William Hubbard, Veterans Education Success
California Senate Judiciary Committee
July 2021

Good afternoon to the Honorable Members and your staff:

I speak with you about Assembly Joint Resolution No. 12, and wish to register the strong opposition of many veterans organizations; more than 40 of which worked with Congress to enact the Protect the GI Bill Act, which ensures veterans have access to education respected nationwide.

In 2006, I joined the United States Marine Corps, a step that landed me at Recruit Depot – San Diego. Then, at Camp Pendleton, the training was expectedly arduous, but I grew fond of the beauty and opportunity available in California.

Today, I serve at an organization called Veterans Education Success, and live and work in Virginia with my family.

In an economy that switches on a dime, the mobility of our veterans and their families is paramount. The Protect the GI Bill Act in its entirety ensures that GI Bill benefits lead to a degree that has mobility in the job market. This is especially important for military families who frequently relocate across state lines.

AJR-12 is a resolution to protect law schools that other states view as unaccredited; it is not a resolution to protect the interests of veterans. These are institutions not accredited by a nationally-recognized accreditor, and their numbers tell you all you need to know [1]:

    • Over 25% have been placed on probation through July 1, 2022, due to a noncompliant minimum passage rate–or have lost accreditation entirely.[2]
    • None of these schools met the minimum American Bar Association bar passage rate of 75% this past year. [3]
    • The website for one school is “lawdegree.com,” a recruiting tactic practiced by many lead-generator sites, some who notoriously operated websites including GIBill.com and Army.com; both were shut down by law enforcement. [4] [5]
  • And one final example, the University of West Los Angeles: according to the State Bar’s published Exam Statistics, UWLA has a reported bar passage rate of just 9%.[6]

I respectfully request you stand with veterans organizations nationwide, not with the law schools protecting “lawdegree.com” as one of their own.

Thank you for your consideration.

[1] The State Bar of California, “2020 Cumulative Minimum Bar Examination Pass Rates (MPR) for California Accredited Law Schools (Five-Year Reporting Period: August 1, 2014–July 31, 2019),” (2020), http://www.calbar.ca.gov/Portals/0/documents/admissions/Education/MinimumPassRateStandardCumulativePassRates.pdf (last accessed July 6, 2021).

[2] ibid.

[3] ibid.

[4] Southern California Institute of Law, https://lawdegree.com/ (last accessed July 6, 2021).

[5] U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, VAntage Point Blog, “After Court Settlement, VA Takes Over GIBill.com and Other Sites,” (2012). https://blogs.va.gov/VAntage/7356/after-court-settlement-va-takes-over-gibill-com-and-other-sites/ (last accessed July 6, 2021).

[6] The State Bar of California, “General Statistics Report: October 2020 California Bar Examination Number of First-Timers and Repeaters Taking and Passing and the Percent Passing: California Accredited Law Schools with 11 or More Takers,” (2020), http://www.calbar.ca.gov/Portals/0/documents/OCT2020-CBX-Statistics.pdf

Download William’s testimony here:

Cals Verbal Testimony_vFINAL