Law studies online: For those who won’t accept “no” to their dreams

Law studies online are the best option for the dreamer who won’t take “no” for an answer. You want to become a lawyer, but around you there are people who say it’s impossible:

  • Your need to work and study at the same time
  • Your obligations as a stay-at-home parent
  • Your age doesn’t favor you in a sit-in school
  • Your finances don’t allow for a traditional law school
  • Naysayers take dim view of the online option

Law studies online

To them, you say, “Yes, I can! Despite my limitations, despite the obstacles, I want to become a lawyer. Nothing is going to hold me back.”

Master’s law programs allow a mid-career professional to enhance his expertise and salary with such specialties as:

  • tax law
  • health law
  • environmental law
  • technology and internet law
  • criminology
  • elder law
  • When a student graduates, they should be equipped with the skills in order to make them successful.” — from the video

    In just about every case, if you want to become a lawyer, you need a JD (Juris Doctor). Pretty much only in California can you take the bar with an law studies online JD. Then you can transfer to another state and take their bar (rules vary from state to state so check with your state bar first).

    Because of the ABA’s stance of not accrediting law studies online universities, many programs are orienting themselves to the career professional who wants to compliment his expertise with real knowledge of law. Additional earnings are expected!

    Law studies online offer:

  • flexible classes (most classes are “asynchronous,” which means they are recorded and you watch them at your convenience)
  • affordable tuition (one-third of normal law school)
  • feedback with professors and fellow students via chat, email and scheduled video conferences
  • streamlined learning

    Distance law schools growing acceptance

    Distance law schools may work for you.

    Virtually every law school utilizes the same books and curriculum, so what makes a difference is how hard a student works towards learning the law,” said Chuck Katz from Washington State in U.S. News & World Report article June 7, 2012. “Becoming an accomplished attorney can be achieved whether one attends Harvard University, Yale University or Concord”online law school. After graduating from an distance law school, Katz passed the tough California bar on the first attempt.

    Distance Law Schools

    High-powered law firms still prefer the traditional in-person law schools, though. But we’re talking about “possibility” for many students–they can’t

    • afford a traditional law school
    • pull up stakes and move to a a traditional law school
    • quit their job to study during typical law school hours
    • abandon parental duties but want to study at night

    So why not get in on the ground floor as the elevator begins to move up, especially now that a special national commission designed to solve the current law school crisis has recommended a host of changes to the law school format. They certainly have ruffled feathers suggesting:

    1. law school be shortened to 2 years
    2. law school teach more practice and less theory
    3. law education devise curriculum to graduate “legal technicians” — more than a paralegal and less than a trial lawyer
    4. law schools reduce tuition
    5. allowing undergrad juniors into law school
    6. simplifying and relaxing accreditation

    “We are going to look at everything from scratch,” said Laurel G. Bellows, a Chicago lawyer and the president of the American Bar Association, quoted in a New York Times article Feb. 10, 2013. “We have to keep everything on the table.”

    Check your state’s requirements for admission to the bar exam before enrolling online!

    Online law school: How is it similar to the traditional school?

    Online law school classes often are held at a certain time of the day, similar to regular colleges. Your assignments need to be turned in on specified days and times. The online law school allows students to email teachers or other classmates for clarification regarding an assignment. Addressing criticisms leveled at the online schools that there is too little interactivity, most schools set up chat forums to discuss ideas and questions as well as argue cases.

    Online law school

    To take online law school classes you will need high-speed internet and a sound card.  Your RAM capability should be at least 256 megabytes. Either Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer (6.0+) will work. As far as software on your computer, you can’t get by without Microsoft Word.

    Online law school wins in area of cost

    An online law school costs $10,000 to $10,500 a year, so the savings are substantial when compared to the traditional law school. Check out options for Pell and other grants to defray these costs if you have need.

    California and a few others states accept online law school students to take the bar. You had better check with your state’s bar before you enroll under a false illusion. Also, if you don’t want to become a practicing attorney, you may not need to pass the bar. Here’s a list of careers that don’t necessarily require passing the bar but definitely get higher pay for having a law degree:

    • Court reporter
    • City council member
    • Corporation consultant or arbitrator
    • Foreign affairs consultant
    • Police Officer
    • Homeland Security professional
    • Cyber Crime detective
    • Corporate or private security
    • Political leader such as senator or representative
    • Justice of the Peace

    Potential areas of study:

    1. business law
    2. civil law
    3. criminal law
    4. entertainment law
    5. environmental law
    6. family law
    7. health law
    8. internet law
    9. personal injury law
    10. real estate law
    11. tax law

    Online law studies’ many steps

    Online law studies can be the path to a dream’s fulfillment. You realize that the online degree has greater obstacles than the traditional classroom, but it’s really the only option for you because of time, money or geographical limitations. Here are the steps, if you want to one day say, “Your honor, my client…”

    1. Fulfill California undergraduate studies requirement: a minimum of 60 completed undergraduate credit hours with a GPA equal to or above graduation requirements. In some cases, if you do not have the credit hours, but can pass subject matter examinations, you may still qualify
    2. Apply for admission to an online law school. Select an online law degree with regional accreditation. Also check to make sure your online university is registered with the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar of California. California will only allow graduates of schools that are registered with the committee admittance into the State Bar Association.

    3. Register as a California law student. To sit for any law exams, the student must register with the State Bar of California. On the State Bar of California website’s home page, select “Register for the State Bar” and complete the form and all its requirements. You’ll be asked for your undergraduate study transcripts and to pay the registration fee with a credit or debit card.
    4. Pass the first year law student exam. This exam covers all topics taught during the first year of law school, such as contracts, torts and criminal law. The four-hour exam is administered in June and October.

    5. Provide references and contact information for the Moral Character Determination. The California Bar Association will conduct a background check on all applicants for the California Bar. The check includes interviewing family, friends, current and former coworkers, current and former employers, previous instructors and a credit and criminal background check. Applicants who do not pass the determination will be ineligible to take the California Bar Exam.\
    6. Pass the Multi-state Professional Responsibility Exam. The MPRE tests a law student’s comprehension of ethical behavior and proper attorney conduct. The two-hour exam is offered three times a year and consists of 60 multiple-choice questions based on privilege, representation, contempt, ethics and other legal situations.
    7. Pass the California Bar Exam. The exam is given in February and July of each year. It is a three-day exam consisting of essays, multi-state questions and scenario exercises.

    Online law studies

    Online law studies: more resources

    A stream-lined route to becoming a lawyer

    Required courses for lawyers

    Don’t give up on your dream to become a lawyer

    Online law schools work if you can’t go the traditional path

    Online law schools can work, but don’t think an online law degree is an easy way or a shortcut to becoming a lawyer. It is not. In some ways, online law schools offer a more difficult path because topnotch law firms take a dim view of them. The industry is steeped in tradition, favors the old ways of doing things and is slow to embrace change.

    Online law schools

    But if online is your best option , you ought to research online law schools today.

    Online law schools are right for:

    • entrepreneurs
    • laborers and professionals who don’t have the luxury to take years off to study
    • army personnel
    • anyone looking for a career switch
    • professionals who want to compliment their work with knowledge of law
    • non-lawyer professionals such as criminologists, paralegals and social advocates who won’t need to pass the bar

    So far, California is the first and only state to embrace the technology, and that’s significant because California has always been a leader in the nation. What this means for now, however, is that you won’t even be given the chance to the take the bar in another state unless you:

    1) practice 5 years in California first

    2) solicit and receive special permission by your state bar.

    So when will the premier firms view online law schools more brightly? It may be when they see your performance!

    Learn more. Recommended searches:

    • How to become a lawyer through online course
    • List of online accredited law schools
    • List of online law schools
    • What courses are required to become a lawyer?
    • What are the requirements to study law?


    Online law degrees: Become a lawyer at home

    Online law degrees mean you CAN become a lawyer — and you don’t have to move out of your home to get there! As with so many other studies, law studies are surging online too! To be sure, it involves special difficulties to become a practicing attorney, but if your current situation does not permit attending a brick-and-mortar school, this is a great option. It’s cheaper and flexible; it’s a good way to execute a career change.

    online law degrees

    When researching online law degrees, you’ll need to find out:

    • Your career goal. If you want to become a practicing lawyer, it is recommended you still get the interactivity of being around teachers and law students. If you plan to use your law degree for a related career, online is a great option. Some want to take a few specialized law classes to enhance their career.
    • The state you want to practice in. Currently only California allows online students to take the bar. If you want to practice law in another state under current law, you’ll have to first practice law in California for a couple years and then apply to take the bar your desired state.
    • The bar passing rate of your distance learning school. Get the stats before you apply.
    • The support network your law school offers to help you when you begin to tire of the long haul. As you research online law schools, you’ll want to ask about the extra effort they put in helping the student accomplish goals.

    Online law studies are growing by leaps and bounds — many would say it is the wave of the future. Here are some of the careers you can practice with a law degree without necessarily passing the bar exam:

    The following list demonstrates just a few things you could do with a law degree:

    1. Court reporter
    2. Media lawyer
    3. City council member
    4. Corporation consultant or arbitrator
    5. Foreign affairs consultant
    6. Police Officer
    7. Homeland Security professional
    8. Cyber Crime detective
    9. Corporate or private security
    10. Political leader such as senator or representative
    11. Justice of the Peace
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