Ten years have passed since the last of our three JD students graduated from OBCL and passed the bar. It has been even longer since we graduated the same students from high school, the final portion of which included a rigorous year of OBCL paralegal study. We chose this school because we trusted (and still trust) the leaders who led the Oak Brook College of Law. They are solid believers in God’s Word with courage to speak out, wisdom to guide students, and humility to serve without applause.
A Financial Decision
For us, because tuition was affordable, our children were able to exit high school with a marketable skill. We told them that they would never need to serve a day of their lives in the legal profession, either as a paralegal, or later as a JD. This is because we believed that we were intentionally giving them the gift of a great foundation in thinking and writing, in purpose and in diligence.
A Lifestyle Decision
As a family serving on far-flung mission fields, we valued the freedom of an education program that allowed us to travel together. We had a clear start and end point every day with a study cut-off time so we could all contribute to the teamwork of a home, as well as to enjoyable family evenings and to an abundance of hiking and other outdoor experiences. OBCL allowed us to continue to live balanced lives with hard work, relaxing enrichment, and lively dinner table discussions.
A Character Decision
None of our children were exceptionally gifted or talented, but they were hard working and purposeful with a desire to be God-honoring, all of which pointed to the paralegal program as do-able. We wanted our children to be able to think ahead, to articulate their thoughts, to write reasoned essays, to base their understanding of law on Scripture, and to experience accountability with calendar work not organized by their parents. We valued their diligence and honesty and wanted to provide opportunities for these character qualities to grow with outside structure. And OBCL provided those opportunities and more, giving us a hard work option that was remote, measured, and intentionally preparative towards further academic study.
If the paralegal program did all of this in one year of their mid-teens, the Law program built on this and so much more for them as young adults. For us, the OBCL Paralegal and Juris Doctor programs were the tremendous success that we hoped they would be.
Both programs provided a full workload of studies, clear structure, remote freedom, a wrestling with current topics, and the ability to grow in concentration, understanding, dedication, and humility. Both provided affordable, yet quality, marketable skills. One program built on the other.
What we could not have foreseen about the program was the lifelong friendships our children would develop with purpose-driven and ambitious students. There was a camaraderie and understanding that spurred one another on to make application of biblical principles. OBCL grads support each other, hire each other, pray for each other. They are well-trained upon the bedrock of Scripture, in the same fundamental groundwork that many of the Founding Fathers of America undertook, and for many successful grads, the ability to articulate their thoughts and to work hard in law has provided a jumping off point into politics, business and medicine.
As parents, we have no regrets that we chose the OBCL path. Our daughter passed the paralegal program and went on to become certified with NALA, and works as an Executive Legal Assistant. One son loves his work as a Wills and Trust attorney in Sacramento. Two sons worked part-time as attorneys, using the academic rigor of their legal study as a springboard into medical school – one son becoming an orthopedic surgeon and the other graduating this May as a family/emergency medicine doctor. And because our children were able to study at home throughout both OBCL programs, our relationships remain close and our teamwork, strong.
Colleen Adams is a relationship coach with a small-gathering focus called Kitchen Table Conversations, in which young people are guided in group conversation to find Biblical answers to address their deepest relationship/life questions. She also speaks on Academic Excellence to homeschooling groups and is the author of two newsletters. She and her husband, Todd, counsel missionaries and church leaders across America and overseas. When not on assignment, they live in the California foothills, close to Sacramento.