I stumbled on this post which you wrote awhile back and decided to respond to it.
I'm a graduate of Blackstone School of Law (the paralegal program) when it was located in Dallas, Texas. The owner, James Fry, Jr., and his father, were also involved with it when it was based in Illinois.
Prior to enrolling, I received a small booklet explaining the history of Blackstone School of Law and it mentioned the change from offering law degrees (LL.B) in Illinois to a legal/assistant certificate program in Dallas, Texas. It was also listed under Blackstone School of Law in the Martindale Hubbell directory during 1990s.
Blackstone never offered a JD degree. Only the LL.B. I researched the school and you can still find some of the old advertisements they ran in magazines like Popular Mechanics, offering the LL.B entirely by correspondence.
Also, one of the graduates I talked to whom had attended Blackstone in the 1970's, said that despite receiving a bachelor of laws that he was not permitted to sit the bar exam in Illinois, since the school was unaccredited. He then moved to California which was one of the few states that allowed out-of-state graduates of unaccredited law schools to sit the bar exam.
The LL.B degree was based on the study of Modern American Law, the main textbooks used by Blackstone. It makes no sense that Blackstone would redesign their program to offer a JD to graduates.
Blackstone School of Law maintained the same name in Illinois and in Texas, until it was sold in 2001, then switched to Blackstone Career Institute, which is now based in Pennsylvania. The only thing that changed was that it went from a correspondence LL.B program to a certificate legal assistantparalegal/program.
Lastly, many graduates of correspondence law schools have went on to sit the California bar, which is one of the toughest in the nation. Your assertiion that a correspondence law degree is not worth the paper its printed on, is flawed. In fact, a recent
gradaute of Concord Law School in California sued the Mass. Board of Bar Examiners, so he could sit the bar.
The case ended up before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, where he successfully argued the case. See:
Mitchell v. Board of Bar Examiners, 452 Mass. 582 (2008)
A video of the oral arguments can be found at:
Distance education is now mainstream and even Ivy league schools are offering programs entirely by self-study, including major providers of continuing legal education, like the American Bar Association.
If you perform a google search, you will find that there are Blackstone graduates that are attorneys, judges and some
even work for major companies.
Hope this clarifies the issue.
Regarding the Connelly stuff, although I am an officer in the USMAF and member of the board of the USJJF, I have nothing to do with issuance of rank, except to my own students. All I can say is that it is being looked at.
Before it is thrown in my face as a criticism, I was given judo rank by USA-TKJ. I did not seek it or ask for it. It is what it is. I do happen to hold dan rank in the USJA. I have been "given" rank by other organizations; whenever that has happened, I thank the folks who issue the rank, then I forget about it and get my ass back on the mat and back to work.