering my comments.

    Anne Phillips, Esq.
    Arizona State Bar #012314
    Maricopa County Legal Defenders Office
    222 N. Central Ave. Ste 8100
    Phoenix, Az 85004-2531
    Ph: 602-506-0344
    anne.phillips@old.maricopa.gov
    Jeffrey Herman
    New Member
    Posts:1 New Member

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    21 Feb 2017 05:42 PM
    I am an attorney who graduated from Concord Law School, Kaplan University in 2012. I have resided in Arizona since 2008 and maintain an office in Scottsdale and a part-time office in San Diego. My practice is exclusively Federal, however I would love to branch into other areas of law that I am interested in.

    I am a strong proponent of this proposal. The 4 year program offered by Concord was enriching, educating, and rewarding. I not only was prepared to pass the California Bar on my first attempt, but I graduated having accumulated knowledge in the practical aspects in operating a law practice. In particular, the majority of my peers were professionals in diverse industries, and the remote nature of the Concord platform fostered collaboration as opposed to competition. This afforded me the rare opportunity to gain insight into various styles of business management, in addition to the legal education.

    We are seeing more and more schools and universities launching online platforms sanctioned by different licensing bodies for promulgating education and developing technical skills. The increasing number of online offerings and societal acceptance strongly suggests that this is the way of the future. In the spirit of Arizona adopting the Uniform Bar Exam, I hope to see this rule proposal accepted so that I may someday sit for the Arizona bar exam.

    Respectfully,

    Jeffrey Herman
    7272 E. Indian School Rd.
    Suite 540
    Scottsdale, AZ 85251
    (844) 454-3762
    jeffrey@jhermanlaw.com
    California Bar Member #291062
    Robin Snyder
    New Member
    Posts:1 New Member

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    23 Feb 2017 10:41 AM
    Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this important proposal that will provide AZ residents with access to quality legal education and the ability to practice law without having to sacrifice work and financial obligations.

    I am a CA licensed attorney and a graduate of Concord Law School, Kaplan University, 2011. I have also been an AZ resident for almost 30 years and plan to stay in this great state. Several years ago I earned my MBA from ASU and subsequently formed a small consulting business to support my family. I quickly realized a legal education would enhance my services and investigated the various available JD programs. Unfortunately, at the time, the only options were ASU or UofA, both full time programs that would have required me to close my growing business in order to enroll. This wasn’t an option for me, either professionally or financially.

    In 2007 I enrolled in Concord Law School, and I was excited about the opportunity to finally obtain my JD while continuing to develop my professional skills, support my family and provide employment to several AZ residents. I learned that my classmates were mostly all working professionals, from diverse backgrounds, who were unable to attend full-time programs due to employment and financial obligations. Access to the online program enabled us to obtain a quality education that otherwise would have been impossible and unaffordable. The online platform was extremely interactive and personalized.

    The quality of education and personalized support from the professors enabled me to pass both the FYSLE and the grueling California Bar Exam on my first sitting. However, despite obtaining my CA license (arguably one of toughest bar exams) I am still prohibited from proving myself and practicing law in my home state of AZ.

    The current requirement of an accredited school limits AZ attorneys to either young people entering graduate school with little work experience, or the limited few professionals capable of committing themselves financially to full-time programs. Unfortunately, countless aspiring attorneys from diverse cultures, economic demographics and professional backgrounds are excluded from the AZ Bar because of these limitations. Improving access to part-time, affordable legal education with the ability to sit for the AZ Bar exam upon graduation will enhance the diversity and strength of our legal community. The discipline and dedication required to complete an on-line JD program is a testament to the dedication and character of the students, which are qualities that should be embraced by the legal community in AZ.
    A candidate must prove their competency to practice law by passing the bar exam, which establishes the minimum threshold of knowledge for the profession.

    Please consider altering the requirements and allowing candidates equal opportunity to prove their knowledge regardless of whether the school has received ABA accreditation. I personally look forward to the day I can pass the AZ Bar exam and practice law in my home state.

    Robin E. Snyder
    637 South 48th Street, Suite 201
    Tempe, AZ 85284
    602-369-8163
    robin@spectraspecs.com
    California Bar Member #283628
    DawnL
    New Member
    Posts:1 New Member

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    25 Feb 2017 09:02 AM
    This rule changed should be approved. As online schools continue to gain in popularity throughout the United States and in legal education, it is important to create a pathway for these graduates to practice law in more states. Online school creates the opportunity for busy, successful professionals to attend law school, because their schedule and obligations currently prevent them from attending a traditional brick and mortar school. Allowing these graduates with all of their different backgrounds and professional experience to sit for the bar in Arizona would create an exciting new diversity amongst the Arizona law community. Conversely, not allowing the rule change would continue to push these graduates into California to practice after passing the bar, creating a missed opportunity for a diverse Arizona citizen to stay here and practice where they reside. I believe that affirming this rule would be a benefit to the citizens of Arizona.

    Dawn M. Lucchesi
    38637 S. Gavin Drive
    Marana, AZ 85658
    (520) 449-4228
    mrslucchesi77@gmail.com
    J. Mandell Carter
    New Member
    Posts:1 New Member

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    06 Mar 2017 10:00 AM
    Good day to all.

    I am J. Mandell Carter and I am a 50 year old 1l student with Concord Law School (CLS).

    I want to make known my support of Dean Pritikin's efforts to persuade this and other jurisdictions to allow successful graduates of CLS to sit for this states Bar Exam. I believe that the education we are receiving from CLS is on par (if not in some cases, exceeds) with that of the contemporary brick and mortar law schools. We at CLS are under a tremendous amount of pressure which we meet with vigor and zeal to secure out place in the realm Law. I feel that our efforts and those of the Professors and all those associated with assisting in our success make us ideal candidates for acceptance into the field of Law, yet, other than in a few states, we are denied that opportunity unjustly.

    I feel that we will become assets not only to our future clients, states in which we may practice but to the the Law itself in that our ideas and zest for what is right, fair and just will promote the creation and adoption of laws for the betterment of all. I humbly ask this Court to allow the petition proffered by Dean Pritikin in an effort to ensure that "...And Justice For All" is not just a passing statement but a true reality.

    Thank you for your time,

    J. Mandell Carter
    1209 Goleta Way
    Hanford, CA 93230
    559.326.6010
    j.madellcarter@gmail.com
    JenD
    New Member
    Posts:1 New Member

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    06 Mar 2017 11:07 PM
    Jennifer Devine
    388 Santana Row 1409
    San Jose, CA 95128
    650-704-4590
    jendev7@yahoo.com
    ASU Graduate, 1989
    (former US Army Lieutenant Jennifer Freese)


    I am a proud 1989 Graduate of Arizona State University who hoped to attend law school right after college but was unable to. I worked my way into and through college, holding several part-time jobs at a time while also taking on the maximum in student loan debt. Thankfully, I earned a full ROTC scholarship before my Junior Year. My plans to attend law school were cut short; however, when I was required to report for Active Duty upon graduation with BA in Political Science from ASU, Shortly thereafter my unit was called into combat duty in the Gulf War - in support of Operation Desert Shield/Storm. I still had a dream to go to law school after returning from the Gulf, but "life" got in the way. I married shortly after returning to the U.S and began a new "career", raising 3 amazing kids. Four years ago when my oldest left for college (she now holds a BSN/RN), I finally had the opportunity to follow my dream and attend law school. I chose Concord Law School, a non-ABA law school here in California, because it was a good fit for me, since I still had kids at home and a husband who traveled extensively, and also because I would like to focus on Veteran's advocacy, which I realized would not be a high paying career, although it will be rewarding in other ways.

    WIthout the flexibility and affordability of an onine school, I likely would never have followed my dream. I earned an MBA in 1996 and am employable in a number of areas; however, when I found out the California rules allowed this flexibility, I knew I just had to try. Another reason the non-ABA route worked for me was that I realized I could practice in California without restriction, and also in Wisconsin, my birth state, after taking and passing their Bar exam. Recently I have been considering moving out of California, perhaps after my youngest child graduates from high school. Prices are high and traffic is bad, and it does rain quite a bit here in Northern California (I live in the SF Bay area). I always loved Arizona - that is why I chose ASU over UWisconsin! I will take the CA-bar this summer, in July, 2017. Although I do believe I could have been accepted to law school at ASU, I didn't get the opportunity to attend there, since the Army took me far away, never to return. I would love to get back to Arizona and practice there, but your current Bar Rules do not allow it. I believe the citizens of the great State of Arizona will benefit if Arizona offers all California bar passers the opportunity to take the Arizona Bar exam. The students who are capable of passing the California exam after attending an online non-accredited school are those very same students that would have thrived in an excellent accredited law school such as ASU or U of A. These students have proven themselves to be extremely internally motivated and they are very hard workers who go the extra mile.5 to achieve their goals. These graduates have proven they have the intellectual ability, depth of knowledge, and stamina that is required of an exemplary attorney practicing in Arizona. These graduates are often semi-retired, seeking a second career, or following a life-long dream, like myself. You will not find any hint of entitlement from these law school graduates. They have paid a price, made a sacrifice, and found strength to overcome adversity, challenges and adversity. Attrition in online schools is very high - - the graduates who pass the CA Bar are seriously drive and have the character and qualities which will add value and a depth of worldly knowledge to your State Bar. Many of these prospective new AZ lawyers will choose to practice in areas of law which are not options for the debt-ridden brand new attorney just out of college and lawschool. Post-Army, I was fortunate enough to have had a short but successful career in Human Resources. Financially secure, it is my turn to give back. Many other Non-ABA law school graduates have similar stories and goals. You will be opening your doors to veterans, successful professionals, and a wide variety of men and women from very diverse backgrounds as compared with the typical brick and mortar graduate. These are all people who will be successful, have much to offer, and could have attended a traditional law school but for financial considerations, or "life" getting in the way. Citizens of Arizona will receive a benefit, as will the Arizona State Bar Association. Please give all successful licensed California attorneys to pass the Arizona Bar Exam and practice law in Arizona. Thanks for your consideration, Go SunDevils!
    Dolan M. Williams
    New Member
    Posts:1 New Member

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    20 Mar 2017 08:43 PM
    I am an Arizona native and a graduate of the law online law school Concord Law School. As a non-traditional law graduate who supported a family by working full-time, I was able to achieve my goal of earning my JD and eventually practicing law. I strongly believe the legal needs of our rural neighbors in places like Black Canyon City, Williams, Marana, and Prescott, and Pinetop can be more easily met if the members of the community can not only live, but also learn while staying close to home. By approving this petition, Arizona can pave away for citizens to sit for the bar and eventually provide one of the community's most basic needs: legal advice and representation.

    Dolan M. Williams
    Attorney at Law
    dolanwilliams08@gmail.com
    14781 Pomerado Road, #208
    Poway, CA 92064
    916-200-6404
    James C. Mitchell
    New Member
    Posts:1 New Member

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    31 Mar 2017 11:26 AM
    James C. Mitchell
    State Bar of Arizona No. 017387
    1098 W. Shoal Creek Lane
    Oro Valley, AZ 85737
    Ph: 520-907-2478
    Email: mitchell@email.arizona.edu


    State Bar of Arizona Member's Comment in Support of Petition
    Attachments
    Penelope Bryan
    New Member
    Posts:1 New Member

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    24 Apr 2017 05:35 PM


    I write to express my support for Concord Law School at Kaplan University’s petition to allow regionally accredited online law school graduates to sit for the Arizona Bar Exam.

    Although I do not reside in Arizona, I live in nearby Colorado. Both of these states are geographically large with a small number of law schools concentrated in high-density areas. Moreover both have a relatively large underserved Native American population.

    I have been involved in legal education for four decades as a professor or senior administrator at several American Bar Association accredited law schools. Most recently I served seven years as a Dean. I also spent a number of years in practice in civil litigation and family law.

    I am not affiliated with Concord Law School or Kaplan University, but believe that the proposed rule change could well serve the residents of the Arizona. The proposed rule change that authorizes online law school graduates to sit for the Arizona Bar Exam would increase access to legal education for residents who do not live in the greater Phoenix or Tucson areas where Arizona’s only law schools are located. Very importantly, those graduates would provide much needed access to legal services for Arizona residents who live in rural areas.

    From my service as a Dean of an ABA law school, I have learned that students who attend law schools in metropolitan areas often prove reluctant to pursue jobs in rural or less populated areas. Because students at an online law school need not live in a metropolitan area or move to a metropolitan campus, they more likely will hail from the more remote areas whose residents lack adequate access to legal services. Consequently, the on-line graduates more likely will represent clients in remote areas than students who attend law school in a metropolitan area.

    Access to justice remains a significant problem for the legal profession as well as the indebtedness of law school graduates. Because attendance at an online law school proves significantly less expensive than attendance at most ABA law schools, online schools allow students to graduate with less debt and enable them to serve the legal needs of less wealthy clients. For instance, when I served as Dean, my former law school launched an incubator program. The program helped recent ABA law school graduates to open their own practices in a cost-effective way so that they could offer reasonable rates to modest means clients. Unfortunately, we found that a number of graduates who initially expressed interest in the incubator program ultimately decided not to participate. They reasoned that their high student debt prevented them from offering their services for modest rates. Undoubtedly, the high cost of legal education directly contributes to the high cost of legal services. A lower-cost online school can ameliorate that problem.

    When I served as Dean, we also considered venturing into online legal education, including partnerships with various service providers. During my investigation, I realized that some online programs were very thoughtfully designed and benefitted from the work of brilliant and experienced educators. I learned not to assume that an online program necessarily is less effective than a traditional one. Indeed some online programs seemed more innovative than traditional ones, particularly because they are not subject to the same institutional and ABA accreditation constraints, and they can take advantage of technology to accomplish things that are not possible in a brick-and-mortar setting.

    I also learned that students at online law schools are not necessarily less qualified than those at traditional campuses. I can speak from personal experience: I was a 34-year old single mother of three children when I attended the University of Florida for my J.D and my M.A degrees. I know from that experience, that older students who have been away from school for a while, and who must work or raise children while they pursue their degrees, face significant challenges that the typical law student in their early 20’s does not. Some students can succeed in traditional law schools despite these obstacles, however, an online program offers these students an alternative that raises fewer challenges to their success. If such students succeed in an online program, it seems to me that they should have the same opportunities as students who succeed at brick and mortar schools --including the opportunity to sit for the bar exam.

    Currently the legal profession and legal education face significant challenges that have forced changes in longstanding institutions and norms. For example, Harvard Law School announced that it would accept the GRE in lieu of the LSAT from applicants (after the University of Arizona pioneered that shift). Arizona State University has become known nationwide for its online programs, although it does not offer a JD online. Allowing graduates of an online law school to sit for the Arizona Bar Exam ameliorates many of the difficult challenges facing legal education and the profession and is consistent with the inevitable future direction of legal education.

    Thank you for consideration of these comments.

    Sincerely,


    Penelope E. Bryan
    4 Wren
    Littleton, Colorado 80127

    303-386-5251

    Florida Bar Member 0379999
    Beth
    New Member
    Posts:1 New Member

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    04 May 2017 08:48 AM
    Honorable Supreme Court Justices,

    My name is Beth Alexander and I have been licensed to practice law in Arizona since 2007. I've been a Maricopa County Deputy Public Defender for over nine years and have devoted my career to indigent representation. I am a strong proponent of Dean Pritikin's proposal and believe that CLS students, as well as students from other online institutions, should have the opportunity to take the Arizona Bar Exam.

    The admission standards of CLS exceed those of at least one ABA accredited law school in Arizona. Further, the education provided by CLS is on par, if not superior, to many ABA accredited schools. Students of online law schools come from a wide variety of backgrounds and often do not have access to a brick and mortar law school in their communities. Without the opportunity to complete their education online, the majority of the students would be unable to earn their Juris Doctorate. Many of these students have significant responsibilities that prevent them from being able to move to a city with a traditional law school (ie. full time employment, family, etc). CLS offers students the opportunity to learn while meeting their other obligations. Additionally, this serves an important public interest as it will likely lead to the licensure of attorneys in more rural areas that currently lack legal resources.

    I support Dean Pritikin's petition and hope that the Court provides these students with the opportunity to become a member of the Arizona Bar.

    Thank you,
    Beth Alexander, Bar No, 025341
    620 W. Jackson, Suite 4015
    Phoenix, AZ 85003
    602-506-7711
    AlexanderB@mail.maricopa.gov
    dsaetang
    New Member
    Posts:1 New Member

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    04 May 2017 03:00 PM
    Dear Honorable Supreme Court Justices,

    My name is David Saetang and I am writing to you in support of Petition R-16-0042. I am an attorney licensed to practice in the State of California and the U.S. States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. For the reasons below, I respectfully submit that it is in the Court’s best interests to strongly consider allowing qualified students, such as those from Concord Law School, to sit for the Arizona Bar Exam upon graduation. In short, educational programs such as Concord Law School’s serve as an important resource to underrepresented individuals seeking to improve not only their own lives but the lives of those around them. Indeed, it is the smaller, local communities that will greatly benefit from having improved access to both legal education and services, especially where the individuals who will be rendering such services continue to meet those stringent standards of ethics and quality that are required by every state bar. The educational landscape has evolved and the law should not be an exception.

    I will begin my submission to your Honors with a personal plea involving the firsthand account of my professional development with the intention of highlighting the importance of the accessibility to educational resources in general. As stated earlier, I am now an attorney licensed to practice in the State of California, but my journey into the legal world was all but traditional. Long before I ever wrote any briefs or contracts for clients, many of whom are in the restaurant and food business, I was a teenager working as a dishwasher and prep chef while attending college full-time at Pitzer College. In fact, I worked as many as five part-time jobs while attending classes, but I was never dissuaded from my studies. This is because I had resources surrounding me in the form of experienced and passionate faculty and staff who guided my education, and, perhaps even more importantly, a community comprised of friends, family, coworkers, and customers who placed their hope, faith, and encouragement in me to help change the world somehow. Upon graduation, I successfully received a Fulbright Scholarship to South Korea, where I researched its secondary education system. During my year-long grant, I also worked at a local high school and volunteered as an English teacher as the U.S. Embassy in Daegu, South Korea. In Korea, I truly began to understand the importance of accessibility of education and resources as I had transitioned from a full-time recipient to a full-time provider.

    One cannot seriously doubt the profound impact that education can have on nearly any individual. This is education not merely in the form of teaching a person words and ideas, but more so in providing better clarity, context, and understanding in the world surrounding them. As a teacher in South Korea, I was tasked with teaching hundreds of teenagers the English language and why they should care about studying it in the first place. My students ranged from would-be engineers who, even as teenagers, had a far stronger grasp of science than I did, to students who were convinced that English was a “waste of their time because they would never leave Korea anyway.” By helping my students to understand how connected the world really is and facilitating their potential to influence change in their own lives, I at least inspired a few minds during my tenure. Just like those students fighting to be at the top of their classes, the individuals I taught at the U.S. Embassy never wavered in their enthusiasm and curiosity for learning English and about other cultures. These students ranged from grade school children wanting to supplement their studies in lieu of often expensive and unaffordable afterschool academies to working professionals seeking to improve their English to improve their businesses or even help their children with schoolwork. Regardless of the particular reasons or motivation for learning, the energy and effort was always there, and by having even one more outlet to foster their growth, these individuals had already began transforming their lives simply by continuing these cultural exchanges with the people around them. Grades improved and business expanded. Having experienced such change within one year and within the single context of language learning, I returned to the U.S. with the goal of attempting to facilitate as much positive change as possible, which led me towards the study and practice of law.

    My journey into the legal world began with a very specific need that could only be fulfilled by attending law school in the evenings part-time. As luck and fortune would have it, I would eventually be able to attend Whittier Law School as a part-time evening student in the fall of 2009. It was the only program at the time that would meet my requirements of being local enough (though still a roughly one-hour drive one way) while jumping back and forth between work and other private, familial necessities. I do not hesitate to say that were it not for that very specific program, I would not have been able to attend law school. My classes were extremely diverse, filled with working professionals from various industries and personal backgrounds. This provided the classroom with a wide range of perspectives on issues and subjects perhaps far more fulfilling than a day-time program where students tended not to have as much life nor work experience. In an age where academic institutions of all levels of prestige take pride in embracing diversity, this type of mixed collaboration certainly met, if not exceeded, those goals. Together, we night students became a family, each with differing goals and specializations, but with a common motivation to gain a legal education to better our own lives and those around us. Consequently, by being surrounded by likeminded and motivated individuals, I worked my way to the top third of my graduating class, serving on honor societies such as Law Review and the Trial Advocacy Honors Board, and even serving as the President of the entire student body during my graduating year. I also graduated with dual certificates in both Intellectual Property and International & Comparative Law, earning a fellowship in the former. The flexibility of Whittier’s part-time program allowed me to earn such certificates because I could personally tailor the kind of education I desired under the circumstances. Thus, just like my students back in South Korea, I was able to develop my personal and professional goals because I had an accommodating outlet that provided me with the opportunity to do so. Indeed, my efforts were later recognized and rewarded by some of the world’s most elite, as I earned internships with the both U.S. Army JAG Corps and NBCUniversal, which fall on two opposite sides of the legal practice spectrum but have the same strict standards of quality. In this manner, my academic endeavors came nearly full circle as these life-changing internships once again included individuals from extremely prestigious institutions, similar to that cohort of Fulbright Grantees I rubbed elbows with back in 2007. No one, especially not I, as a teenager washing dishes at a café, would have ever imagined becoming an attorney nor a Fulbrighter. At least twice in my life I faced a mountain with a small chance of success, and twice I was able to reach the apex. This is because I had more than just grit and luck – I had the opportunity, resources, and support to do so. My classmates in my part-time classes kept me focused and grounded. They are the individuals I fought for as class President, and they are the same kinds of individuals whose families and futures I continue to fight for today. I strongly believe that anyone who is willing to be brave enough to take a step forward and put in the effort deserves an opportunity to succeed.

    While I need not repeat all of the exact facts and statistics contained in Petition R-16-0042, I would like to further highlight a few important points. Access to legal education is fairly limited in Arizona, and some of these the potential recipients, Native Americans and those living in remote areas without close access enough to law schools, stand to gain significantly if the petition is passed, both student and client-side. Continuing the discussion regarding access to educational resources above, I believe it is in the Court’s best interest to support these students’ endeavors, especially if they meet the same stringent educational and ethical standards of other qualified graduates coming traditional law schools. Indeed, upon reviewing Concord Law School’s curriculum, not only do the students study all of the same subjects required for the California Bar Exam (which are roughly the same as the Arizona Bar Exam), but they also in fact exceed the credit hours and instruction time required by the ABA. Moreover, the students are subject to grading based on absolute performance rather than a curve, and must also take the First Year Law Students’ Exam while earning grades no less than a “C” in order to even sit for the exam in the first place. Thus, where the quality of education is an absolutely legitimate concern, this is addressed by both Concord’s academic standards and curriculum, as well as the mandatory State Bar examination process that is required for all graduates of any institution. The Bar Exam usually serves as one of the final barriers to decide whether a given individual may practice law, and, as history has shown, simply graduating from one school or another does not necessary guarantee success on the Exam itself nor in the legal practice. Moreover, in my limited experience, an attorney’s Bar License number – not one’s alma mater – is required on legal documents, and clients usually tend to be more concerned about whether the attorney can actually get the job done. The onus is and has always been on the candidate: if they do not pass the test, then they simply do not move on. And, at least for Concord students, they have more tests to overcome and will still not suffer as heavy of a financial burden as compared to students at other traditional schools if they are unsuccessful. Therefore, it is because I believe in the State Bar Examination process that also I believe that candidates coming from a program like Concord Law School should at least be given the opportunity to put their fate into their own hands.

    I would like to close on two final points: first, highlighting the evolving landscape of education, and second, how programs like Concord Law School are consistent with that evolution, serving a growing need in a constantly changing society. Today, online education is a reality. Universities across the nation now provide some courses that are either fully online or have a mix of online interactivity. In addition, many highly prestigious institutions such as Harvard, Yale, Oxford, and MIT provide both free and paid certificate courses on resources such as edX, Coursera, and MIT OpenCourseWare. The authenticity of the knowledge and information provided in such courses is difficult to challenge. Through this trend of providing such courses from respected institutions worldwide, it appears that more of the world is beginning to recognize and appreciate the value of flexible, instant access to education. Likewise, in Concord Law School’s program, knowledge and information is provided by experienced faculty who also serve as practitioners. Further, the students learn the same fundamental cases and develop the same analytical tools as others in traditional settings. In sum, the students are equipped to compete with bar exam candidates from other schools. Interaction is the essential element to any form of learning, and merely being online does not change this – in fact, it is likely to accommodate it much better, especially given the majority demographic of Concord’s student body. Specifically, for example, the flexibility of course scheduling allows to students to worry less about what goes on outside of the classroom (e.g., traffic, taking time off, finding caretakers for children, etc.) and instead enables them to focus more on the material itself. As mentioned above, the onus is and has always been on the student to utilize the resources available (e.g., class time, office hours, various study materials) to create the best outcome possible. In my experience, time is by the far most important resource, as even the commute alone is enough to dramatically influence a student’s success negatively. Simply placing the blame on the student for being in the situation can hardly be considered a prudent analysis of the circumstances. Thus, while time and flexibility alone cannot guarantee success, the two at least tend to shift the balance back into the students’ favor. Next, the reality of the need for educational programs such as the one at Concord Law School has now become even clearer since I originally began drafting my support for Petition R-16-0042. It was recently announced that my alma mater, Whittier Law School, is likely to be closing its doors. I must once again emphasize that I would not have been able to obtain a legal education had I not been able to attend its part-time program. The same likely holds true for many other part-time students fortunate enough to have already graduated and passed the bar. Regardless of how one stands on the topic of Whittier’s or any school’s closure, it is clear that among the already-limited amount of opportunities that individuals around the country lack for such flexible programming, there is now one less outlet for potential positive change, period. As mentioned in the text of Petition, the students in these types of part-time programs are not simply students who could not get into “better” schools. Rather, they are working, experienced professionals and these programs tend to be the only ones that fit those individuals’ particular needs at the time. Similarly, the needs of society have changed dramatically over the last few decades, especially in regards to education. It is no longer unusual or rare for people to want to go back to school later in life, and socioeconomic norms are constantly being redefined. Technology has accelerated societal advances far beyond what was imagined over the last century, allowing us to break “cookie-cutter” molds and provide resources in ways much more efficiently than ever. Education should not be an exception to these advances – in fact, I argue that education should be the primary recipient of these advances. This is because my research and personal experience revealed to me that it is education and knowledge that influences changes in lives more than other factors. The need for legal services is not likely to decline anytime soon and perhaps may even grow larger. Thus, it will be in the Court’s best interest to grant Petition R-16-0042 because Concord Law School’s educational program will help to accommodate the need for legal services by enabling and encouraging the qualified, passionate few to seek legal education. Consequently, with less financial burden on future practitioners who are still subject to high educational and ethical standards, future clients stand to gain immensely from lowered costs for quality representation.

    In conclusion, I will concede that this petition cannot and does not guarantee success just as much as it does not guarantee failure. However, it does provide opportunity – at least one more opportunity for underrepresented individuals who are in an unfortunate position of lacking many others. I have witnessed that sometimes all it takes to enable progress is the willingness to move forward and the opportunity to do so. Our practice is about equal justice and fairness for all. This fundamental concept should apply not only to those being served but also to those who shall strive to serve others. Opportunity breeds change, I hope your Honors will help enable both.

    Respectfully submitted,

    David Saetang (SBN# 294372)
    The Law Office of David Saetang
    725 Brea Canyon Rd., Suite #1
    Walnut, CA 91789
    (213) 222-6899
    david@davidsaetang.com
    david.saetang@gmail.com
    Attachments
    ceMember
    New Member
    Posts:6 New Member

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    17 May 2017 03:42 PM

    David W. Lunn Bar No.019526
    c/o Attorney Regulation Advisory Committee
    602-452-3963
    cmitchell@courts.az.gov
    Attachments
    Mo
    New Member
    Posts:4 New Member

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    19 May 2017 06:02 PM
    Mauricio R. Hernandez (#020181)
    P.O. Box 7347
    Goodyear, AZ 85338
    Telephone: (623) 363-2649
    mo@lawmrh.com
    Attachments
    Paul Bennett
    New Member
    Posts:1 New Member

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    22 May 2017 02:29 AM
    Attached please find comment opposing the application.

    Paul Bennett
    Clinical Professor and
    Director of Clinics
    The University of Arizona
    James E. Rogers College of Law
    1145 N Mountain Ave
    Tucson, AZ 85719
    520 626-5245
    Attachments
    martin.pritikin
    New Member
    Posts:2 New Member

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    28 Jun 2017 02:15 PM
    Attached please find the petitioner's reply in response to public comments submitted.

    Concord Law School at Kaplan University
    Martin Pritikin (California SBN 210845)
    Dean and Vice President
    10100 Santa Monica Blvd. Suite 365
    Los Angeles, CA 90067
    Ph: (323) 533-0002
    martin.pritikin@kaplan.edu
    www.concordlawschool.edu
    Attachments


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